Dumb parent questions


“Don’t you love him more than you thought you’d ever love anything?” is a question I’ve been asked a number of times since Little Bear was born.  At least as often as not by people who would never in any other context consider making any but the most banal inquires into my inner workings.  I usually limit my response to “Yes, I did.” as most of things I’d put after would be considered rude.  These include, but are not limited to, comments about my ability to read parenting and developmental psychology books and extrapolate how they might apply to me, and comments about the profundity and satisfaction I’ve found in a marriage which had a fairytale start and is more vibrant than ever 12 years later.

In truth, it is handy the LB is objectively as cute as he is, and in the last six weeks as demonstrative, because most of the time he remains a peculiar lump whose existence in the middle of my old life continues to recur, whose worth is largely academic, and whose virtues are mostly hypothetical.  A month ago he was enjoying a purple patch and the roses and unicorns of parenthood seemed quite real, but in the last fortnight travel and the vicissitudes of the baby mind have brought about a sleep regression which has shown parenting to be what it truly is: bullshit.


Those friendly, idealistic questioners may be capable of a broader, more even-handed view than I am now.  More likely, they’re plus jolie d’etre honnete and incapable of admitting to anyone, including themselves, just what you loose when you have a kid.  If I had to Sophie’s Choice right now I’d keep M and give up LB, and I would not have to think about it for more than a second.


This will of course change, and LB will continue to smile at me when I come home and be the adorable, agreeable object of attention when we go out to dinner.  He’ll continue to come along on adventures, giving us access to a new world within one of the old ones we held most dear.  I have every faith that all of this will come to pass and we’ll be a happy family for it.  I’ll try not to be anxious in the meantime, and will continue to fervently hope that the little bugger will sleep longer tonight.


8 responses to “Dumb parent questions”

  1. I’m M – and I approve this message.

  2. I get plenty of sleep these days.
    But in return I now get to experience seeing my son stumble through his first romantic relationship.
    Which of course brings the intense joy of staying up at night worrying about teenage sexuality.

    I’m afraid the bullshit may never end Dave, but merely change forms.


  3. The infant stage can be challenging – especially the lack of sleep. My kids are now 13 and 9 and it is immensely rewarding. Keep yourself active and fit so you will be able to share all of your knowledge with him. Also, it really gets fun when you have more than one under the age of 4 or 5 in the house…enjoy.

  4. Parenthood, as with climbing… “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” The payoff comes when he asks you to go mountain biking, play hockey or go climb a mountain and he can hold his own. Until then, as Alex Lowe once said, “It’s all training.” Even sleep deprivation.

  5. Ours are .8 and 2.5. I say that kids are like filters and multipiers for life. (I’m an engineer.) They force you to prioritize and filter out all but the most important things and hold on to the stuff that matters. Then they multiply everything; tough becomes tougher and happy becomes happier. It’s kind of recommended to go into the whole parenting-thing on the plus side, relationship-wise. Then emphasize aiming for positive spirals, it’s hard but necessary, I succeed sometimes.

    On a good week I train 1 session a week at the dojo, then 2-3 times a week in my rocky4-shed or a run. Much less than some years ago. I am positively surprised by the effect of 15 minutes Yoga every workday morning! I love those tiny but in the long run significant strategies.

    As this is a outdoor blog I have to admit that my time out is severely limited. I request 24 hours out as birthday present and try to fit in a couple overnighters whenever possible – totals to about 1-2 outings / season. I just can’t justify me getting any more alone-time at the expense of my better half.
    I am happy that you get out with LB and post about it. I hope it will push me to go out more and more with the kids too. Thanks.

    1. I appreciate the wise words. I’m thankful every day that M and I have a very strong relationship and can count on each other utterly. The last six months are unimaginable without that, actually.

      Training is going to be a tough one. Up to this point in life I’ve never been much of an athlete, and have over the last two decades enjoyed a few periods of exceptional fitness at various activities merely by default (read: having the leisure to do them a ton). That’s obviously going to have to change pretty drastically.

      1. You are going to be amazed at how efficient with your time you and M will become. Also, I try to ride as much as I can. So I have found that trail riding with some good lights at 5:30 a.m. here in WI is a blast. As even you noted, keeping a good relationship with your significant other is key.

        1. Hehe, I have procrastinator-tendencies and was thrilled when I heard parenting makes you more efficient! I was very disappointed when there was no change when I came back to work after a couple weeks at home with the newborn.
          Recently however, I have noticed a subtle change, especially after talking with friends in the same age without kids. So yes, parenting does eventually make you more efficient!
          Have to get back to work now. ;)

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