Monday, July 25, 2005

Everybody's an expert

So it seems that when you're having a kid, damn near everybody you know reveals themselves as some kind of parenting expert. No really. I had no idea I was surrounded by so many people who moonlight as professionals in the field of child care. Pretty much everybody is ready with some kind of piece of advice or an opinion.

While most of these folks have their hearts in the right place, and some of the advice is good, I must confess that there is one particular brand of "expert" that bugs the living shit out of me more than any of them: the Under-reactor, so named because they believe that no matter what desires you may express in regards to keeping your child healthy/safe/clean/happy/well fed/rested/alive, the Under-reactor is always there to inform you that you're over-reacting. My wife and I seem to encounter a lot of these people. For example, make the statement that you do not wish your child to huff exhaust fumes, play with guns, or snort coke, and there's always some fucker in earshot ready to tell you, "Shit man! When I was a kid, my mom used to feed us blow for lunch and then send us each outside with an AK-47 and the keys to the station wagon so we could huff us some fumes! And I turned out just fine!"

And that's what it always comes back to: they were raised that way, and they turned out "fine" so therefore my kids should get the same treatment. Never mind that the source of this sagely advice has drool running down his chin that's about to drip onto his minimum wage paycheck that he needs to cash so he can pay his parents the rent he owes them.

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