Static Zombie: The Next Generation

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My wife and I are expecting a baby in early September.

We are, of course, very excited.  Tinged with a whiff of terror about losing our independence.  You know that crazy, wide-eyed look a horse gets when Something Terrible is coming and it desperately pulls at its tether to run to safety, towards freedom?  All completely normal.

She wants to make sure the child gets outdoors, plays sports, socializes with other kids.  I want to make sure the child understands that brick and lumber are the most important things in the early game, that no problem is so horrible that it can't be solved by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, that good knife skills are more important than good penmanship, and that the ancient wizards were absolutely correct: words have power.  She wants to limit the child's screen time; I plan to lull the child to sleep with the gentle vibration of the 360 controller's rumble.

We're both agreed that the child will learn to eat what we put in front of it.  Soda will not be part of the child's normal diet.  The child will learn to save money at a young age.  Barbie and Bratz are forbidden, but bring on the Lego.  TV shows that are just extended commercials for toys are off limits (unless the show or toy is really cool).  Bedtime might be extended to the end of the next chapter.  Daddy's board games are not to be touched without permission.  Even if my wife and I disagree, we will present a unified front to the child.  Except just this once-- but don't tell mommy.  Our child will be the first of its friends to have a computer, but the last to get a cell phone.  We will perpetuate the white lies that bring joy to childhood-- the Tooth Fairy and her ilk-- but will otherwise tell our child the truth.  We will encourage our child to ask questions and find answers.

We will support our child, but not stifle it.  We will raise a child we can trust, and we will trust it.  We will set good examples for our child, and in so doing become better people, so that our child will be a good person.  We will love our child, and it will know it is loved, always.

But first, there will be poop.  Lots and lots of poop.

15 Comments

The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley, or so I've heard it said. Good luck, my friend!

it's good to have an idea of how you want to raise your kids, but ultimately you need to be flexible. what works today might not work tomorrow, what works for one kid might not work for the next, and what works for you might not work for them. they aren't truly clean slates when they're born.

Something fun for BabyZombie's computer:

BabySmash (http://www.hanselman.com/babysmash/) and a smash-friendly keyboard (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=16274640)

Emmett has verified that the keyboard is also drool-proof.

Wow. Dave and I have had similar conversations, and your middle-ish paragraph with the bulk of the "we will do this and we won't do that" is almost verbatim what Dave and I have said to each other in the past year. Especially the cell phone. What the hell does a 12 year old need with a cell phone anyway?? I don't get it... I didn't have one when I was 12 and I had a decently happy childhood. And I'm better for it - I know the value of a dollar (or of the $40 for the line and data plan cost).

Congratulations!

Many congratulations to you both, and the very best of health!

Yay! Congratulations!

Good luck with those ideas. As with most battle plans, it isn't likely to survive intact once the enemy is encountered :)

It's very hard to limit tech with youth these days. Texting has become the main way they stay in touch with each other. Do you want your child to be ostracized because you don't think there is a need to text? And that's NOW - you're talking at least 6 years from now - who knows what things will be like then.

Just remember - what we did and had as kids does not necessarily apply. The world changes quickly and it is important to allow our kids to be capable of interacting and competing with their peers.

Sharry - a 12 year old with a cell phone is a 12 year old you can easily contact. It is very comforting to know that your kid can easily get in touch with you, especially if he/she is frequently away from home.

Larry: Thanks to quantum improvements in halogen-LED and laser technology, my child will leave home equipped with a portable Batsignal. Problem solved.

Fantastico! You will be awesome parents. Congrats!

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for both of you!!

Congrats! The eternal conflict for any parent is that you want your offspring to be clever, but must recognize that all cleverness will be used against you.

Congratulations! Good ambitions. Prepare to be amazed at how soon you'll hear something in your ears that makes you think "Is that Dad talking?" and realize it came out of your own mouth.

Advice**2: Accept all advice from experienced parents on how to handle baby problems (upset stomach, bedtime, whatever) with the understanding that "it worked for THEM with THEIR baby". It may work for you with yours, and may be worth trying; or it may not work for you and yours, which does NOT invalidate either their advice/experience or your attempt/experience. Everybody has their taste, even people who don't know how to communicate yet. Advice from those without children (or close contact thereto) may be safely ignored, because - as you will realize - it's nothing like what you thought, and exactly like when you were a child only different. :-)

Weeeeeeeee!

Have fun with, as my old roommate once put it, the greatest, best science experiment ever.

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