Well the big news in my life right now is that wifey’s pregnant, I’m going to be a dad, and Sonic’s going to have a human-puppy sibling.

For more Asian dad memes, check out this link.

For more Asian dad memes, check out this link.

This being our first time, it’s freaking us out a little. I mean, I think I’m a pretty good Pops for Sonic, but this is something else entirely. I desperately want to be the best dad ever, because I don’t think I can live with being a lousy parent.

I thought maybe I should read some books about parenting… like Chicken Soup for the Father in that Harry Chapin song. But I don’t know… good parenting is so subjective, and I totally do not want to be a Tiger Dad.

That’s when I thought of a better idea: Learn from TV characters.

I’m going to go and rewatch those TV shows that depict parent-child relationships that I like and can aspire for, and then I’ll note down all the aspects of these relationships that I would want for my own.

Tami and Eric Taylor from FNL

Tami and Eric Taylor from FNL

I’m not saying that TV relationships are particularly realistic or anything, but I can definitely use them as references. There are tons of different types of parents on TV, ranging from bad ones like Al Bundy in Married with Children to good ones like Eric and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights.

But while thinking through them and compiling my list of research material, two characters immediately came to mind: Lorelai Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls and Keith Mars from Veronica Mars.

What I really like about the relationship between Lorelai and Rory is that they’re friends. They talk to each other a lot, and they understand each other (except for the hiccups in the later seasons). There is still that line that says one is the parent and one is the child, but that line is really blurry and neither party focuses on it much (except in the aforementioned later seasons).

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore

I think I really want that with my future kid. I want to be able to talk to him/her, and hear all the uncensored gossip from school and how they are really feeling. I want Beanie (our current non-gender-specific placeholder name) to feel comfortable talking to me. We can have differing opinions, but that doesn’t stop us from sharing them with one another and being open to new ideas. Lorelai and Rory have different tastes in music, but that doesn’t stop them from talking about it all the time.

I figure that communication is a two-way process, so if I’m going to be a Lorelai, I’m really going to have to work on my listening skills, especially when Beanie becomes a teenager. I’ll have to listen and know when to shut my mouth and just let Beanie vent.

"You know what, this is important. You remember this: I used to be cool."

“You know what, this is important. You remember this: I used to be cool.” – Keith Mars

Keith Mars is like that too. He has a really close relationship with Veronica, and I think that’s because he places a lot of trust in her. I mean, he trusts her to go out and do private detective stuff on her own. Well, he’ll insist that she brings Backup the dog along, but still that’s quite a lot of trust there. Veronica repays this trust by being pretty open and truthful with her dad.

So I figure that if I want Beanie not to shut him/herself away, I have to start preparing myself to trust a kid not to go hurt him/herself. A lot easier said than done, I’m sure, but it’s something I’ll need to try to do.

Keith is also pretty supportive of whatever it is Veronica wants to do. If Beanie turns out to be a girl, I figure I’d have a pretty tough time trying to accept the fact that she wants to be a sleazy private detective instead of like, I dunno, a doctor or something. But once again, it’s one of those things that I’m going to have to try to do.

I realize that these two highlighted relationships have the inherent danger of becoming too chummy to the point where the kid doesn’t respect the parent as an adult/parent anymore, but I feel it’s something I really want. I definitely don’t want it going to a point where I’m constantly saying “Do as I say, not as I do.”

There are other things I’ll need to strive for too, such as always making time for Beanie and not being an absent parent (a la that Harry Chapin song – which freaks me out), being able to afford a good education for Beanie, and in the event that Beanie is a girl, not killing every boy she brings home.

Wifey thinks I’m over-thinking things and that I’m worrying too much… but ah well… Maybe I’ll go and try to find that Steven Martin movie Parenthood.

One more picture of Lorelai can't possibly hurt

One more picture of Lorelai can’t possibly hurt

PS I just realized that both highlighted parents also happen to be single parents. How did that happen?

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

17 responses »

  1. Hey Drew … big, BIG congrats to you and wifey … that’s awesome news!!! Cheers, mate!

  2. Congratulations to being on the path to becoming an Asian dad. As ideal as it seems to be your child’s pal, children also need parents. I’ve seen so many people that would rather be another friend to child than to be the parent/s that a child really needs. I guess not being a parent is a parenting style. I think it’s important to be able to discipline or to law down the law when it counts.

    Interesting how you admire the single parent style. I suppose with single parents, it’s much harder to play good cop/bad cop so you just play good cop every day until your child is your friend.

    I used to hate that my Asian parents were so strict. But really, they weren’t. Not compared to what they experienced growing up. I appreciate their strictness now.

    Do you know if you or your wife will be good cop or bad cop?

    • Drew says:

      I think we’re likely to take turns being good cop bad cop. I get what you mean about being more of a pal than a parent though. I don’t agree with letting a child get away with everything either… I’ve seen some terrible cases of a child being spoiled to the point where I think a hard-reset would work better than trying to patch the problems, and I really don’t want to go there either.

      My cousin is able to reason things out with her kids without coming across as a vicious dictator, so hopefully I can find a nice balance like that.

  3. zezil says:

    Wow! That’s great news! Wishing Wifey a safe delivery! 😀

  4. Tyson Carter says:

    CONGRATS MAN!!!!!!! 🙂

  5. Vividhunter says:

    Congratulations Drew! Though I’m still a couple of years off trying for kids, I can already relate to the over-thinking, and ‘what kind of parent will I be?’ stuff you’re going through.

    I think you’ve highlighted an important point in having to trust teens to make the right decisions for themselves. I had pretty strict parents, and a very restricted teenage life. I can see how it might be difficult for parents to do that after the years of watchful scrutiny so that baby/toddler/preteen doesn’t accidentally kill themselves somehow… but still, there has to come that ‘letting go’ point.

    Gilmore Girls is my one of my husband’s favourite shows too 😛

    • Drew says:

      Thanks, and I’m glad I’m not the only guy in the world watching Gilmore Girls!

      I had a sheltered childhood too, and I was brought up to be afraid of walking on grass/sand without shoes and being paranoid of just about everything. I kinda want to move away from that and bring up a more confident child.

  6. Aww CONGRATULATIONS! (and pssst…Jill’s a GREAT name! I’m just saying). That’s wonderful news and I pray for a very healthy Drew and Wifey bundle of joy!

  7. […] That previous post got me thinking about that Harry Chapin song, which I might’ve mentioned scares the crap out of me. It’s not because it’s creepy or anything, but it’s like a deeper kind of scare… like being stuck down a path of irreparable failure. […]

  8. Mitzie Mee says:

    Congratulations!! This is huge!!! I think you’ll be a great dad, and Sonic will be a perfect older brother:)

    • Drew says:

      I’m pretty sure I’ll be a good parent… but as for Sonic… well he tends to get jealous of someone else getting his momma’s attention.

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