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News from the Crib by Alex Barnett: Ivan’s Parenting Tip #59
My wife and I have an infant son named Ivan. He is 10 months old. Ivan is very concerned that parents do right by their children (he is especially worried about my parenting skills). Ivan has decided to help out new parents by issuing a regular newsletter called: #TeamIvan’s: News From The Crib #59
1. My husband and I have an 10-month old. We want to make his upcoming first birthday very special. What should we do to celebrate? Take him to France.
2. Wait, why should we take him to France to celebrate his first birthday? Because no 1-year old remembers his or her first birthday, so if you’re determined to throw away your money on a celebration, you might as well go someplace where at least you and/or your husband will have fun. On second thought, you 3 stay home and send me to France. You can never enjoy Paris with a 1-year old baby in tow. I’ll send you a postcard and some Dijon mustard.
3. Seriously, what should we do for our baby’s one year birthday party? Here’s an idea – put $100 in a savings account as a starter for his college education. Then, 18 years from now, after that money has been collecting interest at the Fed’s whopping, Qualitative Easing rate of 0.00001%, you’ll have $100 in 2030 dollars, which should be just enough to buy your son a beer to celebrate his 18th birthday and the fact that he’s about to continue living in your home and raking leaves because he can’t afford college.
4. Now, I’m depressed. You should be. You’re stupid. You’re so worried about celebrating first birthdays that you forgot important things, like how to take care of your child the other 364 days per year. Smarten up. Child-rearing is a marathon, not a one-day sale at Macy’s, where you have to outspend everyone to keep up with the Joneses.
5. But, we want our son to know that we love him. So, feed him, change his diapers, and be nice to him (except when he’s acting up). And, get a grip and stop whining.
6. You’re being so mean. I just asked a simple question. I’m not being mean. Life is mean. And, your husband isn’t a hedge fund manager, so stop trying to spend money you don’t have on something that no one will care about, especially, the birthday boy. It’s bad enough people mortgage their houses for Bar Mitzvahs and Sweet Sixteens. But, at least there’s half a chance that the kid will remember it, get some cash as gifts, and possibly have his or her first drink and maybe even make out with the cute kid they have a crush on. The only thing your son is gonna do on his first birthday is eat, poop and nap. You don’t need a caterer, a magician, and a 10-piece band to commemorate that.
7. But, what about all the other parents who throw lavish birthday parties for their one-year old children? What about them? They have money, so much money that they don’t look at their utility bills before paying them, and they don’t think $1000 is a big deal. Next time, marry that flabby, bald with the neck hair who went to Harvard Business School instead of the hot guy.
8. What if we do something simple? Just 20 or 25 of our friends and family at our house? That’s not simple. That’s begging your family to have a fight over something that happened 25 years ago. Do you not remember what happened last Thanksgiving, when your brother/sister got into a fight with your mom/dad?
9. Alright, well what about just one or two close friends? Are they friends with children? Because I can assure you, friends without kids don’t want to come to a kid’s birthday party, and friends with kids don’t want to go to a kid’s birthday party, unless it’s their own kid.
10. Alright, alright, I give up. We’ll just have a cake at home, my husband, my son and me. Have you looked in the mirror lately? You don’t need any cake unless it’s a rice cake. Listen, just do something that will actually mean something to the people involved – turn off the TV, your iPhone, your iPad, the computer. Get off your ass, and take your husband, your son and yourself to some nice, secluded place – a beach, the woods, a forest – and just walk around and think about why celebrating a birthday is worth doing in the first place. Hint – it’s because you get to celebrate one more year that you get to be alive with the people you care about. Then, go home, have a nice dinner, put the baby to sleep and attempt to have sex with your husband, before the baby wakes up crying and reminds you that you are the parent of a 1-year old and not allowed to have sex anymore.
Alex Barnett is a comedian-writer based in New York City. He writes News from the Crib, a parenting blog about his experiences as a new father. Barnett has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com and NYC-TV, and has performed at clubs, colleges and venues throughout the country. Barnett, a winner of the 12th Annual Gilda’s Club Laugh-Off, is a member Comedians at Law, a group of six comics who all left the law to pursue their dream. Fans can visit him at www.alexbarnettcomic.com, find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.