I have a lot to learn...
I know a lot about most things. You may be wondering to yourself, “Wait, El Guapo, you are Guatemalan, you know everything.” To this I say, si, you are right and I appreciate that you recognize the Guatemalan superiority, but I do not know about everything.
Children. Children are interesting creatures that seem to be popping up everywhere lately. It seems that many of mi amigos have found it trendy to have these slobbering creatures. I always try to continue being a part of their lives, but I always find that I will know nothing about life until I have a child. According to them, that is.
“Oh El Guapo, someday you’ll understand.” “Oh El Guapo, talk to me when you have a kid.” “Oh El Guapo, don’t worry, that will come out with soda water.” “Oh El Guapo, you can NOT still smell that.”
I once referred to a baby as “it” and almost had my beautiful mustache destroyed by the breath of a pregnant woman. I didn’t know if it was going to be a girl or a boy! I was being PC.
Then, every single time a baby is born, I have to go visit the new parents and baby. Mira, I know this is going to offend some of you out there, but I think all newborn babies are ugly. That's right. I don’t care who the parents are. The baby comes out looking like a shedding alien. Notice that we dont' get to see any pictures of Suri when he/she was first delivered. (Sorry, I don't care enough to know if Suri is a boy or a girl. My apologies to Tom Cruise, who, by the way, is not, Guatemalan) Then, they always make me pose for pictures with this howling little alien and I have to act like I’m happy about it. I’m not happy about it. And do you know what? When I act like I don’t care that your child has just thrown up all over me, I’m lying. I care.
No, no, no. I’m sorry, lo siento. I really don’t care. One time I did care because I made the mistake of wearing a nice flannel shirt. But I still do think all new born babies are ugly. Sorry.
Then after they begin to look like actual human beings, if I’m lucky, I get to witness the method they chosen to discipline their child. One of my friends uses the “time-out” method.
“What the hell is a time-out?” Miguel was confused about this.
“Oh, that’s when you tell them to go sit on a stool in the corner when they do something wrong.”
Miguel was pretty quiet after one of our friends shared this “wisdom” with us. Later he shared his thoughts.
“El Guapo, when I did something wrong as a kid, I was beaten. I was never bloodied up or anything like that, but I was hit, hard. Not with a fist, not with the back of the hand, but definitely a slap. It hurt. I never did it again. If the only thing that would happen to me was a nap in the corner, I know for a fact that I’d be in jail by now. I think I’m going to hit my children.”
You know you’re going to hit your kids before you even have any or know what it is that they’re going to do?
“Si. I’m Latino. We don’t have time-out.”
My mind isn’t made up about this just yet. For me, I’ll wait to see what they do.
I do know, however, what I will never do:
I’ve never understood this. What does it do for the children, psychologically I mean, for them to be on leashes? What is this? How can this be legal? That’s a harness they’re wearing. It makes me cry every time I see this.
“Excuse me, why don’t you put them on collars so that they choke themselves when they try to run off?”
“Because, that would be cruel.”
The woman stared at Miguel as if he were asking the dumbest question in the world. He too, obviously, had a lot to learn about life.
Miguel was left with his eyes bulging and a look that showed he was trying to decide which of the seventeen responses popping up in his head he should use. Instead he just shook his head and carried on.
Maybe she's right. I guess that would be cruel...
Some parents should really be beaten. But what do I know?