An interview with self-published author M.D. Thalmann and “The 13 Ways” brainstorming game by Roger Zelazny.
It’s been two years since I started stringing an op-ed column for $25 an issue to a local rag. And it was a fun run. I got the word that the controversial Dolphins in the Desert column, which they insisted I write, would be the last Back Page.
So, this heartfelt piece about the imminent birth of my son, is on the house.
The magazine assures me that still want my other columns, and to keep me on the dole, but my personal favorite favorite, pet project, has died of exposure and will be interred with all the other mulch that didn’t make the cut.
Anyway, enjoy the freebie.
This fall everything is changing. For one, I own my home now, so we got a nice reusable tree for Santa. I rented in Norterra for two years to make sure I was in the best neighborhood. I owned in Moon Valley before and it was stuffy and the residents’ kids were all in their teens… no one for my toddlers to play with.
More importantly, I got rejected to write a column for Moon Valley Tattler. “Too edgy,” they said. Once I got the offer to freelance for North Valley Magazine, I knew I was home.
More impactful than all that is that my wife and I are expecting our first boy. In late November we will be adding fifth human to the family roster and it has got me in a tizzy.
I’ve had a shift in perspective. I caught myself telling my daughters to toughen up and asking them to be more independent. My youngest cried and I told her that “life is only going to get harder and you need to deal with it.” She said “I’m only three.” True story. I took it down a notch.
Anyway, I’m on a tangent, here goes nothing.
The top 10 ways I am preparing to raise a boy:
- Letting my kids fail. With girls I have been very protective, right down to playing on the swings or climbing trees. I have insurance, time to use it.
- Stop intervening in conflicts. I need to teach them to stand up for themselves and stop running to me to solve every issue.
- Become more cognizant of vocabulary. This one’s is for my wife. She says “boobs” sometimes, and so do my girls. This was all fine and dandy until I imagined sitting across from the principal with my son explaining why he mentioned Mrs. such and such’s boobs.
- Spend more time outside. Boys are rambunctious and I have nice things.
- Get matching outfits (I tried this with the girls but I got some looks).
- Plan out the next 10 Halloweens’ costumes and accessories. I have so many ideas now, but most of them involve Han, Luke, Leia, Rey and Padme. Ok, all of them do.
- Buying expensive movie replica lightsabers.
- Sign up for sword fighting lessons (self-explanatory).
- Brushing up on my breakdancing skills.
- Stop being a misogynist. Go to gym.