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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Catholic, confessions, costanza, dikembe mutombo, Fresh Beat Band, Frozen, jerry stiller, lent, parenthood, parenting, seinfeld, Sesame Street, words with friends | Categories:
Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
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.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. He has written the book “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt” and is currently working on releasing a parenting humor book. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons and can be emailed at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
I apologize for the lateness of this letter, but I don’t have as much free time as you do.
We’ve been friends for many years. You’ve known me as a careless teen and a carefree adolescent. It is due to the long, rich history which we both share that I offer you the respect of an explanation of who I am today, because I feel that my lack of presence in your life could be misinterpreted as apathy. On the contrary, I value our friendship a great deal. After all, you were technically there before my wife and children were. So, with that said, here’s how I feel about our floundering relationship, along with some practical ideas to keep it afloat.
First and foremost, don’t forget that I exist, please. I understand that my schedule has filled up faster than the men’s room at halftime of the Super Bowl since I’ve become a dad. But being a father in no way diminishes my ability or desire to be invited to bars for the liberal consumption of alcohol. In fact, it increases it. Exponentially. So, while I certainly don’t expect an invite every weekend, don’t just assume that I’m too busy or exhausted. I’ve been known to make time for people who I consider important, Jack Daniels being one of them.
I promise when we do spend time together that I won’t monopolize the conversation with talk of what you will likely perceive as my son’s minor accomplishments (his first words, his first bike, his painfully awkward school picture). But if you don’t show any interest in my chosen lifestyle of taming tantrums and mastering Fresh Beat Band lyrics, don’t expect me to be interested in hearing every excruciating detail of your weekend that included a Jersey Shore marathon, an unfettered poolside read, and a nap. I do my best not to allow the fact that I’ve procreated dominant any conversation. In fact, I’m flattered when you tell me, “I still find it hard to believe that you’re a father.” However, when you overemphasize the word “you’re,” it’s kind of insulting.
On the flip-side of that, please don’t be offended if I can’t go to your party that starts at 8:00 at night. My kids are normally in bed by 8:30. Would you be excited to go to a party that started right before you were planning to be in pajamas? I didn’t think so. Regardless, you leave me two choices. Well, three actually.
1). Going to your party and dragging my kids along, which I don’t think either of us want, especially when there are drunken dancers and ghastly house music involved.
2). Going to your party and leaving my wife to watch over the kids (which actually would be great, so I get out of the bedtime routine for a night. But the downside is I wouldn’t be able to drink and I’d be hanging out with other people who would be. If I have to say it, being sober around drunk people is my version of hell.)
3). Hiring a babysitter. I was going to hire a babysitter once. Then I watched the news. Now I trust no one.
Don’t get mad at me for being late. And please know that I will
occasionally lie about what time I plan to actually arrive at the destination where I’m meeting you. Because I have control issues, I prefer to put my kids to sleep before leaving. And when they’ll actually fall asleep is truly anyone’s guess. And naturally, at least one of my children will pick the night I made plans to develop croup, bronchitis, and an immunity to nighttime medicine. So why do I lie then? Because I know I certainly would never commit to plans with anyone who told me, “I’ll be there between 9:00 and 11:30.” I want to see you. This is why I lie to you. Think of me as the cable guy.
And please don’t tell me you need a vacation. Ever. Once you become a parent, you realize that the only ones who should be taking vacations are people who have to deal with erratic, irrational offspring day in and day out. You don’t “need” a vacation. Simply urinating without an audience would qualify as one for me.
So, in summary, I’m willing to meet in the middle. As long as you do your best to understand that I am at the mercy of the children I’m raising for the next couple of decades. In fact, let’s drink to that. I’ll meet you at the Tap House at 9:00.
Do you have friends who you feel alienated from? Has your social life take a dive since becoming a parent? I want to hear about it! Leave all comments by clicking on the comments section below!
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