Effective parenthood is really just a series of trade-offs.
In many of these trade-offs, we as parents are forced to choose between our own happiness and that of our children. And today, I got hit with a pretty serious dose of harsh trade-off reality.
I received this:
It is an “Annoying Orange.” It is a promo piece for a Cartoon Network show called Annoying Orange.
And it certainly lives up to its name. It makes noises that make me want to feed it to a family of starving, feral honey badgers, light the remains on fire and fling them into the mouth of an active volcano.
But would my 3 year old son love it if I gave it to him?
Yep, he sure would.
And thus you have my serious decision. My Spanish Prisoner. My Sophie’s Choice.
If I gave it to him, I can just picture it – that happy little smile, the bounding from room to room as he blissfully brandishes the Annoying Orange, which is droning on in its loud, nasal, “WASSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUP.”
He would be so pleased. He would likely carry it everywhere with him – take it to bed to be his little orange buddy, keeping him safe while he sleeps.
So, of course, when pitting all that happiness against a little bit of daily annoyance, the choice is pretty clear. Any decent parent would do the same thing, right?
Heeeeere, honey badger . . . heeeere, honey badger . . . are you hungry, little fella?
“Mommy not here.”
“Nope, she’s in Seattle so that your sister can go to school.”
“And I here.”
“Yes you sure are.”
“My banky a bit sad.”
“Your blanky is sad? Oh no, that’s too bad buddy. You tell your blanky we’re going to see mommy and your sister really soon, in just a few sleeps..”
“Be’er give it some cuddles. Make it feel be’er.”
“Good idea buddy. Good idea.”
“What are you doing Daddy?”
“I’m trying to sleep buddy.”
“Because I’m tired.”
“Because Daddy was up very late last night.”
“Because I was playing a stupid video game.”
“Because it was fun.”
“Talent, training and experience, I suppose.”
“Oh I don’t know, he probably flunked out of Law or Engineering or something.”
“Because most girls and boys discover Engineering at around the same time as they discover vodka and getting an Engineering degree is very, very difficult.”
“Because math is not taught very effectively in our high schools.”
“Chronic underfunding I suppose.”
“Political short-sightedness and fiscal mismanagement, mostly.”
“Because most people get into politics for the wrong reasons and the ones that get into it for the right reasons tend to become disillusioned with the system and either are unable to ever effect substantive change or get out of the political sphere altogether and head to the private sector to make some money and hopefully contribute to reform extra-governmentally.”
“Daddy, wanna play with my trucks?”
“Yes, Parker. Yes I do.”
Courtesy of Natalie Dee
“I don’t know how they don’t get scurvy”