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Why Did I Have a Child?

November 16th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  8 Comments

Thanks, Sasha, but Daddy wants a beer.

Thanks, Sasha, but Daddy wants a beer.

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?


  1. Melanie says:

    November 16th, 2010at 9:10 am(#)

    Funny post. I just this week learned the joys of my child putting things in the trash. He is currently obsessed with it. I have two boys so I keep waiting until they are big enough to take out the trash (especially on pick-up days like this morning when it’s raining) and tall enough to reach the top shelves in the kitchen. Not wishing away their childhood, but…I think I’m going to like those days when they come. :)

  2. scottstev says:

    November 16th, 2010at 9:11 am(#)

    I’m totally with you you. To my kids, being asked to let the f*ucking dog in for the ninth time that evening is like being called to big leagues. Except when both of them fight over letting the f*cking dog in, and I have to get up and let the dog out gratuitously, so that the one who was left out will stop crying and domestic tranquility is restored. Meanwhile, I’m up; the kids are more agitated than 3 minutes ago; and I’ve missed the single segment on Inside Edition that raised my prurient interest.

  3. Benita says:

    November 16th, 2010at 11:19 am(#)

    No no no. My parents didn’t have kids so that THEY could have a butler; it was so that our siblings would. The greatest gift they could give to my two older sisters was bear me.

  4. TechyDad says:

    November 16th, 2010at 12:12 pm(#)

    To me one of the best reasons to have kids is so you can play with toys and watch cartoons without people looking at you funny. 35 year old man sitting on the floor during his son’s swim practice playing with Hot Wheels? Creepy and weird. Same man, same toy cars, but add a 3 year old son and suddenly it is sweet and fun.

    I don’t know what I’ll do when my boys get too old for toys & cartoons, though.

  5. karen says:

    November 16th, 2010at 1:12 pm(#)

    I’m keeping the Lego I’ve invested in forever. Because it is MINE. That’s why I had kids. To play with Lego. Everyday.

    Their dad had a kid so SOMEBODY would bring him a beer.

  6. Chris (@tessasdad) says:

    November 16th, 2010at 3:27 pm(#)

    Playing with toys, especially Legos. Oh and kids movies/cartoons for sure.

  7. The Momma says:

    November 17th, 2010at 12:39 am(#)

    My mom always said she had me to have someone to do chores. When I got old enough to drive, I became the grocery shopper/errand runner (the drycleaner where my mom had her clothes cleaned knew me by name).
    So, I think you’re probably right.


    Why Did I have A Child, Part Deux | DADWAGON

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