Saturday, June 18, 2011

Performance Parenting

I was on a flight back from California last week when I heard a dad and his young son a row behind. After listening to them for a while, I began to become intensely irritated.

No, not because the kid was crying. I have a strict policy of not getting irritated by crying babies on planes. Hear me, Karma? Hear me?

It was because the dad was putting on a show for the other passengers. It was the “Aren’t I the most hilarious dad” show. His responses to his son’s most basic questions were in sarcastic quip format.

“No…I don’t think the pilot will let you fly the plane, Logan.”

“Maybe the flight attendant will let you have a beer, Logan.”

And then he’d pause for laughter and applause. I couldn’t understand why it bugged me so much. He wasn’t screaming at his kid. He wasn’t hitting him. And then it dawned on me.


I realized 99.9% of my conversations with Elijah and Luca in public are for the benefit of passersby.

I like to think it’s to show off their impossible cuteness and hilariousness. But…no. It’s to portray myself as some kind of awesome sitcom dad to complete and utter strangers.

Why do I care if the checkout girl at Whole Foods thinks I’m a cool dad? I actually caught myself fake laughing on the street at something Eli didn’t say.

I know most of you are thinking, “Um, isn’t this basically what you do on this blog? Write stories to make you look like a cool dad?”


Damn. I’m kind of a jackass. But as far as our neighbors are concerned, I’m a cool dad jackass.

p.s. I’m convinced Diana sent me these photos to kill me with cuteness.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Man, you think the song is about you.
When I call Bert nerd in front of a couple 20 something gals, it's because he really is a nerd. Not to get their quick giggle and smile of, aw what a cool dad.