As a parent, I worry a lot about reality elbowing its way into my kids' lives. Violence in movies and on TV, kids saying inappropriate things at school, sick images on the internet -- basically, I don't want them to grow up any quicker than they already are. It's something I think about a lot and frankly, Mr. Shankley, it gives me a little bit of the shpilkes.
Well, this morning I had quite the wake-up call. I heard the spawn get up around 8-ish, and I finally moseyed down around 9 to see what they were up to. I walk into the office and find young Mr. Z staring at the computer screen. I took one look at the screen and my face turned white as a sheet. No, he wasn't looking at some sick, twisted fetish newsgroup - no, no, it was much, much worse.
He was reading my blog.
Goodbye, childhood! I am such an a-hole! Look at that! I can't even swear anymore! I have gathered up the last, meager drops of my son's innocence and taken a giant, steaming turd atop them. All of my empty words came flooding back to me as I stared at his betrayed little face: "Never, ever swear, Mr. Z," "You shouldn't talk about poop so much," "It's not nice to say bad things about people, son," "Never end a sentence with a preposition, boy!" The transformation from Crabbydad to Crappydad is now complete.
And I felt soooooo bad for him. He looked up at me and said, "Dad, you really use a lot of swears in your blog. The f-word, the s-word, the c-word" (crap -- I am forbidden to use the other c-word). "And you said Loordelanz, Jr. was creepy, too." I'm telling ya, it ripped my heart out.
I shut down the computer and blurted out a half-hearted "Mr. Z, I told you never to read Daddy's blog! You really should not have looked at that!" But I knew it wasn't his fault. I thought for a second and then tried to explain it to him.
"Look, Mr. Z, that blog is kind of like dad's private diary. Crabbydad is just a character that I've made up -- someone who is waaaay crabbier than I am. He's a fictional character who doesn't really understand our family, or the things we experience everyday. And he has a pretty foul mouth, too, as you read. So he tries to explain what he sees from his very limited viewpoint -- he's just really confused a lot. Does that make any sense?"
"See, it's kind of like those 'Akiko' books that you read. They're written by Mark Crilley, a man, right? He's not a young girl who travels into outer space, is he? No, of course not. He's an author and he's created a character who does things and thinks things that he couldn't possibly do or think himself. That's kind of what I'm doing with this Crabbydad guy. It's really just an exercise for me to write everyday. I'm just trying to become a better writer, and I'm doing it by writing in this very private blog that I don't share with anyone else. You see?"
He seemed to buy most of it, but responded with, "Then why don't you just write things down in a notebook?"
Touche, little man.
I went on to explain that I tried to do that, but I didn't have the discipline to do it everyday, and the blog made it easier for me to write, and blah, blah, blah, I'm the worst father in the world, my children are going to hate me forever, and I'm going to die penniless and alone.
I don't know -- we talked about it a LOT today, and I think he understands, kinda, what the dilly-o is. It's just killing me, though! It must be so confusing for him. I think it would have been easier for him if I just did something like walk into his room in full drag and say, "Son, your dad likes to dress up in women's clothing." THAT would have made more sense.
I also tried to delude myself into thinking that, just maybe, he only read a few posts. But this kid is like Evelyn Wood on 10 cans of Red Bull. He kept saying things throughout the day like, "Dad, I did think it was funny when you were talking about Cottonelles." THAT WAS MY SECOND POST! He basically read the entire archives! AAAAAHHH!
I'm pretty sure he won't read it again, though. I pulled out the old, "I can tell who is looking at my blog, Mr. Z, so I better not see that you've been reading it. If I do, I'm going to have to get rid of the Game Cube." What the hell -- I'm already a horrible father, what's a little threat piled onto the daddy dungball I've already rolled.
I'll get over it, I guess. He had to figure out that I was a fraud sooner or later.
I'll tell you, though, I'm going to be dealing with the fallout from this episode for months. Who knew that this was even a thing to worry about?!?! Arrrrr, curse you Al Gore and your internets!