Humble pie… a dish that is loved by no one, especially me. It’s a cross-cultural dietary staple that is available for all to eat in generous quantity, if so chosen. However, it tastes like poop. Well actually this particular serving tastes like feet… specifically mine.
Once again I’m suffering from a bout of foot in mouth disease after being forced to eat my own words. Back at the start of 2010, I was having dinner with the lovely Joan and one of the things we discussed was the subject of a parochialistic lifestyle in the context of being a new parent. To cut a long story short, I told her I found it extremely annoying when new parents blogged about their kids all the damn time (specifically in the context of the LJ friends feed as that’s the only time I really read other’s peoples blogs, because I’m forced to). I swore to her that there was more to life than friggin’ kids, and that I would never be the same. Joan scoffed at me and a wager was then made. She said I’d be no different, and I said I couldn’t wait to collect my eventual winnings. Fuck.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to walk in another’s shoes, assuming you weren’t some sort of used shoe stealing kleptomaniac. It’s one thing to try and logically identify with what another party sees, and another thing entirely to live in their skin. As a somewhat logical person, assuming I’m not hungry or horny, I used to think that being a parent is something that shouldn’t consume a person in their entirety. A well rounded person should be greater than the sum of their parts. Just as the marvel that is the homo sapien is greater than the sum of it’s biological components (arguable in some cases), who we aspire to be as people should be greater than the sum of our environmental and situational components. No single factor in our life should monopolise our entirety in the context of both our identity and our pool of emotional and energy resources.
To me, logic dictates that balance and harmony must always be achieved. I’m not talking about about some airy fairy ying yang ding dong nonsense, but that where compromise isn’t chosen, sacrifice is forced. And that for long term happiness to prevail, and ensuring that the road to get there is paved with as much joy as possible, compromise has to be achieved, especially in the context of duty. The dangers of public blogging is that it gives those who don’t know you a skewed window into your private world. It creates perceptions that may be wholly inaccurate due in part to third parties piecing together a puzzle from incomplete parts.
In this case, it’s the perception that parents are so obsessed with their new offspring that they have no time for anything else. Granted I think most women generally only blog about mind bogglingly boring crap anyway, from a guy’s perspective (fashion, cosmetics, decor, babies… *cough*), but it was at least a variety of boring crap. However once their spawn appeared, it’s was suddenly all just babies… babies… babies… ad bloody neuseum! I couldn’t stand it!
But that was then… and this is now. And so here I am… trying to talk around my girl sized foot that is firmly and squarely wedged in my face hole. I have always known that I would be a completely hands on father who would happily prioritise his child above all other duties. What I didn’t realise was just how great the sense of pride and involvement I would have with the screeching little protoplasmic bag that is my baby girl. It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you simply look at your own baby. It’s a feeling that all parents I’m sure would share. But prior to K, I could never have even begun to imagine to just what extent that would reach.
Not only can I not stop staring at her in disbelief at just what a miracle she is, both in concept (we actually made a human being, wtf???) as well as execution, but I also cannot stop staring at the photos I’ve taken of her even when she’s actually right there with me. And here’s the absolutely worst and most shameful part, I just want to share this joy with the world even though I know for a fact that they probably don’t give a single nugget of shit about her, the same as I was just before she wormed her way into my world. I’m quite positive I’m annoying just about my entire Facebook friends list by storming their feed with her pics!
I’ve become one of them. Just take a look at what this blog has descended into… baby pics, baby posts, and even a fucking baby blog header. This shit is whacked. Not only am I obsessed with posting photos and writing about her, but I’ve done a complete 180 and am ravenously consuming all information I can about other’s kids! And not only from the perspective of knowledge leeching to bolster my growing database of parenting heuristics, but also of just general curiosity and interest! And knowing myself, that’s tantamount to discovering that Unicorns fucking exist after all.
Well there you have it, people can change. I’d like to mention as well just how much Erica has changed between now and when we got married, but that deserves its own post. Her maternal metamorphosis from the woman I used to know has been truly amazing and one that till now makes me still wonder if this is the same person that I married… in a good way of course.
So Joan, I concede defeat… for now!