Roderick on the Line

Ep. 285: "Praise Cannon"


01:00:00   way that their personalities exhibit as

01:00:02   they grow older like I've been very very

01:00:07   engaged in her schools from the time she

01:00:11   first went to schools uh I go to the

01:00:12   schools is fine these dynamics are super

01:00:15   interesting they are and what people say

01:00:17   and with a lot more subtlety than you

01:00:19   realize sometimes so much subtlety and

01:00:22   so much like everybody says oh when

01:00:26   you're you know when you have a daughter

01:00:27   it's so much easier when they're young

01:00:30   and then it gets harder when they're

01:00:31   older and boys are terrible when they're

01:00:32   young and then they get easier when

01:00:34   they're teenage that's what they say

01:00:35   that's what they say and watching it

01:00:38   unfold like you know there are some

01:00:45   little boys in her class who are

01:00:47   profoundly sensitive and though you know

01:00:53   and this is a modern school in a modern

01:00:54   school districts like none of the girls

01:00:56   are being taught to like even subtly

01:01:01   it's all been routed out right

01:01:03   none of them are being taught that they

01:01:04   are anything other than capable leaders

01:01:06   but you've also got some grams you've

01:01:08   got grams mm-hmm who are sensitive yeah

01:01:12   and are not and that sensitivity is not

01:01:15   being seen or separated from the tails

01:01:21   who's just won a karate chop every class

01:01:24   isn't it right and the ten I'm just

01:01:27   gonna hit this thing with a stick until

01:01:29   I'm restraint

01:01:30   yeah and Tails not dumb I mean you

01:01:32   talked to Te'o tails a fine young man

01:01:34   just a thing though yeah if you turn

01:01:36   around he is he is going to he is gonna

01:01:39   nunchuck it and Graham has no interest

01:01:44   in being nunchucks like Graham Scott

01:01:47   Graham's got thoughts and feelings yeah

01:01:49   and there isn't right now any any

01:01:53   corresponding like social engineering

01:01:56   project to make sure that Graham's like

01:01:59   Graham's not expressing any kind of yet

01:02:02   Graham isn't non-binary Graham is just a

01:02:06   little kid like but like I was who wants

01:02:09   to dream

01:02:10   and stare out the window and he really

01:02:13   really cares what people how people are

01:02:15   feeling and there's just you know

01:02:19   there's not a lot of accommodations for

01:02:20   that in the system there's not you know

01:02:22   I mean I'm not pointing to anybody on

01:02:24   that but that's when in the great

01:02:28   sorting hat of school that that is know

01:02:31   well and the thing is if Te'o karate

01:02:34   chops Graham is gonna say T problem the

01:02:38   only way that the schools have to deal

01:02:40   with that right now is to characterize

01:02:42   that as a bullying incident but it's not

01:02:45   tale is not bullying Graham Graham is a

01:02:48   you know very powerful young person who

01:02:51   is not cowering around tayo tayo is not

01:02:57   in like tables just Te'o who's karate

01:03:00   chopping things and Graham is someone

01:03:04   who like a lot of us don't want to be

01:03:06   karate chop but don't know exactly how

01:03:08   to say no you don't know exactly how to

01:03:11   get through life avoiding being karate

01:03:14   chopped all at the same time not being

01:03:15   isolated still being one of the people

01:03:20   but if you characterize that as bullying

01:03:22   if Te'o gets branded a bully and Graham

01:03:25   gets branded the victim of a bully that

01:03:27   doesn't help at all because it's not the

01:03:30   dynamic like bullies are a very specific

01:03:34   small small group of children and their

01:03:39   behavior is is a specific thing bullying

01:03:43   is not as this is another social

01:03:45   engineering thing right bullying is not

01:03:46   some rampant epidemic that every kid is

01:03:49   doing to one another like there's a

01:03:51   bully you can pick the bully out the

01:03:54   bully is expressing something that's

01:03:55   going on in his family or her family and

01:03:59   to you know to grab tail by the shirt

01:04:02   and say no bullying you know we have a

01:04:03   no bullying posture or pop whatever yeah

01:04:06   policy policy well now tails like oh

01:04:09   shit I'm a bully like all I was doing

01:04:11   was karate chopping him and grams like

01:04:13   oh I'm a victim that's not how you want

01:04:16   Graham to see himself

01:04:20   so anyway my policy right now is just to

01:04:26   ride my bike along and part of it is

01:04:30   that I know I'm not gonna

01:04:31   I cannot help her and this is a terrible

01:04:37   admission I can be there but if her

01:04:43   friends decide to ice her out of a thing

01:04:52   if they're all playing in a circle on

01:04:55   the playground and she comes up and says

01:04:56   what are we doing and they say something

01:04:58   without you like no amount of advice or

01:05:04   or my own experience or or my

01:05:09   intelligence or hers can solve it

01:05:15   fucking hell right right and help at all

01:05:18   it's just less it's just a it's an

01:05:22   endurance test and you know that what a

01:05:26   day will come when she has friends again

01:05:29   it may be tomorrow in fact but sometimes

01:05:32   it's it's it's certainly it's not very

01:05:33   comforting back to earlier it's not very

01:05:35   comforting to just say you know

01:05:37   sometimes life sucks or sometimes this

01:05:38   is the way things are sometimes there

01:05:40   are some things I was talking to

01:05:41   Syracuse about this to go just go a

01:05:43   little dark for a second we're talking

01:05:44   about the UM the shooter drills that

01:05:46   they do in school and like around the

01:05:49   time after when they were like ramping

01:05:51   up at various schools many schools were

01:05:52   like basically doing like more of the

01:05:55   like less of the like let's hide in the

01:05:56   closet and more of like let's barricade

01:05:57   the door kind of stuff and we're talking

01:05:59   about like you know have you talked to

01:06:00   your kids about this and I was just

01:06:03   saying how I find it difficult because

01:06:05   I'm not sure what like I say this to her

01:06:09   obviously haven't but like I'm not sure

01:06:11   what she can do about that I'm not sure

01:06:17   what I can offer I'm trying to pivot

01:06:18   like sort of to what you're saying here

01:06:20   of like well you know sometimes people

01:06:22   are shady like but like what advice do

01:06:25   you have to give about hiding her

01:06:26   somebody with a gun like what do you do

01:06:28   to advise like everybody in that school

01:06:31   the phrase that I find myself turning to

01:06:32   a lot this is

01:06:33   you talk about trying on ideas like a

01:06:35   like a sports jacket

01:06:36   everybody's trying stuff out sometimes

01:06:39   people were trying stuff out maybe some

01:06:40   days maybe Tia's not being a bully he's

01:06:42   just trying a different karate chop and

01:06:43   and that doesn't mean they're gonna

01:06:44   always be that way

01:06:45   but sometimes everybody's shitty

01:06:47   sometimes everybody has a bad day like I

01:06:50   say they're just you what what makes

01:06:52   this a true like agent of chaos in our

01:06:54   lives though is sometimes people are

01:06:56   doing things that you won't be able to

01:06:58   understand and you won't be able to

01:07:00   prevent and I think sometimes I don't

01:07:03   know how often that is so great as a

01:07:05   piece of advice especially for a young

01:07:07   person because if you do that from day

01:07:09   one you know you just live on a farm and

01:07:10   have a hardscrabble existence and have

01:07:12   family dies you just say well shit

01:07:13   happens but I I mean there's times where

01:07:15   I'm like I don't really have much to add

01:07:16   to this apart from saying like sometimes

01:07:18   really dumb shit happens it's not your

01:07:20   fault and sometimes it is your fault and

01:07:22   sometimes dumb shit happens to matter

01:07:23   what like what what great what great

01:07:26   like audio-visual slide deck am I gonna

01:07:28   do to help explain to you that like no

01:07:31   matter how well you hide in the closet

