Bad news, son: I’m human

Posted on October 16, 2011


The teacher

I don't care what your dad said, food coloring is not the reason the sky is blue.

You came home Thursday with French homework. You were going to have a test on the numbers up to 21. You didn’t bring home any study materials. Why? Because you figured I could teach you the numbers.

I can understand why you’d think that. I can fire off the French that I do know with total perfection and even finish with that Pepe le Pew growly-voiced oui, oui thing. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? You may know it as “the growly-voiced wee wee thing.” Make sense now?).

But here’s the deal:

I only know one phrase in French: Ce n’est pas ma faute. If you need a translation, you’ll find it here:

Use anything enough times and you’re bound to remember it.  (That reminds me: I should tell you about the two-week job I had in France sometime.)

This is only one in an unfortunately long and growing list of incidences proving one thing: I’m human. I used to be perfect. I knew everything and could do anything. I was Super Dad and I could do no wrong.

I knew the time would come when you realize that’s a bunch of crap. I even told you that in a post a while back. I’ve tried to delay the inevitable, but the truth has been creeping up on you despite my best efforts.

There have been plenty of clues. Here’s three:

You: Dad, food coloring has nothing to do with why the sky’s blue, does it.

Me: Who told you it does?


Well, um, physics isn’t an exact science.

Actually dad, yes it is.


Cool pod racer son!

It’s an X-wing, Dad.

Well it’s a cool X-Wing.

No it’s not. It’s busted.

Looks fine to me.

It’s missing a proton torpedo launcher. Duh!

Oh, right, there’s that.


Hey son! Look, I got you a Tamagatchi! It’s like a virtual pet that you can—

Daaaduh, I know what a Tamagatchi is.

Cool. Well I got you one. Know why? Cause I’m an awesome dad, that’s why.

Dad, nobody plays with those things anymore.

That explains the price.

I have a 3-D practically real puppy named Poopster on my DS. Why would I want a keychain that beeps?

When did you get a 3-D DS?

Mom got it for me, like a month ago.

I’ll just give this Tamagatchi to Goodwill then.

They won’t want it.


You need to know this isn’t easy for me. Your mom figured out I wasn’t perfect back in college. I didn’t know that until about a year ago; she hid it well. It would have saved me a whole bunch of trouble if I had known she knew, but I think she was kind of enjoying it. That’s why she’s so good at the nod-your-head-and-smile technique: loads of practice. Even the dog figured it out years ago.

It’s the end of something that’s never coming back. In fact, from here on, you’ll just think I’m dumber and dumber as you get to know me better.  But maybe there’s an opportunity in here, too. It’s bound to redefine and ultimately strengthen our relationship as we both get to know all the ways we’re actually human.

Unfortunately, I suspect it’ll get harder before it gets easier. See, in conjunction with learning that I’m only human, you’re beginning to think you’re absolutely perfect. The teen years are closing in fast, my friend. My only consolation there is that I’m guaranteed several years of blogging fodder. So at least there’s that.