If you’re new to reading my stuff, I’ll let you know that I had a child pretty early in my twenties. If you’ve read my stuff before, you’re thinking to yourself, “Here goes Crash talking about his weak-ass pullout game again.” Whichever part of the readership spectrum you come from, you probably can understand that having a kid that early will make you grow up pretty quickly. Things change in your maturity level when you go from only having to worry about getting decent grades and avoiding getting so drunk that you piss the bed to making sure another human stays alive.
Regardless of which age you reproduce at, unless you’re ancient, like 35, you’re never going to feel fully mature enough to have a child. You might think you are, but eventually certain things will slap you in the face and say, “Guess what, asshole? You’re still an immature shit bag at heart. Good luck.” Things come up during the course of parenting that make you question if you’re actually the best person to be raising a small child.
If life ever tricks you into thinking you are truly mature enough to guide your offspring in the ways of the world, let me know how you feel after taking 50% of your DNA to the pediatrician. It was just a few short years ago that you were seeing a doctor because your horrendous binge-drinking had caused you to WebMD all the aches and pains you constantly felt and convinced you that you were dying. In college and your early twenties, seeing a doctor wasn’t about correcting a serious health issue or learning tips to live a healthy lifestyle. The once-every-few-years visit you took was to just make sure that you didn’t have early onset cirrhosis of the liver.
Flash forward, and while there’s an alleged grown-up walking into that office with his/her look-alike, you’re not fooling a damn soul in that pediatrician’s office. When you check-in, the receptionist sees right through you. There’s a confidence about being a parent that can disappear when you go into a public place.
You thought you were enough of an adult to guide this child while you were reading books and playing peek-a-boo and shit at home, but you walk into that waiting room filled with stuffed animals and it’s like walking into Shawshank. Not only are you the youngest person in there who’s hit puberty, but you’re closer to most of the children’s ages than the doctor’s. You feel as though you should be sitting in a waiting room to get a mole checked, not waiting with an urgent question about how often your kid pisses.
Even worse, your damn future is sitting in the waiting room with you. The other parent occupying a seat a few away from you has all the maturity that deep down you lack, but judging by the three hell-beasts that share their likeness and are running around like they’ve all OD’d on crystal meth, they’ve long since stopped worrying about if they had the capability of raising children and instead started a “Countdown To College” clock. Before you can ponder if there’s ever a middle point between “big child raising a little child” and “grown adult fully defeated by pre-teens,” your kid’s name is called and that’s when the shit goes down.
Your offspring learns at an early age that the going to the doctor is fucking terrible, usually because half the time they go they’re either in pain or they get a shot. (Unless you listen to Jenny McCarthy instead of a doctor.) As the minutes drag by waiting for the doctor, the lack of adulthood present is plaguing the situation, as the only condolence you’ve given your child is “Just wait until you’re in here worrying about why your piss burns” and stuttering your way through a Dr. Seuss book like Floyd Mayweather in a blizzard. It seems odd to be in charge of soothing someone else, as it feels instead as if someone your age should be worrying that the doctor will prescribe them something they can’t drink on.
Once the big guy walks through the room and the conversation starts, your subconscious starts wondering what the hell is going on with you. You’re excitedly discussing your child’s bowel movements and “how big he’s getting, it goes so fast” despite the fact that you’re really wanting to sit there and talk to the doctor about your intramural ankle injury that keeps reoccurring.
Even your offspring knows you’re pretending to be an adult at this point. My son gave me a look that said, “Dad, I swear to God, if you ask for a sticker before we leave then I’m outta here.”
This is all while wondering internally if it’s appropriate to ask, “Hypothetically, if one was to listen to a ton of ’90s gangster rap with a youngster in the car, would there be any repercussions?” and then realizing that normal mature parents may not deal with that issue. With every neurotic and non-stop question that spews from your mouth, the doctor responds with an answer and smile, but also a look that says, “You have zero clue what you’re doing and have done zero research, is that correct?”
You respond with profusely thanking him for all his help, and a look that says “Look at me, I still can’t even count on myself to put in a good effort wiping my own ass, how ready do you think I am to take care of a child?”
You walk out of that office a little more educated and somehow a little more confident in your ability to be an adult figure to a small child. Relief washes over you knowing that you don’t have to subject yourself to that for another six months. As you do your obligatory post-appointment phone check, an alert pops up reminding that your kid has a dentist appointment tomorrow. Fuck. .
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