There’s this fundamental question that we tackle—sort of—every now and again here on Dadwagon. Fundamental, but it emerges in different forms. Yesterday, for example, Nathan wondered if he should have a third child. Back in July, Christopher spoke with Jennifer Senior about how having children makes you miserable. Theodore even once told you, our dear readers, that it’s okay not to have children at all. But as far as I can tell (based on a lazy search of our archives: 1,017 posts and counting!), we’ve never asked ourselves, or anyone else, “Why should you have children?”
Partly, I imagine, that’s because we don’t really have an answer. Or, if we do have an answer, it’s either resoundingly dull (“She wanted one”) or goopily personal (“I… I just wanted to do a better job than my dad did!”).
But now—now I have my own answer! An answer to the most important question on any dadblog anywhere! Why did I have children? Because… Well, let me set the scene:
Yesterday’s homeward procession from preschool went swimmingly. Sasha has recently discovered she can make a “funny face” by pulling her cheeks apart with her fingers, and this kept her busy on the F train, where she cackled cutely and then rested her head on my shoulder. Back in Brooklyn, she agreed to walk at least part of the way back to the apartment—I didn’t have to carry her!
Inside, we did our usual routine. She played with her toys while I opened the mail, until she reminded me I’d promised her a snack. I helped wash her hands, then washed off a nice Bosc pear, which she took a dozen bites of before giving up. As usual, I finished it, all the while reading Sasha the latest issue of Monocle magazine. (Side note: Monocle has a lot of photos of clocks, cars, and eyeglasses, all of which Sasha can identify.)
That’s when I had my epiphany.
I took the gnawed up stem of pear and gave it to Sasha. “Put it in the trash,” I said. Then I pointed where to go and started singing a “Yo Gabba Gabba” song about cleaning up food. Sasha ambled over to the trash can, looked at me, and… dropped the pear on the ground.
But then—then she picked it up! And put it in the trash! And that’s really when I finally had my epiphany: I now have my own butler. Sure, at this point she’s just tossing pear and apple cores in the trash for me, but it won’t be long before she’s like Sally Draper, mixing me Manhattans, fetching my slippers and doing all the annoying little things I just don’t feel like doing—but which I can make up a catchy song about in order to convince Sasha such things are “fun.”
Anyway, that’s why I had a child. Isn’t that why you did, too?