01:07:32   it's not gonna stop a guy with a gun you

01:07:34   here's some advice well and and I guess

01:07:40   the other thing I'm realizing is because

01:07:42   I thought I was being wise parent by

01:07:47   kind of giving her a little bit of the

01:07:50   like well you know they're they're bad

01:07:54   people and and people honestly are

01:07:59   terrible to each other and we try to be

01:08:02   good to each other or some version of

01:08:05   that's not terrible it's not except that

01:08:08   that's all I just get the feeling hmm

01:08:14   that that is a not comforting and be

01:08:18   something that cannot really be

01:08:20   communicated through words yeah comes

01:08:25   from experience yeah yeah you learn it

01:08:28   there well that's the other thing that

01:08:29   we're I mean kind of as an elephant in

01:08:31   the room is that there are certain kinds

01:08:32   of advice or observations that are a

01:08:35   hundred percent pretty much empirically

01:08:37   true but they are at certain junctions

01:08:41   in one's life they are neither

01:08:43   comforting nor useful right even though

01:08:47   there

01:08:49   but like how am i what i guess my worry

01:08:54   is am i filling up the air between us

01:08:57   with words that mean little or nothing

01:09:01   to her oh yeah sometimes I just need to

01:09:04   pedal the bike yeah right that the words

01:09:07   that because this isn't something I've

01:09:09   kind of been confronting in my adult

01:09:11   relationships recently which is wait a

01:09:14   minute we talked a lot about this thing

01:09:20   let's say for instance that one of us

01:09:22   you or I at some point recently had a

01:09:24   millennium girlfriend huh

01:09:26   hypothetically we talked a lot about

01:09:30   things and at the end of talking a lot

01:09:34   about them it's unclear where we were on

01:09:38   those things but it was not a case that

01:09:41   we talked them through and they were

01:09:44   then solved you know there was always

01:09:46   some there's always another iteration

01:09:48   that's in and at a certain point you

01:09:51   don't want to succumb to a feeling that

01:09:54   no one can ever change because I don't

01:09:56   believe that and I know people say it

01:09:59   then it always sounds why's it always

01:10:01   like it always is

01:10:03   no one ever changes after they're 12

01:10:04   years old signed Martin Luther King

01:10:07   whatever you're like well I don't know

01:10:10   about that like that's not very hopeful

01:10:13   and I like to have a little bit of hope

01:10:16   but also as you have said many times

01:10:20   when was the last time you changed

01:10:23   because someone told you you were doing

01:10:24   it wrong yeah especially at high volume

01:10:27   right like when was the last time you

01:10:29   changed it somebody yelled at either you

01:10:30   word that you were doing it wrong and

01:10:31   it's absolutely true that's not how you

01:10:33   change either and so and people people

01:10:36   write me a lot because I'm publicly like

01:10:41   a recovering alcoholic and they say Here

01:10:44   I am I'm in at the front door of rehab

01:10:47   for the third time like do you have any

01:10:50   advice can you make can you help me make

01:10:52   this work and all I can ever say is like

01:10:54   you'll get sober when you're done and if

01:10:59   you're not done

01:11:00   you don't want it enough to make it

01:11:03   happen like you have to want it that

01:11:05   rehab doesn't matter your your wife or

01:11:08   your parents or your boyfriend being

01:11:11   really concerned about you doesn't

01:11:13   matter honestly your health doesn't

01:11:15   matter because if you don't want to stop

01:11:17   you'll just fucking keep doing it and

01:11:19   when you want to stop you'll know and

01:11:22   it's not like when you want to stop it

01:11:24   suddenly easy it's like when you want to

01:11:26   stop it will be fucking hard and

01:11:28   excruciating and you'll do it anyway and

01:11:30   that's true of change of any kind and so

01:11:35   in my I mean my unfolding feeling about

01:11:38   what my relationship with my job as a

01:11:41   dad is is like am I just trying to

01:11:47   comfort myself I know I totally I

01:11:50   totally know filling up the space with

01:11:53   all these words that mean less than

01:11:55   nothing to her

01:11:56   something something wisdom yeah right

01:11:58   something something you'll figure it out

01:12:00   something something everybody's life is

01:12:02   hard you know why not just pedal why not

01:12:07   just pedal your bike for what you're

01:12:09   what you're offering yeah

01:12:13   but in terms of your three days alone

01:12:16   yeah what about lunch she my wife made a

01:12:19   list

01:12:20   journalist for me show me each day what

01:12:22   I should make rage it's wonderful but

01:12:29   but I also feel like maybe you should

01:12:33   take that list down and look at should

01:12:37   go commando is free Tollett I think you

01:12:39   should just tear that list really slowly

01:12:40   right down the middle right in front of

01:12:42   your daughter

01:12:43   see what happens yeah you and Daddy for

01:12:46   the next three days we're gonna make

01:12:48   this we're gonna figure this out so I

01:12:49   call her into the room I call her into

01:12:51   the kitchen I look her dead in the eyes

01:12:52   I do the thing was look to hear mm-hmm

01:12:55   and then I without even taking my eyes

01:12:57   away from her I pull a fridge magnet

01:12:59   falls to the floor I hold up an index

01:13:01   card and I very slowly tear in half

01:13:06   here's the plan

01:13:09   we're all gonna die but you know I

01:13:15   really think that that part of her life

01:13:18   let's be honest part of her life is

01:13:20   going to be helping daddy I try to find

01:13:23   things this is now this is what a what a

01:13:25   weird sad limp noodle I am is like my

01:13:28   focus is on

01:13:30   okay so here's where's one a life hack

01:13:31   if you want a kid to load the dishwasher

01:13:33   start by saying maybe it's not a chore

01:13:35   maybe does it or whatever let's not

01:13:36   worry about what it is do me a favor Q

01:13:37   put the forks in the dishwasher for me

01:13:39   mm-hmm

01:13:40   you just need to pierce the veil get

01:13:42   that going right so I mean one thing is

01:13:44   that like what to you and me like for

01:13:46   example like using mash what if somebody

01:13:48   runs up to you they're going ah this

01:13:49   person is choking you got a got to use

01:13:51   your bic pen and give them a the thing

01:13:53   we bring you out of me

01:13:54   tracheotomy now I've seen that on TV

01:13:56   enough to know that with father monkeys

01:13:58   pen knife and a pen I should be able to

01:13:59   give somebody a tracheotomy I'm not

01:14:01   gonna do that nearly as well there's

01:14:03   gonna be hesitation marks as I'm cutting

01:14:05   open the students throat because a

01:14:07   doctor has done it more than me they've

01:14:09   had the training they know that they'll

01:14:11   survive the experience of having done

01:14:12   that but for a kid loading the

01:14:15   dishwasher is not that different from

01:14:16   doing a tracheotomy they don't know

01:14:17   what's supposed to happen next and

01:14:18   there's gonna be tons of blood they

01:14:19   don't want to do that so I feel like

01:14:21   doing it in steps and then second try to

01:14:23   find a way to let them be proud to make

01:14:26   make something that they can be proud of

01:14:28   that I think that can be part of the

01:14:31   stimulation it's not gonna work for

01:14:32   everything but like for certain kinds of

01:14:34   projects especially things that involve

01:14:35   cleaning up or arrangement like if you

01:14:38   can help with dinner maybe you can make

01:14:39   a crudite platter and make that really

01:14:40   pretty for us you know I'm saying but

01:14:42   sometimes so like you know hey can you

01:14:45   set the table and like will you make the

01:14:46   napkins fancy mmm just a thought but a

01:14:50   weight is something you know to have a

01:14:51   little hook into with that said oh I

01:14:54   don't know where I blew it or how many

01:14:55   times I blew it but everything that's

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01:16:57   supporting Roddick on the line and all

