Men and women bring very different approaches to parenting - and shopping, and dancing, and watching TV, and… Seeing that both Dad and Buried and I write about the trials, tribulations and (often unintentional) hilarity of parenting, we thought we would interview each other with parenting questions and see how our answers might shine a light on this universal difference between the sexes, while - hopefully - getting to know each other a bit more. Judging by our blogs, we’ll probably just make each other feel better about how much we drink.
Martinis and Minivans (MM): People are always talking about parenting philosophies, I’m not sure I actually have one that goes beyond trying to stay sane and not become an alcoholic, but what about you?
Dad and Buried (DB): I went into fatherhood with one mission: to not let it change me. Then my son was born and I realized that I was being naive; if you don’t alter some things when you become a parent, you’re not going to be much of one. Now that I’ve been a dad for two years, I’ve realized that half the challenge is the other parents. They can be so condescending and judgmental, as if they have all the answers. I have since made it my blog’s mission to rid the world of the idea that there is such a thing as a parenting expert. Everyone is winging it. No offense!
(MM): I completely agree, I can be very condescending. Oh wait, I didn’t mean to admit that. However, I love the fact that your blog is to prove that we all have no idea what we really are doing. My blog is about the fact that not only do I not know what I’m doing, I’m willing to share all the things I do wrong and let you laugh at me for them.
Since you are a man, let me ask you this one. My one-year-old son can’t stop shoving cords he pulls out of the wall down his pants, even after we say no. My four-year-old daughter never did this as a baby. We are at a loss for what to do – is the reason because he has a penis?
(DB): Yes, I am a man, thanks for noticing. And yes, the penis may be involved here. All I can say is when I was single I was shoving things down my pants every night, so go easy on the little guy. Honestly, though, Mom and Buried and I just entering the disciplinary phase; we’re very much still figuring it out. When I was a kid, I would’ve been spanked and that would’ve been that. Today I think you’re supposed to put them in time-out, which doesn’t accomplish much besides giving you enough time to mix another drink. The problem with my two-year-old isn’t us saying no to him, it’s HIM saying no to everything. The kid says “no” more than Nancy Reagan at a Snoop Dogg concert.
Which reminds me: he’s always forcing me into impromptu dance parties. Unfortunately, I’m no David Silver (I can’t dance and I don’t wear hoop earrings… anymore), so he’s picking up some really embarrassing moves. What are some bad habits that you see your kids emulating?
MM: Other than the cords down the pants? Let’s see, he also loves to tear my house apart. One paper towel at a time. See picture below.
As for my four-year-old daughter, she currently loves to ask women if a baby came out of their vagina or their belly. She recently asked me why she came out of my belly (c-section) and I told her that babies can come out of a woman’s vagina or belly. Now, she has made it a personal crusade to poll the general public of females in the local area and determine which form of birthing occurs more often. Might I add, she does it all while wearing a torn-to-shreds princess dress and a crooked crown made of cheerios. Speaking of crafts, what kids activity do you secretly hate to do?
DB: There’s really nothing secret about my hatred of most kid-centric activities. On my blog, I’ve written about how boring it is to hang out with a toddler. Obviously, I love my son, and most of the time we have a blast, but if I have to walk him up and down the stairs one more time I think I might cut off his legs. The kid WORSHIPS stairs; it’s like living with MC Escher. This is not how I filled my time when I was single, I assure you.
Do you have any favorite activities you can only do when your husband and kids aren’t around?
MM: I like to decoupage pictures of my cats on tiny coasters. Ok, ok, that’s not true at all. I actually have no idea what decoupaging really is but it sounds absolutely terrible. One of my favorite things to do is pour a large glass of wine, grab that worn-out comfy blanket that should have been thrown out years ago, and plop in front of the TV for some horrendous reality television. And by horrendous, I mean, the awesome awful stuff that makes you cringe. I used to adore watching “Bret Michaels’ Rock of Love”. Though, it could have been because I couldn’t stop having sex dreams about him when I was pregnant with my first. Yeah, that might have had something to do with it. (I still have sex dreams about Bret Michaels. I think it’s the bandana.) What television shows do you watch when your wife isn’t around?
DB: As you know, with a spouse and kid(s), it’s not easy to get a moment to yourself. When I do, I’m probably checking my fantasy lineup. But I am a big TV fan, just not reality; though I have gotten stuck watching Millionaire Matchmaker and that Bethenny show. Fortunately, I’ve gotten her into “Game of Thrones” and “Homeland”. But the one thing I have to watch by myself is “Breaking Bad,” and she somehow never got into “The Wire”, aka the Greatest Television Program Ever Forged. (My husband is seriously obsessed with that show as well. However, I am noticing that after watching it, he likes to walk around the house and talk like a gangster rapper.) Check out my kid in the “Wire”-inspired bib my wife got me!
DB: One of the themes of my blog is hanging onto some semblance of my pre-parenting life. Is there anything you used to do that you’ve had to sacrifice now that you’re a mom? Obviously, not the drinking. If anything, that increases.
