It may seem odd to you now, but some day you’re going to make fun of your mother and me. “Oh no, not us, father!” I can hear you cry in unison like adorable Von Trapp children, except without the proximity of Nazis.
It’s true. You’re going to make fun of us, mock us and mercilessly imitate us for the amusement of your siblings, cousins and peers. You might even turn us into one of your go-to stories at social events, depending on whether the event is the type where you can shout out, “WITHOUT PANTS!”
In fact, I would guess that you’ve already secretly made fun of us, and you immediately felt bad about it, guilty even. Please, don’t feel bad, but do feel free to go with the guilt, because your mother and I can use guilt in our favour later on.
Good-hearted ridicule is perfectly natural and a normal part of growing up. All children make fun of their parents, especially as their parents get older and are perceived to be less cool. I say “perceived” because, despite what you may think, your mother and I are super chill, like cool beans, yo.
Believe it or not, Mom and I make fun of our own parents, your grandparents. It’s true. We would give you some examples but at last check we were still in their will, and we’d like to stay that way. But trust me, they’re hilarious.
And so, to enhance your future fun-making and to ensure that I focus on only my finest faults, foibles and flaws (could unabashed alliteration be among them? Read on!), I have prepared the following survey. Please check all applicable quirks and characteristics of me, your still very cool father, that you feel will be worthy of goofing on at some juncture.
__ Sticking my tongue out in concentration and sometimes for no reason at all – though, as I always say, never underestimate the power of the tongue.
__ Refusing to let a “that’s what she said” opportunity pass me by.
__ My deteriorating hearing. For instance, last weekend, we stayed overnight at my eldest daughter’s apartment in Montreal. Early the next morning, Deb and Abby went to get coffee. When they came back, Abby looked at me with concerned eyes. “We killed a toad,” she said. “You killed a toad?” “No! The car got towed!” Oh, that’s much worse. Unless you’re the toad.
__ The way I sometimes miss the obvious, like the big signs all over that parking lot warning that cars left there overnight would be towed. I swear they weren’t there last time.
__ And yet fixating on little details, like the fact that freeing our car from the pound cost $116.10, which is an oddly specific amount, don’t you think?
__ Fussing with the buttons on the car radio when I’m driving, which is perfectly safe, and I wish everyone would just relax. I wasn’t even close to leaving the road that time. Or that other time.
__ Standing with my tongue out and rubbing my belly, WHICH I HAVE DONE MAYBE ONE TIME IN MY LIFE AND IS A COMPLETELY UNFAIR CARICATURE!
__ Unabashed alliteration. (AHA!)
__ Taking the iPad to the bathroom with me, WHICH I HAVE DONE MAYBE… okay, I do it all the time, but I can assure you I always operate under the ISO 11,610 standards for bathroom iPad hygiene.
__ Making guppy fish noises with my mouth when I’m sleeping. Wait a sec. Who wrote this? Deb, is that you?
__ Sitting on the sofa with my knees tucked up, like I’m 12 or something. But isn’t it impressive I can still bend like that?
__ That’s what she said.
__ Walking that way. Yeah, just like that.
__ Other foibles (please be specific; use additional paper if necessary) ______________________________________________
There you have it. You’re all set for future jokes at my expense. This has been fun.
Ooh! Let’s do your mother next! I’ll help.