01:16:59   the great shows I know like sweetie

01:17:25   you've got yogurt in your hair you're

01:17:32   teasing me what do you mean why do you

01:17:33   have to do everything clean the yogurt

01:17:35   out of your

01:17:35   Oh God oh my god I have to do everything

01:17:39   around here oh my god appreciated I'm

01:17:43   struggling so hard with that I want to

01:17:44   be appreciated I want somebody notice I

01:17:45   did the dishes four times today not a

01:17:47   very good job but I did do it four times

01:17:48   today yeah I just I feel like she she

01:17:52   has to know that I mean I'm not trying

01:17:55   to I'm not trying to have my daughter be

01:17:57   my assistant but I definitely do feel

01:18:01   like she understands now she came into

01:18:04   my room the other day with a piece of

01:18:05   artwork that she'd done woke me up

01:18:08   handed me this piece of artwork I liked

01:18:11   bleary-eyed

01:18:12   rub the sleep from my eyes look at it

01:18:14   it's a it's a picture of a doorway and

01:18:18   over the top of it in big letters it

01:18:21   says wake up okay so we both understand

01:18:29   that Daddy is needs a little extra sleep

01:18:31   yeah compared to other grown-ups that's

01:18:34   subtle

01:18:34   Danny was up late sweetie thinking very

01:18:37   deep thoughts about why no one will play

01:18:39   with him until 4:20 in the morning nice

01:18:47   but you know message received yeah I got

01:18:51   it this morning I got that this morning

01:18:52   you said she said I slept for an hour

01:18:54   last night I said really slept we slept

01:18:56   for an hour last night because at one

01:18:58   point I woke up and she wasn't been with

01:18:59   us cuz she couldn't sleep

01:19:00   she says I slept for an hour last night

01:19:01   I was at sucks an hour and she goes you

01:19:04   know why he starts doing this thing huh

01:19:06   with her eyes like looking over and kind

01:19:08   of doing her head like this huh like

01:19:10   she's indicating something and I go what

01:19:12   cheers you know what for some reason I

01:19:17   instantly knew and I said was I snoring

01:19:19   and she goes yeah wake up says the

01:19:25   doorway very subtle very subtle of

01:19:30   course the head huh huh and I come back

01:19:31   with oh yeah well you know I didn't

01:19:34   sleep very well last night cuz I try so

01:19:36   goddamn hard to sleep on my side so I

01:19:37   don't snore I don't know I'm snoring I

01:19:39   live in this world where like I only

01:19:42   fight I mean I it's like ambien walking

01:19:45   like I'm doing things I don't know that

01:19:46   I'm doing and I think I'm trying to help

01:19:48   apparently I'm not anyway not for a

01:19:50   fucking second do I believe she got only

01:19:52   an hour of sleep

01:19:53   no her sense of how much sleep she got

01:19:55   is very very problematic yeah well and

01:19:59   you know and whose responsibility it is

01:20:01   I mean the snoring like listen I'm with

01:20:07   the room I should I should get one of

01:20:08   those sleep things so I should go to a

01:20:10   clinic maybe get one of those masks we

01:20:11   have on MSNBC listen nothing is better

01:20:14   than a kpop mask or whatever the hell

01:20:19   those things forget a kpop that's

01:20:28   Gangnam style write it skate that

01:20:33   that'll do Pig I gotta make some fucking

01:20:36   lunches

01:20:36   lunches

00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:04   hello hi John hello hello oh hello hello

