This week’s Dustinland comic was originally going to be about the last two panels — just about how annoying kids can be about sharing and wanting and fighting and grabbing and crying. Man, two of them together, it’s just impossible. It’s like they are trying to be as irrational and impossible as they can. Add more kids, it only gets exponentially worse.
But you know, I started thinking about it and decided to expand from that single subject to the broader frustrations around kids and wanting. They’re always wanting something, except of course when you want them to want something. Then they don’t want it. That’s the game. You can’t even do reverse psychology — too dangerous. They might believe you and it would wind up reinforcing what you don’t want them to do.
Oh well, at least mine seems to get sarcasm, which is surprisingly effective at times.
As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, having kids really is great, even though it sometimes drives you insane. But overall it’s totally worth it. This particular strip was driven by a particularly difficult bedtime that in total took over an hour and a half. You really do feel like you’re losing your grip on reality when you spend so much time arguing with a completely irrational creature that is only a fraction of your size and strength, yet somehow is able to control so much of what you do.
But I really do like to get soon-to-be parents excited about it. I hate those parents who try to scare you with that whole ” your whole life is about to be over” thing. Even if you believe it, why would you put that on other people who are trying to balance nervous anxiety with joyous excitement? I guess you could say that’s exactly what I’m doing with this comic, but hey, I needed a quick joke on a Sunday night.
Like I allude to in this week’s Dustinland comic, it’s so funny watching every parent try to raise their kid gender neutral. I tried with mine. You know, no pink or blue. Dolls or trucks. That sort of thing. It’s a nice thought. The funny part comes when you realize it doesn’t seem to matter much. Kids just gravitate toward what they want, no matter what you do.
I have a friend with two boys. He’s a big time comic book nerd. His boys are following in his footsteps. They then had a girl. Not only did they try to raise her gender neutral, if anything, she was surrounded by action figures and super heroes, so it was basically the reverse. The result? Today she won’t leave the house without a princess dress.
My kid was the same way. I never told him what to like. He just went for trains, trucks, “shooters” and every other cliche boy thing. There’s just something in there, in their DNA that makes boys and girls like certain things. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t leave it up to them or that we shouldn’t fight against traditional gender stereotypes. That’s all good too. But future parents — be ready to not be too surprised.
Posted in parenthood
Tagged babies, children, dad, fatherhood, gender, gender neutral, kids, parenthood, parenting, sex, toddlers
I’ve had the idea that babies are drunk for quite some time. It’s pretty obvious. They waddle around clutching a bottle, they babble, drool, fall over. They’re wasted. But the stoner thing featured in this week’s Dustinland comic was a recent thought. I could honestly do a whole blog just dedicated to viewing toddlers are stoners. All their weird tastes, the things they say, the scenarios they imagine, their explanations for things, the questions they ask—it’s like hanging out with a bunch of college hippie bongo players. And hey, that’s pretty awesome because hippies are funny. Sure, you don’t want to count on one to not lose their boot at a Waffle House in the middle of Tennessee, causing you to drive around from exit to exit in the middle of the night on the way back from Bonnaroo (true story) but you wouldn’t want to count on a baby to drive you home either.
Posted in parenthood
Tagged alcohol, babies, dad, drinking, father, fatherhood, marijuana, parenthood, parenting, pot, smoking, toddler, toddlers, weed
This week’s Dustinland comic is basically my version of Go the F**k to Sleep. Not that he actually came up with the idea of being frustrated about bedtime. I’m sure there’s a caveman drawing of an angry caveman storming out of a cave while his cavebaby whines about how he needs more wooly mammoth milk. But yeah, it’s frustrating to a silly degree, although you start to roll with it after a while.
By the way I apparently have some sort of close 6 degrees of separation family connection to the Go the F**k to Sleep guy. So in case he’s reading this, great job.
Okay, this Dustinland comic about parenthood isn’t very realistic. Most dads get fat too. I left that out because I’m one of those skinny freaks. I wonder if one day I’ll get skinnyfat?
But year, I love being a dad, but it’s way funnier making fun of all the hard parts. The events pictured in this comic really did happen. We were super tired, just threw on some sweats, headed over to the grocery store, grabbed some vodka next door in a very spur of the moment “well, we’re not going to be leaving the house for the rest of the weekend so we might as well have cocktails,” and then suddenly I’m standing outside a liquor store with my wife, both of us dressed like hell, with our newborn in a stroller. And you know what — I didn’t care. That’s when I got it. As a parent, sometimes you just work too hard to give a shit what anyone thinks of you. I’m not saying I try to be that way. I like to play NYC hipster dad as often as I can. But on those rough days, you’re gonna catch me dressed like I just spent $6 at the Salvation Army.
The funny thing about this week’s Dustinland comic is that my idea was to do a comic that didn’t require any drawing, as that would save me some time. Instead this thing wound up taking longer to draw than a normal comic.
But anyway, I know what some of you might be thinking: Boy, you must really hate being a parent. I understand if you think that, but I also think you are missing the point. I love being a parent! It’s the best! BUT, you do have to make tremendous sacrifices. And that is the point of this comic.
Really this shouldn’t need to be explained, since people have been making fun of parenthood since… well I guess since men started getting involved in it, if you want to get all historical about it. But yeah, I mean, it’s a cliché. Complaining about how you have no life now because of your kids. It’s old news. You just have to find a new way to flip it to make it interesting again. See Louis CK for a good example. Not that this is the Louis CK of comics or anything. Although I do think I do a nice job of mixing the funny and the depressing, just like him. I’m just missing the incredible talent, fame, money and success part.
This week’s comic was inspired by a recent night out with a friend of mine. We hadn’t hung out in a while, so we met, grabbed a beer, hit up a metal show (Kvelertak), then ate Philly cheesesteaks. At various moments throughout the evening, I mentioned brief details of my 14-month-old son. I found these little anecdotes and descriptions amusing. My friend… well it was like I was speaking to him in some strange foreign hypnotizing language… his eyes would glaze over, he would stare vaguely at some imaginary spot in front of him, and would mumble a few words of acknowledgement. When I would stop talking about babies, he would snap out of it and go back to normal.
The thing is, taking your kid on a wagon ride around the block can be truly amazing. But when you tell other people about it, it sounds pretty dull. Especially if they don’t have their own kids. There’s really no way around it. So then you’re faced with the question, do I bore my friends or do I just not ever talk about my kid? I think this is why a lot of dads seem like they don’t care or aren’t involved. They quickly learn no one cares, so they stop talking about it. Maybe I’ll go that way one day. Who knows.
This week’s Dustinland is about this. But not really, since my kid is too young for that just yet. But I have to plan ahead. That article I just linked to says to use anatomical words like “penis” when talking to kids, but that’s just weird. I don’t use that word often as an adult even. It’s just a weird word. Some words are. Think about it, no other words even sound like penis, except peanut, and even that is kind of a silly word if you think about it, possibly due to guilt by association. There’s venus. That’s not really a word though, but a name.
Then again, all the kiddie words are weird too. Pee pee, wee wee, dinky, ding dong—soon it starts to feel like you’re reading the list of Hostess products. Man, I don’t know what I’m going to do about this. Maybe I’ll just wait until he can read my comics and then I won’t have to explain anything.
I know, babies can’t really do things out of spite, like in this week’s Dustinland, but sometimes it sure feels like they can. You know, I can deal with not going out as much, being pickier with concerts, renting DVDs instead of going to the movies… but sometimes on the weekend I just want to sit down on the couch, drink some coffee and read the paper. Is that too much to ask? Does he even have to take that from me? I mean, I love the little bastard but come on dude, give a dad a break.