Unsolicited Parenting Advice From Your Single, Childless Friend

Unsolicited Parenting Advice From Your Single, Childless Friend

Being the single, childless guy means that you have a very important role to play in the hierarchy of your friends. For one, you’re the dude that provides endless entertainment for your married buds. If you’re lucky enough to drag a couple married dudes out for a few beers, you aren’t allowed to sit there with the bat on your shoulder — you have to take some swings. That’s part of your role as all-time court jester. You can relive the glory days in front of the significant others and include all the explicit details. Working blue is not only expected, it’s a requirement.

But this arrangement is a quid pro quo, or a two-way street as some may say. Yeah, these couples that you know and love get to laugh and live vicariously through you, but they also must heed your advice when it comes to parenting. After all, you are the one with the free time to read some stuff on a blog, or on Reddit, or just offer up some hearsay, not them. You owe it to them to provide real time parental analysis on every aspect of their beautiful child’s life.

A couple of weekends ago, I crashed at my favorite couple’s place. They’ve got an exceptional guest bedroom equipped with a mounted television and hypoallergenic pillows. Top tier shit. Anyway, this couple, we’ll call them “The Hills,” have a 4-year-old that wakes up at the crack of dawn. Not saying that I have the ability to sleep in on the weekend, because that would be a damn lie, but I sure as hell can make it to 8 AM. Their kid’s name is Tanner, and Tanner goes 0-100 fairly quick. The kid is swinging a plastic sword one minute, and the next he’s butchering a puzzle. He can’t seem to focus on one task for more than 2 minutes. Uh oh, this sounds familiar.

Textbook ADHD, I think. I would know, since I apparently have ADHD according to my psychiatrist. Dr. James is probably one of the best at diagnosing ADHD, as he diagnosed me and about 7 of my college buds right around the time of finals junior year. Anyway, I think Tanner can really do big things if he can just get in the zone for a few hours a day. I’m thinking 20 mg of Vyvanse would be a great place to start. I’m projecting Tanner to skip at least 2 grades by age 10. I mentioned this in passing as I rummaged through their fridge looking for some electrolytes, but I feel like it fell on deaf ears.

Speaking of the fridge, I was honestly taken aback by what I saw in there. I didn’t see a demonic dog, and nobody growled Zuul in my ear, which is positive, but I saw quite a bit of non-organic food. I mean, it’s 2015, guys. How is this kid supposed to develop properly if he’s eating peasant food? This was a real head scratcher. I pointed it out in the most genuine way possible, but I’m not sure it went over that well. Something about the cost of organic foods, and me needing to mind my own business. Not sure, wasn’t really listening.

After I got the nourishment my body needed, I decided to see how Tanner was developing as an athlete. His dad has him in some tee ball league, but I think by age 4 every child needs to step it up to coach pitch. Just my opinion. Anyway, I went out in the backyard and threw the ball around with Tanner for a while. I should clarify: by “threw the ball around” I mean I threw strikes directly into his glove, and he threw dead birds all over the place. I was honestly embarrassed for him. His dad and I go way back, so I had to let him know that Tanner has very poor technique. I played some JV ball in high school, so I think I know what I’m talking about.

I had to change his grip, teach him how to shift his weight, and show him the proper release point for the ball. I didn’t have the heart to tell his pop that he’d probably never be a starting pitcher. The kid just doesn’t have it. At best, I’m thinking second base, but judging by his footwork, or lack thereof, that may be a stretch. Before I could put a bat in his hands, Tanner lost interest and ran inside. There’s the lack of focus again. Maybe Adderall is the way to go. It worked for Chris Davis.

By then it was almost 10 AM, and I could tell that I had outstayed my welcome. I thanked them for letting me crash, and I went in for a big high-five with Tanner. That’s how I say hello and goodbye. Unfortunately, Tanner and I barely connected, and when we did, it was some weak shit. The high-five wasn’t even audible. Then, like a bolt of very intelligent lightning, it hit me: Tanner just needs to train. And I need to train him.

I pitched his dad on the deal. Three days a week, one hour per session, for 6 weeks. I even offered up my discounted rate of $50 per session, which in my opinion, is larceny. The first few sessions we’d focus on form and proper weight room etiquette. From there we’d hit legs and core to establish a strong base, then we’d really crush some of the glam muscles. Curls for the girls.

Being optimistic, I really thought we could have him squatting his bodyweight in two months, and dead lifting his Power Wheels truck in three. These days, you have to start your kid early if you really want them to excel at the highest levels of youth sports. I thought that was a given, but apparently some people (Tanner’s dad) are completely clueless when it comes to raising an elite athlete. I just don’t get it. I’m in the gym a few times every month, so you’d think he’d listen to me. Shaking my damn head.

And that was that. Can’t say I didn’t try. All I want is what’s best for Tanner, but I guess I crossed whatever arbitrary line the Hills decided to draw. We haven’t spoken since that day, but I’m sure the next time Tanner goes 0 for 5 with 2 errors, they’ll come crawling back.

Image via Shutterstock

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Lawyer. Writer. Dude doing business. I'm the meatloaf guy from tv.

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