Thursday, April 4, 2013

Poop. Am I A Good Dad?

I’m a good Dad.

Man in the sky, I hope I’m a good Dad.

I spend lots of time with my kids, probably more than the average Dad.  And yes, I know it isn’t all about time.  I also think I’m setting a good example; but who knows what little minds absorb.  I do 5,000 things in their presence every minute.  Some of it is inevitably going to be a poor example.  And again, who knows which one of the 5,000 things they are picking up on.  Sure, I put a nice face on in front of them, or try to, at any rate.  I have a fairly healthy relationship with my wife.  I try to be nice to people and generally happy and helpful.  Will any of that stick?  Or will the time when
Wonder why she says "poop?"
Good parenting?  Probably not.
I’m overwhelmed by the reality that is triplets and yell at the dog be the thing that sticks?

After all, those other 4,999 things are all, well, ordinary.  But there is Daddy yelling at the dog to quit barking.  Maybe they ignore all that smiling they see hours every day and pick up on that single, unusual outburst.  I’ve said probably 1,000,000 things to my daughter.  I’ve said Elmo’s name in all three of their presence probably 1,000,000 times.  Funny voice included.  None of them reliably can repeat that.  You know what she mimics?  The word poop and the sound of farting and belching.  Exposure to a million words; a million exposures to 1 word; and three of the first 20 sounds that come out of her mouth are things you shouldn’t say in public.

It’s true that genetically my triplets’ brains are already set.  Their brains are s already largely wired to know X words and be able to do X computations.  I can lower that a bit, or raise it a smidge, but otherwise what is done is done.  What I can control is their expectations and environment.  Will they feel confident and supported enough to hit X or strive for X+smidge?

Will they instead be happy with less than X. 

Man in the sky, I hope not.

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