Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be found on Facebook or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
As the great Jerry Stiller once said (while portraying the unforgettably bombastic Frank Costanza on Seinfeld), “I feel the need to unburden myself.” I’ve been carrying around some heavy secrets. Some of them kind of shocking. But I’m willing to bet that, if you’re a parent, you’ll relate to more of these than you’d like to admit.
So, in no particular order, since it’s Lent and I’m Catholic and we’re encouraged to make confession during this time of year…
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned…
I pretend to be asleep in the middle of the night when my kids wake up crying. I think my wife is onto me, as she’s started to do the same. She learned from the best. I admire that.
When I deem it necessary, I let my younger son exact revenge on my older son. Trust me, he absolutely deserves it. And it teaches the older one a valuable lesson: Being a jerk = pain
When my son asks me a question I don’t know the answer to, I pretend I can’t hear him and walk away. An example is, “Daddy, why do you have nipples?” Why do I have nipples, Father?
I listen to the Frozen soundtrack when neither of my kids are in the car. I’ve also started pricing tinted windows.
I know all the words to at least six Fresh Beat Band songs….including Twists’ raps. Again, tinted windows.
I’ve been legitimately confused by instructions on my 4-year-old’s homework assignments.
I laughed at my kid after he walked directly into a wall and started crying. I mean, it was pretty hilarious.
I still don’t remember either of my sons’ shoe sizes. When I do, it changes two weeks later, anyway. I’ve stopped trying.
I genuinely enjoy Sesame Street more than 90% of primetime cable programming. Then again, “Sextuplets Take New York” isn’t exactly stiff competition.
I’ve smelled my son’s dirty diaper and then hid in the next room to avoid changing it.
I lied by more than two years to get my son into a theme park for free. I insisted he remain seated in the stroller sucking a pacifier to sell the lie to the cashier. I even said, “Act young.”
I’ve blamed my kids for being late to work, when it was actually my own fault. I mean, most of the time it’s their fault, so it’s not entirely a lie. Right?
When I’m putting my kids to bed, I stay in the room at least half an hour after they’re asleep, playing Words with Friends to avoid being responsible and putting laundry away.
I legitimately cannot defeat my 4-year-old in the Memory Game. He’s beaten me like 18 straight times, with me actually trying to win. It’s pretty embarrassing. I’m either getting old or I’m just a moron.
I peed on the toilet seat and blamed it on my 2-year-old’s failure to potty train himself.
I’ve accidentally answered a toy phone when a real one was ringing.
I skipped 13 pages in a 16-page book while reading a bedtime story just to see if I could get away with it. I could.
While playing basketball with my kids, I occasionally reject the living hell out of them ala Dikembe Mutombo. It’s my way of convincing myself I have so much as a shred of athletic ability left.
Nothing makes me laugh more genuinely than when my younger son mispronounces words. Most recently, he’s been talking about this “really big clock” he has in his room. Only he’s having noticeable trouble pronouncing the “L.”
I think that covers me until the next time. And if you see me in church next Sunday, this conversation never happened.
Feel free to add your own confessions by adding a comment below, or by tweeting me with the hashtag #confessions so we can all be guilty together!
* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
…that is the question. Or was.
Fia Kisses Baby Em
Now I don’t know much about foreskin. I mean it’s probably not that pretty–but seeing as he’s a newborn, you can hardly tell what is what on my dude’s shaft. All these baby boy parts are new–as in foreign–to me.
About a week before my C-section, Phil suddenly–and out of the blue–announced that he didn’t think he wanted our boy circumcised. Huh? I mean, I know it’s a trend right now to not snip. We have plenty of friends who didn’t. But I just assumed we would. If the medical community recommends something, we usually listen.
Ultimately, I decided I’d leave it up to him.
We enlisted a few opinions, got some super funny responses from our Jewish friends (which I can’t post here), who offered to come and do it themselves. Then the subject sort of died.
Fast forward to Emmett’s arrival. Our doctor–who is Jewish–said, “You are planning to circumcise, right?” I said, “I think so….” while at the same time Phil, said, “I’m not sure.” Dr. G looked from one to the other, not ready to get in the middle of a marriage dispute. He then said he didn’t feel strongly either way, but suggested we talk to the pediatrician.
The pediatrician, also Jewish, basically said that the pros of circumcising barely outweigh the cons. And the American Academy of Pediatrics has now backed down on their hard-line stance of pro-snipping.
I, being the compulsive clean freak that I am, was worried about the cleaning of it. I was under the impression you had to pull back the skin and wash it regularly. Not so, said doc. You just leave it alone. The night before it was scheduled, we were still trying to decide (yes, we left that and the name decision to the very end. We’re not very good planners). We sent out texts to a few of our Brooklyn neighbors, looking for confirmation on the cleaning thing. Perhaps the west coast doesn’t clean and the east coast does? Nope. No difference. They concurred with the doc. Leave it alone.
Then we called Phil’s childhood friend. A good Catholic Wisconsin boy, who is a tad conservative (unlike all our liberal hippie friends who didn’t snip). He is also an ER doctor in San Francisco and didn’t circumcise his son. We put him on speaker phone in the hospital room and had him spell out the reasons why. They were exactly the same facts the pediatrician told us. Emmett grunted a few times. Did he agree or not? I couldn’t tell.
We hung up and I asked Phil what he thought. It still wasn’t something I felt strongly about either way. But Phil began to rant about how barbaric it seemed. And pointless. He said when he looks at Em’s penis, he just can’t imagine having anything cut. Okay, calm down, I said. Let’s not do it.
In the end the only thing we ended up snipping was his frenulum. The shaft is intact.
A few things:
- On the argument that Em will look different than “daddy”…neither of us really buy that nor care. I mean, the dude isn’t going to be showering with Phil when he’s 13 and beyond. And until then, we just explain it to him. Nowadays they say that the locker rooms are 50/50 with skin on and skin off–at least in the places we’ll be living like NYC or LA. Maybe not rural Iowa.
- Studies show there are higher HIV rates in Sub-Saharan Africa in uncircumcised males. However, I don’t think we’ll be living on that continent anytime soon. When he’s old enough, we teach him safe sex. Just like we would regardless.
- The pediatrician also said there is a higher rate of bladder infections in uncircumcised boys the first year of their life. However, he explained the rate is still so small; it’s kind of a moot point (our ER friend confirmed that as well).
Truth be told, I’m far more concerned right now with how to prevent him from peeing on me. When I take his diaper off, it’s like a race against the penis-pee clock. Even if I place a cloth over it, he wiggles and the cloth falls off. Any advice on that?
And what’s your take on circumcising?
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Newborn Care