24 July 2008

Conan the Ungrateful

One thing you have to adjust to when you become a parent is the complete lack of appreciation for what is essentially your indentured servitude. Whenever you get too down about it, though, just remember how much you enjoyed yourself as a kid living on the other side of the coin.

In case you weren't blessed with such luck, I guess all I can say is Tough Nuts, man. That's just how the ball bounces.

Case in point: Recently, I was taking advantage of naptime by trying to catch up on several weeks' worth of episodes of Conan O'Brien on our DVR, when D- wandered out of his room. He sat next to me on the couch, as transfixed by the TV as he usually is when allowed to watch.

Then, remembering what had occupied at least 5 full minutes of my time before I could physically move across the room to sit down, I took the opportunity to keep him from becoming too spoiled* by pointing out that I had done him a big favor while he was sleeping.

Me: Did you see? I cleaned up all the toys for you.

D- (absentmindedly, without even turning his head from the TV): What toys?

Me: (audible shudder of resigned frustration)

* And to sharpen my future skills as a grandmother.


Anonymous said...

He is a smart kid! What toys? There weren't any that he could see. I love this.

Thanks for your visit to my blog. I feel so loved.

Brittany said...

This is so true, I am hoping the years of deep seeded Irish catholic guilt my mother has been prepping me with will come in handy for situations such as these.

Chris M. said...

don't want kids, don't want kids, wife's clock's ticking...don't want kids..

must break clock

Weather Moose

Kori said...

Snicker snicker, SO true!

Kevin McKeever said...

Dang LiteralDan literal offspring!

unmitigated me said...

It gets worse. Eventually the mess is still there and they'll say, "What mess?" He's only training himself for teenager-hood. Yay! LiteralDan! Your kid's ahead of the curve.

Anonymous said...

That is so your kid!! Just think of the joy that is coming as you watch him deal with his own literal spawn. Gotta love genes!

Anonymous said...

"audible shudder of resigned frustration"

I think you could have t-shirts made up with that printed on them and make a bajillion dollars. What do you think? I'd buy one. :) Then I wouldn't have to do it anymore--I could just point to the shirt.

Mama Dawg said...

I've heard of selective hearing, but selective vision? That's a new one for me!

Leave it up to your kids to become pioneers in this new movement.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know what lies ahead for you if you're going to be a grandmother some day. That will be a good story. :)

TerriRainer said...


One-eyed Dan - DUDE...this is ONLY the beginning.

:) Terri

Natalie said...

oh my gosh! that is so funny. my kids are just like that. what toys? the ones i am about to spread all over the room and make you pick up. oh...those toys!

Swirl Girl said...

My grandmother would've said that but with more of a yiddish requirement of giving the reason before the action - something like

"so vee shouldn't trip on it, vhat do you t'ink I yam - I cleant up zeh toys" Oy . Ack. (how do you spell that sound chchchchch )

Then she'd hack up part of her lung from the 2 packs of Pall Malls a day she smoked.

And, I would have sat there like D and said "so now I should thank you, but I don't see any toys anymore"

Carolyn...Online said...

Ungrateful little beasts. I might stop feeding mine.

Andrea said...

Um..yeah...those toys that I just threw out?? "Oh, yeah, THOSE toys" .

You are too, too nice :).

Sadly, my kids might not miss those toys for a while since they have quite a selection. I know, I know...I am the one who empowered them.....

SherE1 said...

You actually pick up the mess??? I haven't seen the floor of our living room for quite some time. I can't even recall - do we have floor or carpet under all those toys? Hmmm... I'll have to take a shovel to it and find out.

Bad Momma said...

I'm with Andrea. I'd hide all the toys (as if I would ever pick up after my kids!) and when he couldn't find them, furrow your brow, shrug your shoulders & ask " What toys???"

Pam said...

ha ha ha that cracks me up. my kids still do that 'what toys, etc., etc.? me.

i love conan...but i don't watch it nearly as much now since my son moved out two years ago. it was more fun then. funny the things you will miss once your children grow up and move out. *sigh*

Momo Fali said...

I feel your pain. I'm am nothing but hired help around here. Okay, I get an occasional hug, but for the most part I'm just cleaning up after everyone ALL THE TIME. And the worst part? Five minutes later it's dirty again.

Weith Kick said...

Conan! HA! At first I thought when you said Conan you were talking about the Barbarian Conan, not the talk show host Conan. I was confused. It reminded me I saw the Barbarian Conan in the theatre when it came out umpteen years ago. I guess it doesn't make sense to be catching up on several weeks worth of Conan the Barbarian.

Mama Dawg said...

Hey, come on by. I left you a present!

Rhea said...

What toys?! ROFL What a stinker.

LiteralDan said...

heartacheorheartburn: No problem-- I like the way you write. I plan to be back!