MM: Seriously – no joke on that one. As for sacrifices, I would say…sanity. Seriously, my sanity has been completely taken from me. I’m juggling life as a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer/blogger, grad school student and wife. I’ve learned that I can do all that without having to be sane. I’m fantastic at faking it – sanity, I mean. In my blog, I write a lot about the funny things that challenge my sanity on a daily basis. I also write about the things that I lie to them about on a daily basis as well. In thinking about lying to our kids, what story from your own childhood will you never tell your children?
DD: I’ll probably just lie about my participation in the marching band. My son loves music, and Mom and Buried and encourage that, I just hope want him to express his love in a slightly cooler manner than sacrificing his Friday nights to wear a fuzzy hat and walk in unison with the horn section. Not that he’d necessarily be itching to pick up the sax and copy his old man; I’m pretty sure my kid is going to be cooler than I ever was. Are there any specific traits you want to encourage in your kids? Besides being super cool?
MM: Kindness. (Awwwwwwwww!) I know it sounds cheesy, but I seriously hate mean kids. I once watched a little girl stick her tongue out at my daughter and I wanted to go over there and challenge her to a fight. I think I could have taken her too. But the trait I love about my kids is that my daughter then said, “It’s ok Mommy, she doesn’t look like someone nice to play with.” Awesome. Maybe, I’m doing something a little right. Plus, someone will take down that mean bitch girl someday. (I hate mean kids too. I also hate the oblivious, dumb kids that always bump into my toddler at the playground. Actually I hate almost all kids except mine. And yours, of course. Your daughter sounds like a champ!)
So it seems that maybe men and women as parents really aren’t that different, huh? We’re both surviving, and somehow loving it - except when we don’t - all at the same time. And drinking. The drinking is definitely a necessity. Speaking of, I believe the last kiddo is in bed and it is time for me and my reality television friends to spend some quality time together… Dad and Buried, enjoy watching “The Wire” – I only hope your wife appreciates gangster rap impersonations more than I do. Thanks, it’s all in the game. But the only impersonation I do is of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. I told you my son is learning some terrible dance moves!
From the Judges
Not the worst interview I've ever read, but certainly not the best either. It didn't flow as well as it could have and I really didn't learn anything from this, other than the fact that I want to go to sleep and I am being forced to read drawn out interviews against my will.
While you obviously get no bonus points for using my key words, you don't even get regular points for getting me interested and wanting to learn more.
I'm not even sure what else to say here, other than good luck with the next round. Assuming you'll be there of course.
This was a fun read, but a little hard to follow. I had to work at getting my head in the game to go back and forth with the dialogue. Some readers will bail rather than work.
I did got a good laugh at visualizing your daughter polling the people of Wal-Mart about their birthing experiences. And that baby pic... you rarely go wrong with a baby pic. Good blog fodder!
However, I wasn't inspired to check out your blogs (which was part of the assignment), in part because there weren't links.
-The Lucky Mom
I love the way this starts! Why did you not do this from beginning to end out the post?!!? That said I understand why it was not done. I can’t help but feel you are not just interviewing each other but are actually listening to each other and that is hard to accomplish, even in real life.
I also have to wonder why you did not link to specific posts in your interview. Never miss an opportunity to promote yourself (if I could hyper link here I would)! This may seem awkward or self centered at first but you will get over it.
-I Need a Playdate
I also had a hard time with this post. It had its funny moments, but there was too much snark and alcohol even for me. I agree with Conversate that the transitioning was off. There was no natural flow. It felt too scripted; and it left me wanting to run in the opposite direction, instead of toward your blogs (which I couldn't have done, even if I wanted to, since there were no links).
Overall it was a funny post, but not your best. Interviews are tough though. Good luck!
-Pinwheels and Poppies
Love this!! Had a smile on my face the whole time. Both of you are truly witty and fun (my kind of bloggers). You did a terrific job on this assignment. One of the best!
-Mommy In Law
This interview is weak in a very significant area: transitioning.
Transitions serve two purposes in writing: First and foremost, they must sew ideas together; second, transitions must sew ideas together seamlessly. The transitions in this interview accomplish neither of these goals.
The transitions in this collaborative effort occur at the end of a majority of the interview responses. When taken out of context, they look like this:
--Is the reason because he has a penis?
--What are some bad habits that you see your kids emulating?
--Speaking of crafts, what activity do you secretly hate to do?
--Do you have any favorite activities you can only do when your husband and your kids aren’t around?
--What television shows do you watch when your wife isn’t around?
--Is there anything you used to do that you’ve had to sacrifice, now that you’re a mom?
--What story from your own childhood will you never tell your children?
These seven questions read like a script. They don’t extend from any genuine concern brought about by the interview.
What these transitions reveal is a lack of focus on a central theme in the interview. You both had a great concept—opposite sexes exploring parenthood. What I actually took away from the interview was an image of two people who drink too much, hate advice on parenting from others, and perhaps are somewhat resentful of having children. None of these ideas that I’ve garnered from reading the interview would make me hasten to stop reading a newspaper and head over to either of your blogs for some family bashing frivolity and drunken child rearing misadventures.
Although this specific complaint was my major concern, there is also an attention to detail that is missing. When you read this out loud, several of the sentences stick out awkwardly. Your attempt at humor with decoupage was (to borrow a meme phrase) an epic fail, and the content was injured by the lack of focus.
-Conversate is not a word and other abuses of the English language (Guest Judge)