El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Thursday, September 07, 2006

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?

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo


At 12:12 AM, Blogger sara said...

El Guapo, as always, I love your writing. I've been married for almost 4 years, and we are still not sure whether to have kids or not. But when I do, I definitely will not put them in a leash! As for hitting, that depends on my future kid...
Anyway, if there is any way I can vote your blog as a favorite, let me know!

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous restaurant gal said...

Infants are tough. Toddlers are tougher. LIttle kids are a tad easier. Then they become teenagers, and they are REALLY tough.

Suddenly, they are on the cusp of being young adults, and you know why you love your babies so much.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger SkippyMom said...

I love reading your blog - so funny! I especially liked this one about kids (and I have kids) but I agree with you about parents, even being one - some of them are just over the top - especially with leashes and timeouts! Ahhh! And parents wonder why their kids are so hard to handle when they become teenagers!!!

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous kbean said...

Great post! My mom was a firm believer in time-out and lovecircle (where my brother and I would hold hands and smile at eachother for x minutes after fighting). Dad was a spanker. We were hellions to mom and never, ever acted up when dad was home. 'nuf said. I'm now a huge believer in spanking.

Oh, and I was a leashed child. No lasting emotional damage and it probably saved me from darting into traffic many times...

At 8:03 PM, Blogger avocadoinparadise said...

I love this---"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."

It's good advice for someone who isn't sure whether she'll smack or simply be icey toward any future misbehaveing child...

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Grace said...

Yes, the amount of toolness that has crept into modern parenthood is absolutely staggering. They are just little human beings! That doesn't mean that the parents are allowed to act like NO ONE ELSE is human until they have children. What were they before the pregnancy, nonpersons? Sheesh.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger angie said...

i'm korean and the only "time outs" that were going on in our house were the ones my mom had to take between beating the crap out of four kids . . . time outs - PLEEEEEEZE! i spank. and because i spank, i don't have to do it that often. and people compliment me all the time on how 'well-behaved' my children are. people: they're not well-behaved; they're behaving like they're supposed to , not like your kids who need to be leashed and are going to grow up to be assholes just like their parents.

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Not Relaxed said...

My parent varied between the timeouts and beating the hell out of me. If I acted up once that day it was probably the timeout (or when I got older no tv or video games). Any more bullshit, though...

I should mention that I never got a stool for a timeout. You try standing in a corner for 20-30 minutes and tell me that it isn't strong encouragement to stop hitting your brother.

He totally deserved every punch, though. Beanbag.

I think ramping up to spankings is probably better for kids than beating them for each infraction. Kids are just adults with less experience. Taking away privledges can work just as well as spankings. I have a fairly clean criminal record. Mostly.

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leashes are for animals.

My mom had to keep an eye out for my two little sisters, my older sister and my older brother and me whenever we went out. She always took hold of my littlest sisters' hands and ordered the rest of us to hold on to each other. And no, she didn't ask us whether we wanted to hold hands. You obeyed, period. And we all had to look out for each other.

Did anyone's parents made him/her stand in a corner with your arms stretched upward for an hour or two? Just when you are thinking, "is this the best you can think of?" as you put them down...the pain sinks in...hahaha

At 5:08 AM, Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Ah El Guapo. While I would not agree with many of the parenting practices that go on in the world, there really is nothing on Earth like the feeling of being a father.

Of course your amigos talk in ways you cannot understand.

Imagine you are talking to your nephew, who is 9 years old, about the wonders of a good woman. And he, in his limited, pre-pubescent state thinks that the idea of even being near a girl is stupid. You will not be able to convince him of the delights of being a ladies man until he has experienced it himself.

One day, I hope you will get the chance to look into your baby son or daughter's eyes and feel that incredible feeling of being a father.

Then, El Guapo, you will understand.

That's not to say that the first time you change a diaper you won't be thinking of putting him or her up for adoption, mind you.

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think babies are ugly too. Really, I have never seen a cute newborn ever.

In response to the comment posted by Kim Ayres that is the very best and least condescending explanation of why parents are so freaking "neener, neener, neener, I know something you don't know" to childless people. I don't have kids, and do a pretty good job of keeping my mouth shut to my friends who do.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leashes for children were the greatest of all inventions. In this day and age, when a child can be kidnapped right under your nose, it is also the safest. Don't knock it until you are wearing a parents shoes, especially as the parent of an active toddler.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Mommy de Gallo said...

I thought my own daughter was pretty alien looking when she was first born. Cute as a button now, but not so cute as to avoid being punished. Banishment to the bathroom is my favorite, nothing at all interesting in there, and she can wash her face and wipe her tears with all those towels when she's done having her issues.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous david in tx said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and I still crack up when you refer to Guatemalan people as superior!! What a joke!

At 11:56 PM, Blogger El Guapo in DC said...

What joke?

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Prom said...

Hauling kids around by their arms is very uncomfortable for them and they actually learn to walk less well because of it. Leashes and harnesses are actually better for them developmentally and safer too.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Andraste said...

One of my brothers was very unruly and hyperactive as a child, so my parents put him on a harness, and when outdoors, he was attached to the garage door.

You know what happens next, right? My sister would put candy juuuuuust out of his reach. Of course.

Laugh? You've never seen anything so funny.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Piko's Mom - you mean your daughter hasn't yet figured out how to clean the toilet bowl with your toothbrush? The bathroom is the last place I'd banish my kids to.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Mommy de Gallo said...

Oh! EW!! Apparently I need to rethink my disciplinary process. And buy a new toothbrush.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

Not only do I call small children "it" and "that," I call them little screaming monsters.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Slowpokemary said...

OK, I've got two teenagers (10 hail Marys would be appropriate here). We've done time out and spanking. The combo worked OK when they were younger. Now, grounding is the biggy, which includes no TV and (the biggy) no internet. A week of that, and they are putty in our hands.

On the leash thing - I'm conflicted. They, as kids, don't really have a frame of reference to call it a "leash" like a dog - would probably think it was cool that they had the same thing their best friend the family dog had. Also, I think it beats the heck out of a) a stroller, where they are restricted and constantly shreiking "Me want out! Me want out!", or carrying them. The leash lets them explore, with boundaries. I think all of the folks who call it cruel need to think about which is crueler - the kids need a boudary - should it be your arms (very tiring and impractical as they get older) or a stroller (in "leash-talk" a "wheelchair for kids") or a leash that lets them use their own two feet, while not being about to run away.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger class-factotum said...

Kneeling in the corner. Straight back and legs. No slouching. Nose to the wall. Half an hour. Pretty much every Sunday after church for acting up during church.

I would rather have been spanked and gotten it over with.

And yes, new babies look like monkeys but you lie to your friends because they're your friends.


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