Tough Dad

I couldn’t help but think, as Kristie and I stared at our tiny daughter, how many times during her life she will be furious with us. “Don’t think about that!” Kristie snapped. So maybe I’m projecting a little bit, but there will certainly be times–many–where I’ll have to be the tough dad, and Blanche won’t like it. I’ve already baby-voice-screamed “I hate you dad!” on her behalf just so I can get used to how it sounds.

“You’ll thank me later,” I say back in my tough dad voice. Then I slam a door and crank some punk rock.

You see, I found myself at First Avenue Monday night, after scoring free tickets from the local public rock staion to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Incredibly bad timing, yes, but I’d never gotten through on any radio station tenth-caller bit before, let alone been the tenth caller. When I won them, I knew the chances I wouldn’t be able to attend were decent, but luckily, we were out of the hospital, and Kristie granted me the opportunity to get out and not waste the tickets. I mean, I was on the guest list. So there I was Monday night, sitting at the rail of the balcony, looking out over a full-but-not-crammed First Ave mainroom, watching a scene that, until eight days ago, wouldn’t have tripped a wire in my non-father brain.

There they were, amid the swaying sea: a young man and woman, intoxicated with each other (and probably other things), grindin’ away–using the music as an excuse, but clearly oblivious to the beat. Doing what young people do at a concert, or a bar, or a moldy frat house basement.

Well there will be no grindin’ for my Blanche. At least not when there’s good music being played. Or until she’s at least 24. Tough dad.

That got me thinking: what else will Blanche NOT do as long as I have a say?

She won’t become a competitive downhill skier. This I discussed a few weeks ago after watching crash after horrific Olympic crash. She won’t ever possess or wear a t-shirt that says “Rub For Luck” anywhere on it, as I saw a peer wear this St. Patrick’s Day. She won’t go out with any boy named Hunter, Gunner or Stryker, no matter how charming. She won’t listen to country music. She won’t be vegan. She won’t sext.

She won’t super-size or buy a 44 oz Coke because it’s the “Best Value!” She won’t buy groceries just because they’re on sale as opposed to buying regular-priced groceries she actually wants. She won’t let an unqualified person pierce or tattoo any part of her body. She won’t dislike roller coasters. She won’t put her dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher’s one foot away. She won’t EVER have a bowl cut.

She’ll never do any of these things. But…if she ever does…well, words don’t hurt a tough dad. Not one who’s rehearsed.


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One Response to “Tough Dad”

  1. Juergy Says:

    Cmon…No Super-Size or a “big gulp”?!?!?! That’s almost not even fair! As for the dishes in the sink, don’t look in my sink right now! In all seriousness, congrats guys!

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