00:00:10   hello hi John hi Marilyn how's it going

00:00:13   Oh so super hello hello good morning hey

00:00:18   good morning oh my god buddy I'm in a

00:00:22   state John tell me uh you don't want to

00:00:25   know do you want to know it I'm in a

00:00:27   state is what you sound like a frog in

00:00:30   my pot of water and slowly turning up

00:00:33   the heat how even will I know when to

00:00:35   jump out of this incorrect analogy I

00:00:38   don't even know it's it's heartbreaking

00:00:41   I need your advice

00:00:44   what's going on that's a big week how is

00:00:45   this week different from other weeks the

00:00:48   week that we leave a seat for Elijah

00:00:49   yeah ah Mazel Tov John this this is one

00:00:55   of those frantic weeks because it will

00:00:57   require some solo parenting from me oh

00:01:01   this is unusual and exciting yeah do you

00:01:05   feel like this is in your wheelhouse is

00:01:06   this something you can help me with oh

00:01:07   yeah absolutely you know my daughter's

00:01:10   mother left this morning at 4 a.m. for a

00:01:15   week-long business trip to your city San

00:01:19   Francisco finest girl wave to her from

00:01:23   my from my office here a top six your

00:01:25   Tower yeah yeah from your premiere seven

00:01:28   sided lighthouse made of frames

00:01:38   Margiela Marge Ellen Marge ellos March

00:01:41   Ellen she's got my chemtrails she and I

00:01:46   are gonna have a very very fine week but

00:01:49   you know I I do have I do have my mother

00:01:53   in town so she also is very helpful it's

00:01:57   not it's very seldom that I am in a

00:02:00   situation where I'm looking at five days

00:02:02   where there's just no no respite five

00:02:06   days but I often am the only parent of

00:02:11   record for for four or five days oh

00:02:13   listen I don't wanna make this the whole

00:02:14   show but I could use like I need some

00:02:17   advice I need to vent that's the wrong

00:02:19   word no no not bad you know what it is

00:02:21   it's an airing of failures I feel like

00:02:23   it's important you need to periodically

00:02:25   air my failures and let's be honest to

00:02:28   show my vulnerabilities about something

00:02:30   that I would like to think I'm good at

00:02:31   and I'm not sure I'm really that good at

00:02:33   let's just look at this as like a Lower

00:02:36   East Side Tenement alleyway and you're

00:02:39   just putting that wet laundry out on a

00:02:41   on a rope high above high above the sea

00:02:44   good morning this is spaghetti right

00:02:46   we're all your neighbors can see your

00:02:49   drawers they call them pants in England

00:02:52   yeah because because that's the only way

00:02:56   we have we don't have a washer and dryer

00:02:58   we're done we're not the future yet and

00:03:01   I'm not a snork no okay so without

00:03:06   getting into too much detail milady

00:03:07   needs to do some business travel that

00:03:10   will necessitate me being the the sole

00:03:14   parent for three nights she is an

00:03:18   important lady and she has stuff to do

00:03:20   up she's a business lady she has to do

00:03:22   and but here's the funny part is like I

00:03:25   well first of all there's just this

00:03:26   whole like when I was talking to you

00:03:27   this morning about like potentially

00:03:29   rescheduling because I'm at a fever

00:03:31   pitch because there's the things you got

00:03:33   to do before you do the things you're

00:03:35   gonna do yeah sure you experienced

00:03:38   something that I call compression mm-hm

00:03:40   you get compression suddenly events take

00:03:43   on a new kind of valence because they

00:03:45   need to be done by a certain time your

00:03:47   life becomes an existential rally

00:03:50   for other people this is not hard I

00:03:51   think other people are wired better than

00:03:53   I but I will have my daughter by myself

00:03:58   for three nights and that's going to

00:04:00   mean some get into school and some

00:04:02   picking up it involves making lunch yeah

00:04:05   which is is fraught the thing I

00:04:10   eventually want to get to you though is

00:04:11   I know you're not a big screen parent I

00:04:13   want to know how you handle the time the

00:04:16   long long times yeah you're with the

00:04:19   trial because this is not a tenement in

00:04:21   Brooklyn you can't just send your kid

00:04:22   off to play play stickball you know you

00:04:25   got a helicopter over them any advice

00:04:27   you got i'll get any observations you

00:04:29   have philosophical practical anything

00:04:32   that you can offer that will help me and

00:04:34   let's be honest my daughter survived

00:04:35   three days you know if there if there

00:04:38   were ever a case where I prepared a

00:04:40   topic in advance or had even the

00:04:42   slightest idea what we were going to

00:04:44   talk about in the three and a half

00:04:46   minutes between when I wake up and when

00:04:47   I sit down here compression is what I

00:04:51   you know is what I would have talked

00:04:53   about today because I'm also feeling

00:04:55   like every spare minute is filled now

00:04:59   with something filled with some creamy

00:05:02   like vanilla pudding mmm

00:05:06   it's not bad it's just full mostly

00:05:09   somebody sprayed that in all the

00:05:10   available area is putting now mm-hmm

00:05:12   just but full of vanilla pudding I mean

00:05:14   like a vanilla pudding but you are in a

00:05:16   situation of that so you know because

00:05:20   because you hit the nail on the head

00:05:22   already

00:05:22   yeah being a parent is just to feel like

00:05:26   you're failing that and all the time

00:05:28   that's how I used to think that that

00:05:30   would go away before I was actually go

00:05:36   away yeah like for at least not for me I

00:05:40   keep thinking it's gonna go away too but

00:05:41   you know I read every day it's a new

00:05:43   thing where it's like oh boy I didn't do

00:05:45   a pretty good job and I'm constantly

00:05:47   realizing I'm too late on things you

00:05:51   know whether that's something like I

00:05:52   should have ordered turkey breasts for

00:05:54   sandwiches tomorrow so guess what I

00:05:55   forgot there's a field trip on Wednesday

00:05:57   morning and it has to be a packable

00:05:58   lunch with nothing nothing plastic

00:06:00   interests

00:06:01   I am playing a horrible Milton Bradley

00:06:05   board game of many other people's design

00:06:07   at this point you gotta practice the

00:06:09   ukulele you got it oh by the way they're

00:06:11   getting extra homework now because it's

00:06:13   fifth grade next year which is a real

00:06:14   grade so now they're getting more

00:06:16   homework they doubled the math it

00:06:17   doubled the reading log you still got to

00:06:19   do all of that I love how they do that

00:06:21   where they're like next year is real

00:06:24   school so we're gonna pile on a bunch of

00:06:26   like real school stuff now I was a

00:06:29   senior in order to get you ready for

00:06:32   next year and it's like well you're just

00:06:34   what are we doing before yeah we're just

00:06:39   doing it now then instead of been oh

00:06:41   yeah we got to do it now instead of you

00:06:43   know like I told you didn't I that I got

00:06:46   that I got um I got a failing grade in

00:06:51   seventh grade advanced English because

00:06:56   the teacher said in high school they

00:06:59   don't use pencils I hate the story I

00:07:01   hate the story so much in high school

00:07:03   they don't use pencils so we have to

00:07:04   start using using pens we have to start

00:07:06   learning to use pens and I I just never

00:07:10   had a pen I mean that you know that they

00:07:13   would buy me pens but I was lose them I

00:07:15   had all I had was pencils I just I

00:07:17   wanted to work in pencil it was fine and

00:07:19   the teacher said that she would no

00:07:22   longer accept anything written in pencil

00:07:26   his daddy blue or blue black blue black

00:07:28   ink

00:07:28   it's alright slept it would be an

00:07:30   automatic zero and so I continued to do

00:07:34   my work through the entire year page

00:07:37   after page of English assignment which

00:07:39   she continued to mark zero Todd because

00:07:44   she was preparing me for high school

00:07:47   isn't that nice the way she did that

00:07:48   yeah she sure did yeah another angle of

00:07:51   I'm going to interrupt you but the other

00:07:52   angle of this is like all the secret

00:07:54   double double probation rules we're like

00:07:56   you know there's I don't know if you get

00:07:57   this yet with her work but there's a lot

00:07:59   of assignments we get we're in addition

00:08:01   to not understanding the way that

