Driving Me to Drink

I remember my mom joking, “you boys are going to drive me to drink!” My brothers and I were three rambunctious boys who tore through the house like an F5 tornado on a daily basis. In high school, we were inviting friends over during our lunch hour and free periods for Tekken Tag tournaments. My mom would always have the house clean, and food and sodas would be waiting for all who came over. I never fully understood how stressful that could be, that is until my wife gave birth to our son.

The stresses of parenthood seemed to have shifted. While parents still have the stresses of wanting a clean home, and making sure your kids are happy and healthy, it seems more and more that society keeps adding more stress.  Parents seem to be held under microscopes when they are out in public with kids. Grandparents and people without kids seem to have opinions about everything, from what your child is wearing into the store to how to react when your child has a meltdown in the toy section.

Here is where I say that unless you are family, my kid’s teacher, or someone who deals with my kid on the daily, keep your mouth shut. Just because something worked for your kids who are now in their 40s, or because you are taking classes in child development, that doesn’t give you insight into how my kid’s brain. I have been with my kid everyday for the past 5 years (minus a couple weeks when we sent him to CO with his grandparents) and I know how to deal with him. I’m pretty sure we’ve come across the same articles, so I don’t need you throwing your shade along with “helpful” quotes. There is a time and a place for this kind of help, and mid tantrum in public is not the time nor place to share your opinions.

Not only are we getting unsolicited advice from strangers, but we are getting flack from our own! Parents seem to be judging other parents more and more each day on playgrounds throughout the country. Right now, you are all probably judging my parenting (and writing) techniques. Why are we turning on each other? We are in the exact same damn boat! Let’s cut each other some slack and just let our kids play on the playground while we relax and talk about our favorite shows, movies, comics, and memes.

Unlike my mom, my kid will not be driving me to drink. If things keep going the way they are, it will be adults. It will be those judging my parenting from the 5 minute interaction they will have with me and my kid on the playground, or at the store. It will be those complaining when I take my kid to the movies, even though he’s usually quieter than most teenagers at the movies. It will be keyboard warriors who spend most of their time critiquing parents when they have no kids of their own.

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Disneyland or Bust!!

Hello! My name is James. I am 30 years old, and I have never been to Disneyland. I’ve always wanted to go, but life would always have a way of seeing me not being able to make the trip. My wife has also never been to Disneyland, and neither has our 5 year old son J. That will end soon. We’ve decided that we don’t want our son to live the Disneyland-less childhood that we had.

We (along with a group of friends) will be carpooling down from SLC, and we will be staying at an AirBnB near the park. We also will be celebrating my 31st birthday at Disneyland (insert childlike squeaks of joy). I have been talking with friends, who have been to Disneyland, pretty much non-stop and I still have no plan for how we are really going to spend our time at Disneyland.

One of my friends and Geek Parenting Podcast co-hosts, Dr. Sarah, gave me a book to read with J and my wife so we can try to make a plan but all looking through that book has done is leave me with more questions about how we are going to fit it all into a few days!

My level of excitement is off the charts right now. I have been wanting to go to a Disney park for about 25 years, and J has been asking to go since Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out. You only go to Disneyland for the first time once in your life. Thinking about the fact that the first time we go to Disneyland as a family will also be the first time any of us get to go to Disneyland, almost brings a tears to my eyes.

It reminds me of when J and I got to see Mark Hamill at Salt Lake Comic Con. Mark Hamill was almost finished with his 45 minute panel, and tears started rolling down my cheeks. J loves Star Wars just as much as I do, and we got to experience Mark Hamill at Salt Lake Comic Con together. If that made me cry, then Day 1 at Disneyland is going to be mostly tears (I hope tissues aren’t too expensive).

So now that I’ve told you all how easy it is to make me cry, I need your help. Those of you who’ve been to Disneyland, what should be on our “must see” list? What are some of the things you do to prepare for such an amazing trip? What costumes should J wear? Let me know by commenting here, or you can tell me on Facebook or Twitter. Also make sure you are watching the Facebook page, we will probably live stream J’s reaction to the news.