Welcome to another enlightening edition of Life, Love & Other Mysteries. This month a lot of readers had questions about raising and rearing their children. I often get these sorts of questions with my having raised seventeen children with seven different women. Whether you’re Steve Martin in Cheaper By The Dozen (on DVD & Blu-ray) or Steve Buscemi, I think you’ll find something here to help you through the kaa-raaazy–as the kids say–world of parenting!
Like you, I am also the father of seventeen beautiful children and I love most of them very much. The problem is that I also like having fun with my friends and whistling at pretty ladies down at the bar. I’ve calculated it out and I have enough free time to properly raise four of these things. How do I choose which ones?
It looks like you’ve ended up at the exact point I was just a few years ago! I had children ranging from ages 4 to 21. I had just finished my twenty-fifth book Advanced Algebra 6th Edition, a ninth grade math textbook, so I was riding pretty high. After blowing through my publisher’s advance in a few weeks, I knew I could never go back to living the domestic life again. So I decided on the least needy of my children. I went with the oldest three, and then my nine-year-old Michael. His mother was an Olympic track star, and I knew I had a cocaine habit that would one day require a professional athlete’s salary. So to answer your question, go with the easiest ones for you to deal with and then throw a little investment in there. You may even learn a little bit about yourself. Like that you love your kid. Or that you love cocaine.
My 17 year-old son is driving me up the wall! He doesn’t want to listen to anything I say, he’s listening to some really angry music, and seems to be getting in with the wrong crowd. I try to talk to him and he just says, “#@$* you Mom!” What should I do?
I had the same exact situation with my third youngest. Or maybe he was my fifth youngest. Ah, who’s to say? Anyway he was a real piece of shit teenager. He always told me, “I’m gonna kill you dad,” and, “I could kill you if I wanted to.” So I took him on a camping trip. When he fell asleep, I took all the supplies and disappeared. He woke up the next morning to an empty campsite and no answers. I fired a warning shot with my flare gun, and he was off. I tracked and hunted him for fourteen hours until he reached the highway. I picked him up, threw him in the truck and reminded him who was in charge. And then I made him call me his bitch. Make sure your son says, “I’m your bitch,” or he’ll never truly learn.
Our son really wants to start playing sports, but they’re just so dangerous! How do we convince him to devote himself to more academic or artistic interests?
-Aron, Ft. Lauderdale
This is actually a pretty easy problem to fix. You are absolutely right, children have no place in sports. The easiest way to curb this? Plant some marijuana on his backpack and anonymously call the cops. When they arrive at the school and bust him, no athletic coach in his right mind will put your boy on their team. Now, two things are going to happen: he’s either going to recommit himself to his studies to make up for his (your) horrible mistake OR he’ll embrace the drugs and fall into a destructive lifestyle. You might be thinking, “But Zach, I don’t want my child to go down that road!” You know who else went down that road? Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. All brilliant minds who went on to achieve great things. Now that’s what we call a WIN-WIN!
“You know that I would be a liar/if I were to say to you/girl we couldn’t get much higher” –Jim Morrison
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