Confessions of a Bad Dad: My Kids are Junkies
If there’s one thing that always makes me feel like a failure as a parent, it’s when someone asks me what my kids’ first words were.
Seriously, I’m supposed to know that?
It’s not that I don’t care. It’s not that I wasn’t listening for their first words every day of their babyhood. It’s just that those first two years were full of so many loony squeaks and noises, some totally random and some parroting grown-up speech. Mixed in there occasionally were various sounds which I gradually came to understand were communicating something specific. But even those weren’t always words. It’s not like one day something crystal clear arose from my kids’ babble, like this:
Goo gaa foo daa daduh baba iPhone fee fum poopoo Ke$ha
The closest thing I can identify to a first word is “pop”, and really that’s just because it was their most commonly used word as far back as I can remember. More than “Daddy”, more than “Why? Why? Why?” and even slightly more than “Ke$ha”. Have I mentioned my kids love Ke$ha?
So what’s a pop?
A pop is my arch nemesis. My Moriarty. The Tom to my Jerry. It’s a vile plastic narcotic that’s been my childrens’ master since they first wrapped their tiny, toothless gums around one. You know, one of these:
Sure, at first pops were cute. I mean, look at this. This is cute:
You know what’s not as cute? This:
OK, it’s a little cute, so maybe you can understand my dilemma.
It all started so sweetly. One day, baby Sutton pointed at a pacifier that was just out of reach and pluckily chirped, “Pop!” Drew and I let out our biggest-ever “Awwwww…” and knew immediately that “pop” was our new term for pacifier, forever.
I never expected “forever” would last three and a half years.