00:08:02   they're teaching math now that's okay I

00:08:04   know it's a better way I'm learning but

00:08:05   in addition to that there's like it's

00:08:07   sometimes difficult to tell

00:08:08   to quote Glengarry Glen Ross you know

00:08:11   what is this in-service of it

00:08:14   if are we testing handwriting are we

00:08:16   testing creativity are we testing

00:08:18   following the directions because I would

00:08:21   counsel to do all these things real

00:08:22   differently but it's real weird when it

00:08:24   comes down to like well kind of doesn't

00:08:26   matter what you did if you didn't use

00:08:27   ink like I guess yeah that's that's a

00:08:29   rule yeah what are we what are we

00:08:32   teaching oh we're teaching we're

00:08:35   teaching this child not to believe that

00:08:38   adult them have any knowledge yeah I

00:08:41   think we don't really have perspective

00:08:44   or understanding context they understand

00:08:46   could the creation of compliance now is

00:08:50   they're not hot lunch at your school yes

00:08:53   there is but we're also well she's got

00:08:58   compression to their entire lunch period

00:09:00   is 20 minutes yeah yeah yeah so it's

00:09:05   already staggered to where like I think

00:09:08   two grades at a time the kids go to

00:09:09   lunch the littlest kids go first then

00:09:12   the next group and then my daughter is

00:09:13   in the third group and she that was the

00:09:15   most the groups have 25 minutes she's

00:09:18   got 20 minutes and so like if you go

00:09:19   through the lines is boring

00:09:21   but if you go through the line

00:09:21   everything that really cuts into your

00:09:23   your eating time your shuck and jive

00:09:25   time you know this sounds like a like a

00:09:27   proven problem well it's it's you know

00:09:31   again I understand that we're all

00:09:32   playing a different tile game a

00:09:36   different puzzle game you know this is

00:09:38   what makes adulthood complicated is

00:09:40   everybody has a different puzzle game

00:09:42   and that's not doesn't imperfect analogy

00:09:45   but there's not a single person out

00:09:46   there it's like a five by five

00:09:48   everything's going great

00:09:49   like everybody out there struggling with

00:09:50   something there's resource constraints

00:09:53   at the school like okay so what's lunch

00:09:56   well lunch is partly like who's gonna

00:09:57   supervise them because lawsuits and like

00:09:59   time constraints and all that stuff so I

00:10:01   think that she prefers the packed lunch

00:10:03   with which my wonderful wonderful wife

00:10:06   makes for her most most mornings right

00:10:09   she makes a nice little meal in a little

00:10:12   bento box and there's that a mommy or

00:10:14   there's raspberries or there's carrots

00:10:16   and like she has this internal barometer

00:10:18   for how to make like a dignified lunch

00:10:21   but I feel like what you know like you

00:10:24   were saying before a lot of a lot of a

00:10:26   lot of what you

00:10:27   trying to deal with now is like what

00:10:29   kind of groundwork have you laid and my

00:10:32   sensei like I don't I do not have a like

00:10:36   a complete picture of of the inner life

00:10:40   of the of the of your your family and

00:10:43   your home there but my sense is that you

00:10:45   do not like to disappoint your wife and

00:10:49   daughter

00:10:49   and so she's accustomed to this kind of

00:10:53   lunch and you want to you want to

00:10:57   maintain that right insistency whereas

00:11:00   in my family I laid the groundwork that

00:11:02   right at the beginning that I was going

00:11:05   to consistently disappoint everyone you

00:11:08   set an expectation I set an expectation

00:11:10   that that Daddy is going to daddy

00:11:14   disappoints sometimes daddy shows up to

00:11:17   school in his pajamas sometimes daddy's

00:11:20   missing a two thought photo days just

00:11:25   raising like do you take them out of the

00:11:30   box is just a raisin that says am on it

00:11:32   no it's like six little box raises this

00:11:38   episode of Roderick on the line is

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00:13:34   Khan the line and all the great shows

00:13:38   and sometimes sometimes you today why

00:13:46   don't you get hot lunch and if if her

00:13:49   response is daddy says like well I

00:13:54   didn't like the irony Wars of the 90s

00:13:56   but I lived through them right right I

00:13:59   figure my frequent responses like she'll

00:14:02   say like oh I have a pack lunch with the

00:14:06   bespoke turkey sandwich and my response

00:14:07   is usually yeah well I want to be tall

00:14:12   yes so you have to just answer your

00:14:16   question though yes not only do I want

00:14:19   to meet skits somewhere near the bar of

00:14:21   what my desperately competent wife is

00:14:23   able to do but like I'd like it to also

00:14:26   be I'd like it to be fun and then worst

00:14:29   of all I wanted to not be stressful

00:14:30   which is one of the hardest parts for me

00:14:33   is I really try to minimize unnecessary

00:14:36   stress because there's baseline stress

00:14:38   just cuz you got to do hair and socks

00:14:39   and everything and tooth brushing to get

00:14:41   out of the house but like that's the

00:14:43   other part of it so I feel like I've

00:14:44   probably set an unreasonable bar for

00:14:46   myself and that's that causes the more

00:14:47   of this anxiety in me yeah yeah I mean

00:14:50   the thing is a she's fine and B

00:14:53   she'll I mean she'll be fine whatever

00:14:55   however the week goes yeah kids bounce

00:14:57   but also like I you know she is a little

00:15:01   girl who likes an adventure and a plan

00:15:04   you know like a like a you know she's

00:15:08   she's into I mean you know none of them

00:15:12   like adventure and in that if you're

00:15:14   like let's try something new they don't

00:15:16   want to right but but I think if you go

00:15:22   to her and say mom is out of town we

00:15:26   need to really partner up on this and

00:15:28   that's gonna involve you helping daddy

00:15:31   as much as it is daddy helping you

00:15:34   interesting

00:15:35   ah so we make it some something we need

00:15:37   to work on together well and yeah it's

00:15:39   like a project and also you're relying

00:15:41   on her she's your partner she's your

00:15:44   main partner in this and so you know

00:15:47   like you raise your eyes it's it's like

00:15:50   I'm noticing with my little girl that

00:15:53   all the things that I made the mistake

00:15:55   of calling chores like clean up your

00:15:58   room and you know chores I already at 7

00:16:02   years old just get these huge eye rolls

00:16:05   and these long sighs and then I go in an

00:16:09   hour later and she's sitting in the

00:16:10   middle sitting uh you know cross-leg on

00:16:12   the floor in the middle of her mess just

00:16:16   sort of reading an Archie mm-hmm I'm

00:16:18   like where did you even get an Archie

00:16:19   because because somehow you perhaps

00:16:22   unintentionally set that up as a

00:16:24   negative thing it's a chore just had

00:16:27   it's just like the name right there in

00:16:28   the name but I've lately started to say

00:16:31   I started to say those things like well

00:16:37   not long ago like I was cooking her mom

00:16:39   was been there you know chopping and

00:16:41   stuff and she's standing in the doorway

00:16:44   just kind of watching and I said hey set

00:16:48   the table and she got this look of like

00:16:52   uh Wow and I said well you know look

00:16:57   what a table looks like when it's set

00:16:59   and you know what it looks like now so

00:17:02   to put all the things on the table that

00:17:05   aren't on it now

00:17:06   and she was like ah and she walked

00:17:10   around the kitchen kind of just like

00:17:12   right like she'd never seen the kitchen

00:17:14   before yeah

00:17:14   opening drawers and wondering like what

00:17:17   you know like she said at one point like

00:17:19   like you mean like drinking glasses and

00:17:23   I was like well asked and answered

00:17:26   and you know I'm cooking like I don't

00:17:28   have a like stuffs burnin and stuff well

00:17:31   so she went over and she put some

00:17:34   combination of things on the table that

00:17:36   basically that were the things that she

00:17:38   could reach and the things that she

00:17:40   thought of like there were three pepper

00:17:42   shakers or whatever she was going around

00:17:44   and but she got some she managed to put

00:17:48   some table settings and you know what

00:17:53   kind of with me over my shoulder like

00:17:55   everybody needs a spoon not just you and

00:17:59   [Laughter]

