Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feel Free to Total my Car - I Don't have Any Kids

As I was talking to my boss tonight on the phone, or at least trying to talk over her screaming kid who couldn't seem to grasp simple concepts like he couldn't have any candy until after dinner, and he didn't really have any reason to talk with a total stranger on the phone (geeze Louise the kid's pushing 2 already, how long does it take to figure this stuff out?) I realized that having no kids has it's advantages.  No spending all my free time taking kids to sports practices, scouts, games, school.  No getting woken up in the middle of the night by a kid hurling, as happened to my buddy Jeff a couple nights ago (his dad of the year response to his wife: Why is he in our bed anyways? at which time he preceeded to roll over and go back to sleep).  No black eyes from the wife responding to a lack of caring for young violently ill children.  No being embarrassed at the airport by a screaming kid.  No being embarrassed at the mall by a screaming kid.  No being embarreassed at church by a screaming kid.  You get the point. 

On the other hand, there are disadvantages.   No bumper sticker proclaiming how well my kid is doing in school.  No sign in the window reminding people to drive carefully around my car, as it has precious cargo on board.  No excuse to wear a shirt proclaiming that I am the world's greatest dad.  (I wonder if I could get a shirt that reads "I would be the world's greatest dad, but I decided not to have kids so someone else could have that honor").  No child tax credit.  No tiny hugs or cuddling on the couch.  No getting out of work to take care of the kids.

It's this last one that has been getting to me lately.  It seems like there are constantly people skipping out on work for their kids.  Taking a kid to the doctor, going to a parent-teacher conference, attending an important event, giving birth to a kid.  Dad's even get paternity leave now, which is like a vacation where you get woken up every two hours by someone screaming. 

As shown above, having a real family is a lot of work, so I've decided I need a pretend family.  This way when work is getting stressful I can head out for a "parent-teacher conference" or my kid can be "graduating from kindergarten" or when I want to sleep in I can call my supervisor and let her know "my kid has a fever". 

Of course this would require making up some stories about how my kid got in trouble at school or is at the top of the growth charts.  Or at the bottom.  It really doesn't matter, as long as they aren't average.  Most important are the pictures to go on the desk.  I was looking at picture frames the other day and hoping to find one with some cute kids in them so I could buy it and put it on my desk and people would just assume they were mine, but all the photos had a mom and dad in them too.  I don't think my photoshop skills are good enough to replace the guy's face with my own.  Besides, the body would be an obvious mismatch, as guys with bodies like mine don't end up in picture frames. 

I was thinking I could just leave the picture as is and explain that it's my ex wife and her new husband with my kids, but I don't want a messy divorce.  And how embarrassing that the wife wouldn't even take a picture of the kids for me without her new man in the picture?  Not to mention the obvious comparisons and people thinking "wow, she took a step up".  No, I will have to live without any pictures of my imaginary family. 

Sorry, I have to go; it's time to put the kids to bed.  You know how grouchy they are if they go to bed late.