Brittany: I didn't even have the benefit of that, but I'm finding myself turning that way already. I'm not sure yet whether I should fight it or surrender and let it be pure.

Chris: Good luck with that-- many have tried, but most have failed. I say take a few years of planning to have kids but enjoying the twilight of your pre-child life. Take some trips, sleep in a bunch, etc. etc.

Kori: I speak nothing but the truth at all times. Pretty much.

Always Home and Uncool: I feel literally the exact same way.

Middle Aged woman: Oh I get that side of the coin, too. I can't win for losing. They are nothing if not advanced.

MamaNeena: No! I hate genes! When they are inconvenient, at least.

Christy: You know, that's not a bad idea. That was the closest I could get to describing the sound, but I make it often enough that I may as well profit from it. We could all wear it every day we have laryngitis.

Mama Dawg: Consider yourself blessed to not suffer from your kid's selective vision. I can't tell you how many times I have stood over a kid, pointing at something, saying, "That thing right there... THAT's what I'm talking about!" and getting a blank, "Huh?" back.

Mary: It will be The Greatest Story Ever Told. I will be the Charleton Heston of this generation. Though I guess I'd have to play myself in the epic film version to actually accomplish that.

Meanwhile, I'll be practicing my Heston-like voice.

"Let my pee-pee go."

TerriRainer: Everything's always only the beginning. The world needs to jump on my bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

Natalie: I haven't gotten as far as doing that yet, but I certainly have stood there cracking the whip toy by toy. I think I'll move on to vindictive undoing whenever the occasion arises around age 6 or so.

Swirl Girl: It's stuff like this that fuels my wife's previously mentioned desire to be Jewish. There's so many more fun things to say, and fun ways to say them.

But alas, she'll just have to keep dreaming over her morning bagels.

Carolyn...Online: Does that work? I'll have to try that some time.

Andrea: I figure I'm strict enough to hold off on certain whims like that till the kids are older. But I will definitely have a big foot locker marked Charity that will be filled as I see fit, and emptied on an unchangeable schedule.

Though that may send the wrong message about charity... hmmm...

SherE1: I do occasionally, when I can't stand it anymore. It's the easiest kind of cleaning we've got, so I can feel good about myself without having to actually finish unpacking boxes of junk or cleaning elsewhere.

Bad Momma: Ahh, the sharpest barb is one's own, thrown back in one's face.

I think I may have to work some more on that future old saw before I start spreading it.

ciara: Not sure if you meant Conan O'Brien or The Barbarian, since it was pointed out that I didn't specify I meant the former (in the text, anyway), but Conan is fun to watch in double-speed with commercials skipped, cause then I can mow through a week of episodes in a very short time.

I know I'll miss the ability to act like a kid without judgment from others, because I'm with one.

Momo Fali: You should make them sign a contract requiring regular payment in hugs and assorted utterances of appreciation.

I, too, am tormented by the regular re-dirtying. It's one of the most disheartening, soul-crushing (day-to-day, anyway) things in the world, in my very sheltered perspective.

Weith Kick: It does if you are obsessed with Hollywood Barbarians! Not every character can get 20 movies like Bond, so people would have to make do watching the same movie 20 times, right?

Mama Dawg: Thanks again!

Rhea: Oh, he's a stinker of the first order, when he's not adorably sweet and kind. I guess you get what you get, depending on the day.

KatBouska said...

Yeah I don't know what this is like at all. I have three kids...12 total in the daycare and all day long they're cleaning, asking if I need any help, saying please and thank you, hugging me, refilling my cookie plate, etc. Seriously. That's all they do.

You'll excuse me while I go find my Xanax.

Ann(ie) said...

haaaaaaaaaaaa! And to sharpen my furture skills as a grandmother. OMG. I have to show this to my mother. You are too funny!

LiteralDan said...

Mama's Losin' It: Wow, you're brave. I take it you haven't hired a support staff for the daycare? You need to outsource all the caring and stuff-- it's what I would do.

Ann(ie): Hey, I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I'm practicing my, "Have you been having problems with your phone lately, where you can't make outgoing calls? Cause it wouldn't kill you to call me once in awhile, so I know you're not dead."

Keith said...

The problem here is that you thought the toys on the floor were an issue, and D did not. So you cleaning up a non-issue gets you the response you got. I know this because oddly it works the same way with wives.

kel said...

I have no kids, but I'm a teacher. Same shit. Even if they're not your own.

LiteralDan said...

Keith: Generally speaking, your insight is absolutely correct, and I would totally agree that this is a valid rationale if I was arguing my own case vs. my wife or kids.

However, given that I am the victim here, I couldn't disagree with you more strongly.

kel: My wife (a special ed teacher) just nodded her head solemnly when I read her this.