00:18:01   and she was just like and it wasn't even

00:18:04   a case of like she was proud because I

00:18:07   didn't I didn't really over praise I

00:18:10   just was like good alright good

00:18:13   yeah now we need napkins and because I

00:18:16   was also doing something and her mom was

00:18:18   also doing something so when we all came

00:18:19   together it felt like well we all did

00:18:22   something to be here and not it wasn't a

00:18:25   thing like kind of we normally do where

00:18:27   I turn the praise Canon on her and like

00:18:30   oh my god you didn't end up fucking

00:18:33   putting chocolate on everything like

00:18:35   you're a genius

00:18:37   it was just like all right so the other

00:18:40   day it's like almost like a first round

00:18:42   of AI like you're like oh you got it

00:18:45   kind of right that's not totally wrong

00:18:50   but the other day I'm in the kitchen and

00:18:53   and the dishwasher beeps and she says

00:18:59   what do you do you know like it's done

00:19:01   washing and she's like well what what oh

00:19:05   you know what was that what happens now

00:19:07   and I said I opened the dishwasher and

00:19:09   you know emptying the dishwasher is

00:19:11   super complicated but I was like here

00:19:13   put the silverware away and so she takes

00:19:16   a little silverware basket out and just

00:19:18   you

00:19:20   kind of every single every single

00:19:24   implement was a new puzzle right okay

00:19:27   forks go here but where does this fork

00:19:29   go well that also goes there oh I see

00:19:34   this all the time my daughter can make a

00:19:36   multi acre Palace in Minecraft but she

00:19:39   still doesn't understand that that one's

00:19:40   compost it's it's it's it's you know

00:19:43   what I mean the pseudo some areas where

00:19:45   like there's the encode so well with

00:19:47   certain things that they are motivated

00:19:49   about but there's other kinds of things

00:19:52   where you're like honey I are you okay

00:19:54   did you hit your head you hurt your head

00:19:57   you know we always have Forks you know

00:19:59   you got to put socks on every day what

00:20:01   what well what was crazy was because I

00:20:05   again I was not monitoring her not not

00:20:07   that she could tell right I was looking

00:20:10   at her out of the corner of my eye but I

00:20:11   was not like helping because I was

00:20:14   emptying the other part of the

00:20:16   dishwasher the stuff that she couldn't

00:20:18   reach like that complicated heavy shelf

00:20:22   just she can't get up she can't get

00:20:24   something up on it on a high shelf you

00:20:26   know but so she's just puttering away at

00:20:28   her own time trying to figure out like

00:20:30   you know and she'd hold stuff up like

00:20:32   where does this go and I'm like ah right

00:20:34   that goes over here and and so at the

00:20:39   end when the dishwasher was empty she

00:20:42   said now can we load it and I was like

00:20:49   now can we load it I have never once in

00:20:52   my life loaded a dishwasher immediately

00:20:54   after emptying that's right sure we can

00:20:57   load it and she started putting the

00:21:00   silverware in the dirty silverware in

00:21:02   the baskets in the basket and a stiix by

00:21:06   type all the forks go here oh I like

00:21:09   that

00:21:09   I like that fine all the knives well

00:21:12   that's not how I do it and she was not

00:21:14   coached to do this like the forks to be

00:21:23   in the bass stick together they do this

00:21:27   was like one of those like you're

00:21:30   broadcasting of a thing you know

00:21:33   like that I had never seen before I see

00:21:35   her organize things all the time but

00:21:37   like oh all the forks go together do

00:21:39   they because she had just unloaded the

00:21:42   dishwasher three minutes before that was

00:21:44   not organized that way so she was taking

00:21:48   it she was taking over how it's gonna

00:21:50   get done

00:21:51   Wow and this is a long conversation

00:21:55   slash argument within the Jonathan

00:21:58   Coulton Christine Connor family oh

00:22:00   really

00:22:00   Christine believes that that's how the

00:22:03   dishes should be done all the forks go

00:22:05   together and all the spoons go together

00:22:08   Jonathan argues that the spoons then all

00:22:16   nest against one another and don't get

00:22:18   clean and bases like to not OCD is too

00:22:20   strong a term but like it's two

00:22:21   different a wackadoo theories about like

00:22:24   why needs to be a certain way yeah and

00:22:26   you know I've been friends with that

00:22:27   family for a long time and you would be

00:22:29   surprised the number of times that this

00:22:31   comes up sitting around though sitting

00:22:33   around the table or I would not in the

00:22:36   morning I would not there are a variety

00:22:38   of things that I still find incredibly

00:22:40   perplexing from a logical standpoint

00:22:42   that I don't bring up in the interest of

00:22:44   sanity and peace

00:22:46   yeah it's it's really it's hilarious and

00:22:48   I know I know I'm just as guilty I know

00:22:50   there are things that I do that make no

00:22:51   sense to anybody else in the house

00:22:53   either seems too tightly wound or way

00:22:55   too chaotic or just like unknowable like

00:22:58   why would you not always do that thing

00:23:00   after you do this thing it just follows

00:23:02   logically

00:23:04   well in this case I sent a text to

00:23:09   Jonathan Christine saying oh guess what

00:23:12   guess who's on Team Christine and

00:23:17   immediately it precipitated a text

00:23:20   argument between husband and wife I

00:23:23   don't even I don't know they could be

00:23:24   sitting on the couch together I don't

00:23:25   know whether they were in separate towns

00:23:27   or whatever but you know Christine said

00:23:29   she's a genius it's the only right way

00:23:32   to do it

00:23:32   and Jonathan immediately texted this is

00:23:35   you know this is she is wrong she's

00:23:37   history's greatest monster she's wrong

00:23:40   as everyone who practices this

00:23:42   abomination is wrong

00:23:44   the nesting thing that's an interesting

00:23:45   POV well you know he's kind of

00:23:47   interesting POV on things they're gonna

00:23:49   nest the spoons are gonna nest this is

00:23:52   also the way I say again OCD I know

00:23:55   that's a specific kind of thing but like

00:23:56   there are some kinds of people that say

00:23:58   oh that person so tightly wound their

00:23:59   anal because they need everything to be

00:24:02   like in a row

00:24:03   and there's other people who have a

00:24:05   different flavor of that where they

00:24:06   can't stand stuff being in a row right

00:24:08   there's some kind of people that want

00:24:09   everything to be even numbers and so

00:24:11   many people who are it has to be odd

00:24:13   numbers and and it feels like an

00:24:15   opposite when it's really like a very

00:24:16   similar thing well you know in my

00:24:19   kitchen there are no matching plates

00:24:21   cups or glasses every plate has to be a

00:24:25   has to be a different plate that's

00:24:27   eclectic well it's just I like in my

00:24:31   mom's house everything had to match and

00:24:34   I cannot have everything match and I'm

00:24:38   guessing an equal number like you have

00:24:40   this there's this mini salad forks

00:24:42   there's this mini small plates that kind

00:24:43   of thing all done just exact all done

00:24:46   just like perfectly and I think if if

00:24:49   you broke a small plate then the whole

00:24:52   set of plates would go and a new set of

00:24:55   plates would arrived whoa

00:24:57   because like you know you don't want you

00:25:00   don't want four of everything in three

00:25:02   years the world in our own ways but my

00:25:04   house is all every everything is is

00:25:08   individual and partly it's that I like

00:25:10   going to thrift stores and finding

00:25:11   things and I find a thing and I'm like

00:25:13   here's a new one and I would but but

00:25:15   like now the idea of having even I mean

00:25:20   two plates matching would be even worse

00:25:23   than all plates matching I totally get

00:25:26   that

00:25:26   just now you look careless you just look

00:25:28   like where'd you get Oh two-ply using a

00:25:30   rube you look like an eccentric Pig a

00:25:35   rube but but you know the argument about

00:25:40   the silverware both because again

00:25:42   believe me I've heard it a hundred times

00:25:44   it Chrystia we're gonna call this team

00:25:47   steaming team Jonathan yeah Christine

00:25:49   says it makes it easier at when when the

00:25:53   dishes are done to just reach in grab

00:25:54   them all and put them away

00:25:56   it makes it easier jonathan counters by

00:26:01   saying you gotta sort them at one point

00:26:04   either before or after so it's not any

00:26:08   easier you're just you're just doing the

00:26:10   hard work one at a time when you put

00:26:12   them in sorting them into their proper

00:26:15   bastok instead of just throwing them in

00:26:18   there and saving precious seconds so

00:26:22   it's like it's like two waves of just

00:26:26   like a view of the world and of time and

00:26:30   now my own daughter has just

00:26:34   instinctively exhibited a preference

00:26:38   here and I cannot intervene because this

00:26:41   is what my mom did to me I would she

00:26:44   would say help me load the dishwasher I

00:26:46   would do it some way let's say I would

00:26:48   do it team Christine style and then she

00:26:51   would come along go oh but here's how we

