The Scientist and I have talked about having a third child. I don’t expect that it will really happen, unless there’s some drastic change in our current situation. Like winning the lottery. We really can’t afford a third child, and neither of us have a car that would fit three car seats, meaning we’d have to consider the dreaded minivan.
But my wife wants another baby, and occasionally she’ll say something like, “wouldn’t you like to have a son?” To which I find myself oddly indifferent. I mean, yeah, sure, it would be great to have a son, but it’s great to have two daughters. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be disappointed if I never had a boy, I probably would have said yes. But now that I have two wonderful children, I don’t care that they are both girls.
But I digress. What I really wanted to write about is how much I hate Parents magazine.
Like all new parents, we subscribed to this bloated thing, hoping it would give us the insight to successful parenting we assumed we were missing. And it does have interesting articles sometimes, and loads of cute baby pictures, of course. But I quickly lost interest in the magazine, mostly because it’s clear that the editorial staff thinks all men are assholes. I once read an article about how important it was to read to your kids, how it helps them develop and how it helps you bond. Since I read to Lily every night as part of our bedtime ritual, it was nice to hears… until I literally got to the last sentence of the article, which read, “And remember, fathers can read to the kids, too!” Which elicited a big, Hey, fuck you Parents magazine!
So The Scientist hands me the most recent copy of the magazine, opened to a story. “You should read this,” she says.
The story is about a young couple, not unlike us, who have two children (but they have two boys). Once when the kids are at Camp Grandma the parents sneak off and have sex in their minivan in the park (I know, classy). And, of course, she gets pregnant. What follows is a he said/she said article that gives both their points of view.
And, not surprisingly, the guys point of view is that he doesn’t want to have another kid. He says:
Our kids were just at the point where they were sleeping through the night. I didn’t want to deal with midnight feedings, no sex, changing diapers, sleep-walking through the day, and did I mention no sex?
He pressures his wife to have an abortion (even though Parents never uses the “A” word) and tells her that he’ll have no part of the pregnancy. He doesn’t go to the birthing classes, he won’t help his wife and he basically ignores the fact that she’s pregnant. In her section, the wife talks about how difficult it was, how stressful it was around the house with her husband being openly hostile about the impending birth, and so on.
But! Of course, once the baby is born the husband sees his beautiful little daughter for the first time and his heart melts and he loves her. The article concludes with how close father and daughter are now, and how happy he is to have her in his life. And the wife is so pleased that he came around and everyone got a happy ending.
To which I say: Are you fucking kidding me?
This is just the kind of story that Parents loves: one in which the asshole father -- because, clearly, all fathers are shitheads who can hardly be expected to put down their beer and get off the couch to prevent their kid from eating poison, let alone change a diaper -- finally comes around in the end and realizes how important children really are, cue syrupy music and hummingbirds.
This crap burns me to no end. First of all, THIS particular father really IS an asshole, and shame on him for bringing the rest of us dads down. He has to mouth off in the first paragraph about how he doesn’t want another child because it ruins his sex life… I mean, Jesus, dude. Are you really so dim that you don’t see how stupid and selfish that makes you sound? Sure, we all might feel that way, but maybe don’t list it as your #1 reason for trying to browbeat your wife into an abortion she doesn’t want, huh?
Here’s the thing: the second that guy put his unprotected dick in his wife, that was him saying, “hey, y’know what, I’m okay with you getting pregnant.” Because that’s how you get pregnant. Lord, what a turd.
So I take this awful magazine and throw it across the room back at The Scientist. She says, “Why’d you throw that?” and I say, “Why’d you make me read that piece of shit?”
And she doesn’t know why, really. Mostly because we were just talking about a third child, and this story is about an unexpected third child. I know she wasn’t trying to say that I was an asshole like the guy in the story (clearly I’m an entirely different kind of asshole) but I’ll still a little insulted by it.
But I’m mostly insulted by the stupid misandry this magazine continues to exhibit. Instead of Parents, it really should be titled “Amazingly Flawless Moms And The Unbearable Neanderthals They Are Forced To Endure” magazine.
At least you’d know what you’re buying.