#186 In which our hero considers exactly what his children have done to him.
Trolling around the Internet yesterday I came across this photo via Defective Yeti (which is a very enjoyable blog, you should read it):
Once I saw it I couldn’t stop laughing.
Mr. Yeti wrote that the people he sent it to either loved it (finding it as hilarious as I did) or hated it (finding it extremely sad). I was surprised that anyone’s reaction, especially a parent, would be anything other than amusement. So I forwarded the link to The Scientist and, perhaps not surprisingly, she said she couldn’t look at it because it made her so sad.
Now, before you start calling me a heartless prick, understand that I recognize that those are some really unhappy kids. I don’t take enjoyment in making babies cry -- if I did, I could have an endless supply of hilarity without ever leaving the family room. What’s funny -- to me at least -- is that these kids are obviously in a portrait studio (so they aren't hurt or sick, just unhappy), and their parents are desperate to get them to smile (look at those armfuls of stuffed animals) and the kids clearly aren’t having any of it… but at some point the parents looked at one-another and said, eh, fuck it. Just take the picture.
And then they bought the prints!
This is something that would undoubtedly make me want to claw my eyeballs out of my head at the time… but afterwards, long afterwards, like years later, it would make for a really funny story. I hope those parents had a sense of humor (and the fact that they didn’t just pull the plug and go home, sans photos, makes me think they must have) and bought the big 11x17, put it in a nice frame and hung that sucker right on the living room wall.
This is how deeply my children have affected my emotions. Before kids, I would have looked at this photo and thought, “Holy shit. That must have been a nightmare. I wouldn’t want to be within a hundred yards of that studio.” But now I can see the humor, twisted as it may be. And I feel for those poor parents, just trying to get a nice portrait of their kids. The Scientist, on the other hand, reacted just as I would expect a mother to react: she was instantly sympathetic at a gut level to these poor kids and their distress. This is why she scoops up crying children at day care who are not our own and tries to calm them. However, before kids, I’m sure her reaction wouldn’t have been far from mine.
So there you have it. Girls, your father was a bit of an uncaring dick before you came around, and was indifferent to the plight of crying children. Now, thanks to you, he fully appreciates just how funny they really are.