00:26:54   do it and she would then redo it team

00:26:58   Jonathan or whatever it would be the

00:27:00   opposite whatever you did you did it

00:27:01   wrong and so I can't do I cannot

00:27:04   intervene in my own child's world in

00:27:07   this way she's putting the silverware in

00:27:09   and there's no way I'm gonna at that

00:27:12   point say oh but nesting I thought I try

00:27:16   to catch myself because at least she's

00:27:17   doing it yeah oh yeah is that too much

00:27:20   praise cannon because because I think I

00:27:22   agree I'd rather see her do it in a kind

00:27:25   of half-assed searching sort of way than

00:27:27   like not at all absolutely and I would

00:27:30   I'll live with some spoons that are

00:27:31   slightly tarnished if it means that she

00:27:34   thinks that that loading the dishwasher

00:27:36   is one of the it's not a chore it's just

00:27:39   one of the things that she does as part

00:27:41   of our group effort like our tribe right

00:27:46   because she starts she wants some tribal

00:27:49   responsibilities and I think part of it

00:27:51   was several weeks ago my mom and her mom

00:27:57   were complaining about her that she was

00:28:00   being intransigent she was just fighting

00:28:04   everything yep and passive fighting a

00:28:08   lot of it is

00:28:10   active fighting and some of it is just

00:28:12   like okay get your shoes on okay and

00:28:15   then she says I say slow walking it slow

00:28:18   walking that's right and so there so of

00:28:22   course in the in my family dynamic all

00:28:25   the grown-ups come to me and are like

00:28:27   this has got to stop I'm not seven

00:28:33   they're like well fix it

00:28:36   and so we sat down and had a had a we

00:28:41   were to the to the gas station mini-mart

00:28:44   that sells Fried Chicken mm-hmm and I

00:28:47   was like what's going on and she did all

00:28:50   the little kid you know like try to

00:28:52   weasel out of the conversation moves

00:28:54   like man nothing or she even went as far

00:28:59   as to say I don't want to talk about it

00:29:00   really she didn't open with her what are

00:29:02   you talking about what huh and then she

00:29:09   did some of that like you know like look

00:29:11   over here it's a bikini girl I'm like no

00:29:15   I know all of these sweetie we're gonna

00:29:17   have to talk about this and she was like

00:29:18   ah and then she did thing I didn't

00:29:21   expect which was she said well you know

00:29:24   ever since I turned 7 everything's so

00:29:26   hard oh I was like what's hard like

00:29:30   everything's hard and she was like yeah

00:29:32   I mean at school like I don't have any

00:29:35   friends and she's like really like laid

00:29:38   out this whole inner life I'm so

00:29:43   impressed that I recognized as being

00:29:47   like a 7 year old who has who's having a

00:29:51   complicated emotional experience of

00:29:53   things and doesn't want to talk about it

00:29:55   yeah and so I was like oh shit okay you

00:29:59   know lay it on me

00:30:02   and so she just started just going down

00:30:05   the list of all the things that ever

00:30:07   since she turned seven had gone sideways

00:30:12   and you know I listen and I was like ah

00:30:17   boy there's really like everything here

00:30:21   is just norm

00:30:22   well it's the kind of like stuff it's

00:30:24   the normal stuff that makes you realize

00:30:29   that being alive is hard but we're gonna

00:30:31   run long enough to know that that's

00:30:33   normal and she's as a fresh that's a

00:30:36   fresh hell for her yeah she's like no

00:30:38   one would play with me on the playground

00:30:40   and I'm like yeah well but I don't want

00:30:44   to say that's normal

00:30:46   mm-hmm I don't want to say that's weird

00:30:50   because all those things establish some

00:30:53   kind of I don't know like some kind of

00:30:56   relationship between us I guess is what

00:30:59   it establishes where if I if I say

00:31:02   everything is normal then she starts to

00:31:04   feel like well why are we talking then

00:31:08   if it's all normal like leave me alone

00:31:10   and if I you know if I get too much down

00:31:13   into the seven-year-old weeds of saying

00:31:16   like oh baby oh you know like

00:31:20   emotionally over identifying with her

00:31:22   then what I'm what good am I

00:31:25   you know I'm just like I'm just another

00:31:29   seven year old having the same

00:31:31   experiences so anyway I didn't do

00:31:34   anything I just listened to her and and

00:31:38   oddly I mean I guess not oddly because

00:31:40   this wasn't a scheme right this wasn't

00:31:42   something I read in a book I was just at

00:31:44   a loss of what to say but now she talks

00:31:49   to me in a way that she doesn't talk to

00:31:51   the other - Wow about and she and it's

00:31:56   not like she comes home and is like oh

00:31:57   what a hard day at school like she has

00:31:59   to still I hope you're aware that that's

00:32:01   not necessarily normal I mean that's

00:32:03   good it's very good that's that's hard

00:32:04   to wangle in my experience in the

00:32:08   experience of other people I talked to

00:32:09   yeah and so I'm just and so what I

00:32:12   haven't because there's a grave

00:32:13   responsibility for you though huh

00:32:14   it is and and and it's it's very

00:32:17   difficult for somebody like me to not

00:32:19   try to solve problems yep and so I just

00:32:23   sit and I'm like wow I find that to be

00:32:25   true for about 49% of the population

00:32:26   right kind of an mo yeah but you know

00:32:34   it's in my family it's the opposite

00:32:35   right my mom

00:32:36   cannot cannot listen to you talk without

00:32:39   trying to solve your problem and she's

00:32:41   just like right let me let me solve the

00:32:44   problem if you're like uh I kind of just

00:32:46   venting she's like well fucking go

00:32:48   outside then right we talked about this

00:32:50   with her and her Susan yeah and the

00:32:52   history you know she's like that with

00:32:54   everybody but but it so in this case but

00:32:57   you know I'm not like trying to solve it

00:32:58   for her I'm just like oh let me give you

00:33:00   some guidance right but I but I'm not

00:33:03   doing that I'm just like and part of it

00:33:06   is is really founded in total confusion

00:33:08   about what anyone would say like what do

00:33:11   you say to a seven-year-old girl who's

00:33:13   best friends are playing with each other

00:33:15   and don't want her play well there's to

00:33:17   me there's like in that instance there's

00:33:19   so many conflicting things I think I can

00:33:20   say this without being too personal but

00:33:22   like I feel like there's so many

00:33:23   conflicting things in a moment like that

00:33:25   where when I do get the rare chance to

00:33:26   actually talk about like you know just

00:33:29   something's not right whatever that is

00:33:31   and we get to talk about it on the one

00:33:33   hand yeah sure

00:33:35   there's this there's this part of me

00:33:37   that wants to help but I also feel like

00:33:39   a thousand admonishments against myself

00:33:41   like don't do this don't do that don't

00:33:44   do that among amongst these don't try

00:33:48   well maybe at the top of the list don't

00:33:50   try to talk someone out of how they feel

00:33:52   right now it's it's really not that much

00:33:54   better than telling somebody who is

00:33:56   grieving to buck up wide span well like

00:34:01   you know I mean grieving and depression

00:34:03   to things that are not helped by

00:34:04   somebody telling you you feel better

00:34:06   like don't do that but then on the other

00:34:08   hand with a kid you don't want as you

00:34:10   say like over just stick you late about

00:34:13   it because that's weird what you don't

00:34:15   do that about that many things like why

00:34:17   are you so like emotional and like raw

00:34:19   about this like what are you hiding you

00:34:22   don't want to say it's not real and then

00:34:23   the deeper level I feel like I don't

00:34:25   want to find myself explaining why this

00:34:27   is and that is when I fall on sometimes

00:34:30   where I find myself saying something

00:34:31   like you know sometimes people are

00:34:34   really terrible to each other and we

00:34:35   don't always know why but that's I don't

00:34:37   want to do that either you know yeah the

00:34:39   listening part is valuable but like it's

00:34:42   it's it and then so the one though the

00:34:46   one that kind of guides all of this is

00:34:48   like

00:34:49   and I have to I just because to be

00:34:50   straight up about this like I don't want

00:34:52   to fail as a father there's a part of me

00:34:54   that goes like I should

00:34:55   I've seen enough TV to know there should

00:34:58   be something that I can do say not say

00:35:01   or not do there's something that there

00:35:03   is a better answer in this situation and

00:35:06   I'll tear myself apart if I don't get

00:35:08   that right well and so I think I think

00:35:11   overall the dynamic that I'm trying to

00:35:14   establish is look your mother is

00:35:16   extremely competent and does and has

00:35:21   business life like she gets up in the

00:35:24   morning and she dresses business and she

00:35:26   goes and she manages people and she

00:35:28   flies on business trips and is is very

00:35:33   competent in the world and we all know

00:35:35   that Nana is very competent if you gave

00:35:37   Nana a like a case of Lacroix and a

00:35:42   Swiss Army knife she could build a

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00:37:42   line and all the great shows these are

