Dear Dad’s diary: volume 1
Author: Shannon Cook

• When I tell people my son is named Dexter, their immediate follow-up is, “OH MY GOSH I LOVE THAT SHOW.” I know you do, ma’am. We all do. It is without a doubt the most popular show in the history of television in my humble opinion. But no, I didn’t name my son after a fictional serial killer. That would be extremely creepy, and seeing as how I already look extremely creepy, I don’t need to start acting extremely creepy. Two checks in the creepy box and you get yourself flagged. Flagging is never good.

• If you want your kids to say please and thank you, you have got to say please and thank you to them. It’s shocking, I know – but that golden rule thing we all know and love actually applies to parents just as much as it applies to children. My baby boy, just two years old, has been programmed to say please, thank you and sorry. Does he actually feel remorse when he punches the dogs? OF COURSE NOT. But he does say sorry.

• Last I checked, everyone I knew in my age group was an idiot! Now we have kids and we’re Einsteins? No way. You’re still an idiot.

• Let him finish going to the bathroom before you change his diaper. This one cannot be explained in further detail, for fear of endangering kind eyes.

• Do not play video games around your baby. Even with the sound off. Even with baby music on. My son now picks up any and every toy that is not a ball, holds it in front of his eyes and POW! fires a shot. POW! POW POW POW! he says. He points his little fake gun (this time it’s a toothbrush, next time it’ll be a single toy block) at his mother. POW! This is all my fault.

• If you show babies how to draw on themselves using a marker, they will draw on themselves using a marker. One five minute art lesson from me and MONTHS later we’re only using crayons and pencils.

• Babies don’t understand right away that an object within arm’s reach shouldn’t be thrown. If you’re going to play catch, be prepared to catch anything. And I mean, anything.

Arizona-born Shannon Cook lives in Austin with his two babies, his loving wife and a few pets, and hopes to finish his first novel on life and parenting in today’s American landscape, tentatively entitled, “Young, Dumb, and Full of the 21st Century,” sometime in 2013.

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