Since I'm going to be a dad soon, I'm trying to figure out what my parenting style will be. Most people who know me would assume I'll be the type of dad who'll gladly let his son eat chocolate cake for breakfast and then leave the house with his underwear on his head. And I will be. However, there are going to be some ground rules for my child.
1. Don't speak against the family. In this case, the family is defined as all immediate family members, present and past members of the Texas Rangers, Bill Murray, and Elvis Costello.
2. Be nice to animals and old people. The only expection is if you suspect the old person is actually Hitler in disguise. Even then, I expect some sort of proof besides just a hunch.
3. If you ever go on reality TV, you are immediately disowned.
4. Say thanks a lot. I tend to over-thank people, to the point where strangers might think I was just freed from prison and thus really, really grateful to get things like breath mints and glasses of water. Is that so bad?
5. Don't pee in public, unless you're in a natural body of water. Clearly this rule doesn't apply to babies, who get to pee as much as they want, all over the place.
6. Cowboy boots and shorts is a totally valid fashion choice. Same thing goes for wearing a swimsuit instead of underwear.
7. No one likes a know-it-all, unless you literally know everything and bring great fortune to the family via televised game shows. Even then, we don't need to hear about it all the time.
8. Help clean up. If you've observed the natural surroundings of your parents, you know we need a hell of a lot of help here. Bonus: this gives you carte blanche to be as messy as humanly possible beforehand.
9. There's never a bad time for a pun, a Knock Knock joke, a weird accent (bonus points for Cockney), or an unrelated movie quote. You might be wondering if flatulence is covered by the same principle. My gut says yes, but we'll have to see.
10. Lord loves a working man. Don't trust whitey. If you catch it, see a doctor and get rid of it.
Lavender Aloysius Powell?
Umberto Kawasaki Powell?
Lazlo Pegasus Powell?
Those aren't just random words mashed together; they're potential names for the first great superhero of the 21st century. For now, I'm just calling him Powell 2.0. This is my sneaky way of letting the whole Internet know we're having a boy in early December. I almost said baby boy there, but I don't want to discount the possibility of a Benjamin Button scenario.
We've known about the pregnancy for a few months now, but we just learned the gender on Tuesday. Everybody keeps asking me if I'm happy it's a boy. My response to this is always the same: boy or girl doesn't matter to me, as long as it's one of the other. I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to raise an in-betweener without making things way, way worse probably. (Step 1: rent the Crying Game?)
So far, everybody is happy and healthy. Well, the happy part might not be true; my habit of shaking Laura's tummy and shouting, "Punch harder, baby!" might be annoying Mommy and Baby. Unfortunately, until I can feel some fetal kung fu, I'm keeping that up. We've had a few of the standard pregnancy complaints (fatigue and whatnot), but nothing to indicate that the baby might, in fact, be a werewolf or a shapeshifter. (Why yes, I have been watching a lot of True Blood while reading What to Expect When You're Expecting.)
We're getting the house ready, we're reading constantly, and we're scouting out pre-schools. I will have many different reasons for being a bizarre father, including my own general insanity, my total belief in the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012, and the fact I was head-butted by a billy goat as a toddler. Lack of preparation will not be one of these reasons, though.
Mark your calendars for December 5, folks. There's got be a lot more crying and pooping around the Powell house, and we're hoping the baby's responsible.