I’ve only been a parent for a little over eight months. I’m not trained in psychology or neurology (or any other field where I’d have a greater than 50/50 chance of ever hoping to pay off my student loans), but that seems like it’s probably more than enough time to permanently damage a child’s chances of having a happy, healthy, successful life.
Before I start self-flagellating, I should acknowledge that there are a lot worse parents than me –for example, nearly everyone who has ever starred on any iteration of Teen Mom, especially most of the dads. I give you Ryan, speaking to his son on the occasion of his first birthday: “Hey, Bentley. I ain’t buyin’ your fuckin’ cake mix, buddy.” First of all, Bentley. Second, pretty sure that line is a direct outtake from American Psycho 3: Tennessee Drift. BUY YOUR SON A TWO-DOLLAR PILLSBURY CAKE MIX, YOU MONSTER.
But if I’m actually going to raise the bar high enough to make this limbo tournament competitive, there are also a lot of way better parents out there than me. This is based on nothing more than a gut feeling, but Sandra Bullock. How would she not be an amazing mom? I have seen no concrete evidence to the contrary, so there you go. Sandra Bullock: America’s Sweetheart, And Also Probably Mom of the Year. Thanks for making the rest of us look like assholes, Sandy! (This is the playful nickname used by Sandy’s close personal friends, such as George Clooney and me.)
Finally, before we get to the list, I want to point out that these are just three MAJOR ways I’m screwing up my son. I won’t even discuss the fact that I’m terminally messy, or helplessly disorganized, or relatively unmotivated. And I’ll just assume it’s a given that I’m setting a terrible example with regards to fitness and nutrition. Oh, and that I’ve probably done the kid a major disservice by passing on my genetics at all, what with my dozens of allergies (some potentially fatal!), crippling anxiety, and tendency to break out in mysterious rashes.
And no, my tendency to gloss over huge life issues did not make the list. Continue reading