I’d like to offer my perspective on Matt’s rendering of the Ultimate Parenting Question—Why Did I Have A Child? (translation: holy shit, how did I get myself into this mess?)—first, by ignoring the question. Everyone knows why people have children: to have someone to lie to!
I mean, the whoppers I tell JP!
JP: Daddy, why is the sky blue?
Me: To keep the cows from jumping over the moon.
Me: You’re too young to understand these weighty matters, son. Besides, you’re not really my son. We found you by the side of the road after the circus passed through.
JP: (weeping) Really?
Me: You betcha!
Now that’s humor, folks! I can’t wait until Ellie is old enough to start in on her. As for the other part of Matt’s post: the free labor—I agree, this is a good deal. JP is old enough that he can now bus his own dinner dishes, throw things out in the garbage, help me prepare dinner, find me things I need when I’ve forgotten them, assist with furniture assembly and auto repair (that boy sure can hold a screwdriver until I need it), and from time to time, even grab me something from the refrigerator without breaking it.
Of course, JP is now old enough to have heard of a funny little thing called “money,” which he has been demanding in exchange for these services. Sure, it’s quarter, penny, nickel now (depending on the task), but shit, what’s next? College tuition? Healthcare? Food?