|You are not helping the stereotype, Pigpen.|
Girls, on the other hand, are a bit out of my realm of familiarity.
I have a younger brother, Zack, who was into all the same things I was – Ninja Turtles, bugs and getting dirty for no good reason. I had two boy cousins, Ryan and Mason, who were born when I was around 12 years old. Zack and I were just big toys for them. My experience with them wasn’t much different than when I was a kid.
I DO have a girl cousin, Lindsey, who was born at the same time as Ryan and Mason, but she was always forced into participating in whatever me, Zack, Mason and Ryan were doing. There was a whole lot of wrestling, football and video games, but sadly for Lindsey, no tea parties.
Now that I'm older and "more mature", I'm aware that little Susan is probably not going to be very interested in helping me and Optimus Prime defeat the Decepticons...or taking Nerf darts off of her forehead...or getting in a marathon session of Madden on Saturday afternoon. And turning down her tea party invitation so I can watch the Panthers on Sunday would put me squarely in the “Terrible Father” category.
|Pink mean its a girl toy, Susan, I promise.|
I’m going to have to experience a completely new childhood once Susan gets here. I’m starting from scratch. All of the boy knowledge I gained as a kid is irrelevant.
Join your tea party? Maybe…is burping allowed? Should I bring a koozie?
Play with your Barbie dolls? What do you mean she doesn't come with jungle camo and assault rifle accessory?
Help you practice your ballet lessons? You don’t want to see me in a leotard, I promise.
Basically, I'm working from scratch here. Instead of trying to take down Skeletor alongside He-Man, I’m going to be asking Barbie to the prom. No more explosions, high speed car chases or gunfire…instead I’ll have to learn about words like “smock” and “doily” and “plié.” May the good Lord help me.
And what do little girls even wear? I don’t even know the difference between a shirt and a blouse…and apparently there’s a big one. When I was a kid, I had a Pee Wee Herman sweatshirt that I loved. It was badass. Kids and teachers alike would high five me in the hallway when I wore it. Is Pee Wee still cool? Can Susan wear that on her first day of kindergarten?
|We couldn't figure out why nobody came to Susan's birthday party.|
I’m sure I’m exaggerating a bit as to what little girls are like, but that’s my point. I don’t really know. Hopefully she’ll like to watch baseball with me, shoot some hoops or play with the remote control car that I’m going to insist on getting her for her 8th birthday. Those things, I know I can handle. It’s everything else that I’m worried about.
What I really need is someone in my life who’s had experience being a little girl…who knows what little girls should wear out in public…who can remind me that I sure as hell better not dress that Barbie doll in white after Labor Day. OH WAIT. My wife probably knows those things. I can honestly say that I would be 150% unprepared for Susan if not for my wife. She has already started a wardrobe for her that is currently devoid of Pee Wee Herman merchandise.
When it comes Tea Party Time, I won’t be flying solo. It’s daunting enough having a kid, but even more for me personally because I don’t really know how to connect with a little girl. So since it’s Thanksgiving, I want to say that I’m thankful for my wife who is making sure that Susan is going to have the best – and most appropriate – clothing, bedding and toys. We have girly bedding, nursery decorations and clothes. It’s not even all pink either. I should also say that I’m thankful that I have in-laws, aunts and uncles and a ton of friends who have raised little girls and are still alive so I can ask them questions. Even further, I’m thankful that my parents, grandparents and my entire family will be there to help out and calm me down when Susan has a rash, a cough or a boyfriend.