Ten Awful Parenting Moments I Wish I Could Take Back Part 2

After reading the first five, you should be feeling a lot better about yourself as a parent and member of the human race. Then again, if you've read any of my posts, you should have felt that a long time ago.

Numbers 5-1

5) "Dad, Do You Remember When You Zipped Up My Penis?"

"I try my best to block it out, but you're not helping that right now."

"Yeah, that really hurt."

"Thanks for the memories."

"It doesn't hurt anymore."

"It hurts me."

The last thing you ever want to do to your son is hurt his penis (actually, making it feel good would be worse). He needed help zipping his skinny jeans, and I offered. What choice did I have? I should be happy that he can at least get mostly dressed on his own.

I'm not sure why we do this, but parents do everything for their kids in a huff. It's like we're trying to beat our best time. How fast can we make pancakes? How fast can we comb their hair? How fast can we blaze through Target?

Sometimes we need to chill the fuck out and be in the moment.

I was probably thinking of the next nine steps when the zipper pinched my son's cock.


"What? What did I do?"

"You zipped up my penis."

My heart sunk.

"Oh no. I'm so sorry buddy."

"It's okay Daddy. Just don't do it again."

Thank God it was minor and not like that scene from There's Something About Mary.

There's Something About Mary

4) Telling the Baby I Wish I Could Throw Him Out of the Fucking Window

Stop me if you've heard this. We were driving, the baby was screaming, and I couldn't take it anymore.

I began mumbling to myself.

"What?" My wife said.

"I said I want to throw him out of the fucking window right now."

She said nothing, which always indicates she doesn't agree with me. In this instance, that was a good thing because the baby may have been hanging out on the road next to a dead skunk.

He needed to know how I felt, so I pointed at his car-seat mirror and said,

"I want to throw you out of the fucking window right now."

That didn't make any of us feel better.

3) Teaching My Older Son the Word "Vagina"

After mamma, dadda and car, my son's first word was vagina. That's because I taught him it. Little did I know that he would use it in unfathomable context one day.

Right before he turned three, my wife took our son, who has always been very verbal, to Trader Joe's. They're very nice over there and excellent with kids. They go out of their way to create a family-friendly atmosphere.

The lady working the checkout was chipper and fussing over my son. He was schmoozing her, asking her what her favorite foods were at the store. After answering him, she asked, "And what do you like to eat?"

"Um, I like to eat vagina," he said.

Now, let me make one thing clear: I taught him the word but not that phrase. You hear that sound? That's me patting myself on the back.

2) When I Taught Our Older Son How to Say Hitler

Why stop at vagina?

Fueled by the onset of Oedipus Complex, my son started hating me at two-years-old.

"Who are you kidding?" I told him. "There's no competition here. I get none of the attention."

I couldn't do anything right, and when I did something wrong, it was really wrong. "No I like Daddy," became his mantra.

One night I decided to mix it up with him. He'd had plenty dessert, and he wanted more.

"No more," I said. "That's all you're getting."

He gave me the stink eye. "No I like Daddy."

"I'm horrible," I said. "I'm the worst ever."

"Yeah you are," he said back.

"I'm worse than Hitler."


"Yeah. Hitler. He was a saint compared to me."


About a week later, we were on a plane to go visit my grandparents in Texas for Thanksgiving. After takeoff when the seat belt light turned off, my son jumped up and spoke with the people behind us.

There were two women and one man, and naturally they got a kick  out him and his referring to the airplane as opane. They smiled at his cuteness and outgoing nature. Then with a big smile, my son, who was now magically able to pronounce his L's, said,

“I love Hitler. Hitler’s a funny guy.”

I instantly swiped his legs out from under him, and he fell to his seat. The people were perplexed, and I tried explaining things.

“It’s just this dumb thing we do when he's mad at me. I ask him who he likes more, Daddy or Hitler,” I said as if the whole world were doing it, too. “Sometimes I’ll ask, ‘Daddy or Saddam Hussein?’ You know, it’s our silly little game.”

That made things worse. They nodded their disapproval. I slunk in my seat. I couldn't un-teach my son Hitler, so I figured I'd just work on my explanation the next time he pined for Hitler in public.

1) Panicking in Front of My Son on the Same Flight During Turbulence

So after that, the pilot announced that we were going to hit a “little pocket” and to fasten our seat belts.

I hate turbulence. Pilots earn my trust when we are riding smoothly, but in a snap, when we’re sucked into an uncontrollable shit storm, I feel betrayed.

Everything feels wrong in turbulence.

Suddenly, we shot upward, which is the scariest part of turbulence because you know damn well that you’re going to drop hard. Though I braced for it, that first drop was nasty. I clutched my son with my right arm and squeezed the armrest with my left.

We soared again, and the plane shook this time. Then thoop! we plummeted, sending my stomach in knots. My son was totally fine, by the way.

We shook left to right and shot up again. I'd flown a lot, but for the first time I thought we might crash. We dropped and some people screamed. Without thinking, I yelled,

“Get control of this fucking airplane!”

And just like that, we were out of it. Smooth skies again. I took deep breaths. It was two, three minutes tops, but it was hell.

I looked at my boy. "That was crazy, huh?"

“FUCKING opane,” he said, loudly.

Changing the subject, my wife asked if he wanted to read a book.

“No. Just a FUCKING opane.”

People could hear.

"Buddy,  I actually said funky airplane.”

“No, FUCKING opane.”




“FUNKY opane.”

We soon landed. The flight back was mercifully uneventful.

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    David Telisman

    I am a vitamin D-deficient former Floridian--who, despite the spring...er...extended winter--loves Chicago. I contradicted convention (and common sense) by moving FROM the beach to the Midwest, but Lou Malnati's and any Italian beef sandwich reinforce that I made the right decision. I also got a wife and two sons out of it, and I would do anything for my family, except miss a Miami Hurricanes football game. This is my take on fatherhood. You can contact me at david.telisman@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

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