00:37:47   not the people that we are measuring

00:37:49   daddy's success against we are measuring

00:37:52   daddy's success against a different

00:37:54   criteria which is a are we on fire no

00:37:58   good we're doing good then we're not on

00:38:01   fire is Daddy on fire

00:38:03   no he's not on fire good look like we're

00:38:07   doing good but what that's done I think

00:38:10   with her is to feel like daddy needs

00:38:13   some help from her and some in a way

00:38:18   some protection from her

00:38:21   that's not protection where you know

00:38:23   daddy is an invalid or incompetent or

00:38:26   anything but just like hey yo come here

00:38:29   I need your help on this mm-hmm and so

00:38:32   she feels me what what the with the

00:38:35   conversation that we had in the chicken

00:38:37   restaurant revealed over time was that

00:38:41   she was seven now and she just felt

00:38:44   everybody was dumping on her all the

00:38:46   time she was she just wasn't you know

00:38:50   she was getting a bunch of like praise

00:38:51   cannon stuff that everybody throws at a

00:38:53   kid but she was just in the in the main

00:38:57   she was doing it wrong Nana was mad at

00:38:59   her in the morning because she didn't

00:39:01   get ready fast enough and mama was mad

00:39:03   at her at night because she didn't get

00:39:04   to bed fast enough and everything it was

00:39:06   all she's doing like she's doing it

00:39:08   wrong

00:39:09   and I said oh well what if we got you a

00:39:14   and taught you how to use a clock and

00:39:17   then you could know when it was time for

00:39:21   you to get up and time for you to go to

00:39:24   bed and she was like I would like a

00:39:26   clock and I said okay we'll get you a

00:39:28   clock but once you have a clock you are

00:39:32   responsible for the time you don't get

00:39:35   to have a clock and just have it be like

00:39:38   a like a lighting effect well you're

00:39:41   you're not allowed to use it to improve

00:39:43   your procrastination right yeah don't

00:39:47   wait until the last minute

00:39:48   I still got a minute before we leave you

00:39:49   have it you're naked that's not okay and

00:39:52   and and part of our long conversation

00:39:55   was just like oh you want more

00:39:58   responsibility and it's just innate you

00:40:02   don't know how to ask for that that's

00:40:04   that's not it's just you're at that

00:40:06   point in your life where you're like why

00:40:08   am I still why does my life look like me

00:40:10   just getting nagged from place to place

00:40:13   with all this stuff I know how to do

00:40:15   it's not a challenge anymore I just

00:40:16   don't feel like it and it's like oh well

00:40:20   then what you need to do is set the

00:40:21   table and empty the dishwasher and also

00:40:25   sometimes oh so so oh this is the

00:40:29   amazing one she said to me I wish I

00:40:34   lived in a family where I never got

00:40:36   teased and that was a that was like

00:40:40   handing me a lit stick of dynamite

00:40:42   because nobody else teases her I yeah

00:40:46   okay yeah that was for me right like

00:40:49   like like things like bastok things like

00:40:51   yeah we've got I think I suspect every

00:40:54   family has these things that the kid

00:40:56   used to say in a funny way and now you

00:40:57   still say it and it just sounds like

00:40:59   you're making fun of them thing that

00:41:02   kind of thing where she would say like

00:41:04   you know what I went for dinner and I

00:41:06   would say a bastok of pinedo she

00:41:10   combines that right and over time she's

00:41:12   just been just infuriated her and so she

00:41:14   said I don't you know I would rather

00:41:16   live in a family where I didn't get

00:41:17   teased and I said wouldn't you really

00:41:19   rather live in a family where you only

00:41:21   got teased a little bit

00:41:24   and she said no I would rather not get

00:41:27   teased at all hmm and I said and I'm

00:41:30   still exhausted as they say a big ask

00:41:32   yeah and I'm sitting I'm scrambling in

00:41:33   my head like what the fuck am I supposed

00:41:35   to do that's the only way they know how

00:41:36   to interact with people and I said

00:41:38   wouldn't what would you rather live in a

00:41:41   family where you had to eat vegetables

00:41:43   at every meal or live in a family where

00:41:45   you got teased every once in a while

00:41:47   really scrambling that's what I was but

00:41:49   she made an enormous blunder she said I

00:41:54   would rather live in a family where I

00:41:55   had to eat vegetables in every meal I

00:41:57   test out well it was and I said oh all

00:42:02   right well starting tonight if you eat a

00:42:06   salad I won't tease you and she did not

00:42:12   give a look of having been checkmated

00:42:14   she gave a look of like huh and she said

00:42:21   deal like oh this is not layin well well

00:42:26   like 20 like Clint Eastwood style

00:42:29   bring it on a deal and so at dinner and

00:42:33   I'm not crazy it's not like I put a big

00:42:35   fucking salad bowl with tongs and didn't

00:42:38   spray Brussels sprouts I know I just I

00:42:41   put a little portion of vegetable on her

00:42:44   plate and she she made it seem like she

00:42:48   was Indiana Jones and every bite of this

00:42:51   stuff you know was snakes and she said

00:42:55   that she ate her snakes and I didn't you

00:43:00   know I didn't jump on her about like

00:43:01   don't make those faces you can't make

00:43:03   faces I was just like make as many faces

00:43:07   as you want but but right on the other

00:43:10   sizes were not part of the deal that's

00:43:12   right that's right faces we're not part

00:43:14   of the deal I didn't say I had to like

00:43:15   it I didn't say you had to be nice about

00:43:17   but I said right on the other side of

00:43:20   that bowl of vegetables is you getting

00:43:22   told bastok of potatoes so let's decide

00:43:26   which is more important and she ate the

00:43:28   freaking things and every day from that

00:43:32   day forth she has eaten vegetables are

00:43:36   you gonna stick with this

00:43:37   well the few times I have said something

00:43:41   even vaguely teasing she has turned six

00:43:45   guns drawn and said we had a deal

00:43:50   oh and you know and at wit with the

00:43:55   unspoken second half of that sentence

00:43:57   and I'm living up to my hand in the deal

00:43:58   mm-hm and she is mm-hmm

00:44:01   so so I'm just like out drawn hmm I just

00:44:06   have to holster my pistols and I just to

00:44:08   be clear this started as a like okay

00:44:10   well let's see how far you're gonna go

00:44:11   with this you're not actually saying

00:44:12   like for you to be emotionally healthy

00:44:14   UFT vegetables this is more of like a

00:44:16   thought experiment well it was it was

00:44:19   all part and parcel of the okay you're

00:44:21   seven now and you want everybody off

00:44:23   your back well then all that means is

00:44:29   you get more responsibility because

00:44:31   that's how you get people off your back

00:44:32   mmm and so there's no you don't just get

00:44:35   like to be five again where you get to

00:44:39   do whatever you want everybody runs

00:44:40   around and picks up after you right

00:44:42   right right

00:44:42   like everybody's mad because you're not

00:44:44   you're not and I realized that people

00:44:46   that that the people in the family had

00:44:48   this expectation that she was supposed

00:44:50   to be getting better at stuff and from

00:44:53   her standpoint it was like I can do all

00:44:55   that I've showed you I can do it why do

00:44:56   I have to do it every day and it's like

00:44:59   oh well you don't get it like yeah you

00:45:01   do actually do it every day but but you

00:45:03   should get rewards for it too and in her

00:45:06   case and I had no idea the things I

00:45:09   don't understand the relationship the

00:45:12   teasing plays in other people's lives

00:45:14   because I was relentlessly teased by my

00:45:19   dad and it was a thing that we bonded

00:45:23   over you know like I didn't like to be

00:45:25   tickled but I'd love to be teased and

00:45:29   you know I loved going down to the magic

00:45:32   shop in in Pike Place Market and

00:45:35   somebody giving me a piece of gum and it

00:45:37   had a fucking mousetrap on it like just

00:45:39   love that stuff dirty tricks and stuff

00:45:42   you know and she doesn't it's not like

00:45:46   like her reaction to that stuff is just

00:45:48   she's indignant

00:45:50   I think it's more

00:45:51   dignity issue where she's just like

00:45:54   listen bastok of Panay toes sir this is

00:45:58   beneath our discourse I'm like well you

00:46:02   know what's beneath your discourse is up

00:46:04   a stack of the data and for for her to

00:46:08   for her to decide of all the things that

00:46:10   she gets to that she could have laid out

00:46:12   as her a certain negotiating chit that

00:46:16   that was the thing not get teased

00:46:19   mmm-hmm she didn't say stop tickling me

00:46:22   she's like tickle me tickle me but don't

00:46:24   tease me mm-hmm oh shit all right man

00:46:27   you set the tone you put the forks

00:46:29   together in the fork thing I also feel

00:46:33   like I got to two things I'm thinking

00:46:35   about here um which is easier than the

00:46:39   other um one thing I struggle with is

00:46:41   that I was an only child

00:46:45   well you know that's not even that

00:46:47   important what's important is that I am

00:46:48   from gen-x I think it is important

00:46:51   though but go ahead no no no it is

00:46:52   important but probably for different

00:46:54   things but here's one thing is that I

00:46:57   struggle with what I perceived sometimes

00:46:59   as two poles of raising a female child

00:47:03   which is on the one hand is the one

00:47:05   thing you're supposed to always do as a

00:47:06   parent which is to like be consistent

00:47:08   and have certain standards and and be

00:47:10   consistent about those standards and all

00:47:12   that kind of stuff and also not not

00:47:13   discourage your kid from doing things

00:47:15   that are difficult don't be afraid to

00:47:16   you know correct them all the kinds of

00:47:18   like old school ideas of what we know

00:47:20   you're supposed to do as a parent but

00:47:22   then there's the other part of me that

00:47:23   feels like I'm I'm always walking a

00:47:26   minefield that I choose to walk because

00:47:29   the idea of having a little kid even at

00:47:33   her age who is confident and not like

00:47:37   torn this and this by the way this is

00:47:38   not relating to the potatoes I just mean

00:47:40   I mean more like even with math homework

00:47:43   where I'm like man if she can get

00:47:44   through the math and like do I want to

00:47:46   really make her go back and rewrite that

00:47:48   because that nine doesn't look enough

00:47:49   like a nine yeah probably but the idea

00:47:51   of somebody who can remain boy or a girl

00:47:54   but especially girl who's confident and

00:47:56   not self-conscious about their body and

00:47:58   their personality and stuff like that is

00:48:00   something I really I have in mind so I

00:48:04   think sometimes iin

00:48:05   being too permissive because I'm not

00:48:09   strong enough to walk that minefield

00:48:13   some days did you know what I mean we're

00:48:15   like it's just with something we're like

00:48:17   I just think about I'll just lay it on

00:48:19   the line just think about how normal it

00:48:21   was when I was a teenager for girls to

00:48:24   be a hot mess and to be kind of

00:48:28   personally and systematically kept frail

00:48:31   and to constantly wonder how broken they

00:48:34   are and so like that's I sometimes feel

00:48:37   like I wonder if I weigh too heavily on

00:48:39   that angle of like wanting her to be

00:48:41   confident what I really should go back

00:48:42   am I gonna pierce that confidence by

00:48:44   saying like let's go back and check your

00:48:46   math on that well it shouldnt cuz that's

00:48:47   part of being strong part of being

00:48:48   strong is being able to improve and

00:48:50   stuff like that but that's one of the

00:48:51   tight ropes I feel like I walk and when

00:48:53   it comes down to dad alone for three

00:48:55   days there's all kinds of ways that that

00:48:57   can go sideways yeah well I had a as

00:49:01   part of this interesting conversation

00:49:04   dynamic that she and I have developed I

00:49:06   had a very interesting exchange the

00:49:07   other day where she said and again she's

00:49:10   very dramatic and that's not anything

00:49:16   she was taught although she it's

00:49:19   certainly reinforced but she said I'm

00:49:23   worried that every time I smile it makes

00:49:27   something bad happen whoa and I said

00:49:31   whoa that's telling your wheelhouse yeah

00:49:34   I said tell me more and we're riding

00:49:37   bikes so it's a type thing where we're

00:49:39   not it's not like we're sitting in a

00:49:40   chicken restaurant looking at each other

00:49:41   we're just riding bikes slowly riding

00:49:44   down the down the road and she says well

00:49:46   like I say every time something good

00:49:49   happens something bad immediately

00:49:50   happens mm-hmm so that makes me not want

00:49:53   to smile Wow and I said we'll give me an

00:49:57   example and she said well after recess

00:50:05   you have to go back inside and go back

00:50:09   to work and so we're all really happy at

00:50:13   recess but nobody wants to go back

00:50:14   inside sir

00:50:15   and I was like makes sense give me

00:50:17   another example and she said well after

00:50:21   snack which is the best part of school

00:50:25   we have math and I was like I and my Gen

00:50:31   X like girls and math tingle pairs went

00:50:36   up and I said yeah and what's what's uh

00:50:42   what's up with math and she said well

00:50:45   math is fine but all the boys complain

00:50:48   and they're like in math mmm and she

00:50:54   said I hate when people are unhappy oh

00:50:58   wow

00:50:59   and I just want everybody to be happy

00:51:02   and everybody's complaining about math

00:51:05   and it's a bummer Lizzie and I was like

00:51:07   uh-huh well now like my Gen X desire to

00:51:15   socially engineer you to make you into

00:51:17   superwoman stem girl that's right and to

00:51:22   correct for every aspect of the

00:51:24   patriarchy in you alone my daughter who

00:51:27   is gonna you know just like grow up

00:51:29   eating Cheerios except it's

00:51:31   multiplication tables I don't I I just

00:51:35   listened an extra step there because if

00:51:38   if I had done what I what my impulse was

00:51:41   or what my generations impulse was when

00:51:45   she said yeah after snack it's math and

00:51:48   I had gone oh well math is amazing like

00:51:52   don't hate math math is great what's the

00:51:54   matter math mmm-hmm with the tone you

00:51:58   probably unintentionally always use to

00:52:00   try to talk her into something that she

00:52:01   now instantly realizes is some kind of

00:52:03   jam up yeah right right you do this real

00:52:06   that's the tone that you unintentionally

00:52:07   oh come on this hike is gonna be fun is

00:52:12   your friend and so I stayed out a bit

00:52:15   for that one extra step because I was

00:52:18   like huh she doesn't have any problem

00:52:20   with math so I'm not gonna jump in here

00:52:24   you know like what's she gonna say next

00:52:26   is basically my take on it because

00:52:28   also not really about math it's about

00:52:30   the other people's feelings yeah and

00:52:32   it's about the fact that all the little

00:52:34   boys are making a bunch of noise about

00:52:36   having to do math and she's like why

00:52:38   don't they just do their math but she

00:52:45   also like is exhibiting there a kind of

00:52:51   like emotional receptiveness that is

00:52:54   both lovely and also totally dangerous

00:52:56   like she's oh yeah I see I see that I

00:52:59   feel like I see that all the time yeah

00:53:01   she's onboarding everybody else's

00:53:03   feelings as part of her world of

00:53:04   responsibility mm-hm

00:53:06   she feels bad because everybody else

00:53:08   feels bad and that actually is she

00:53:11   doesn't feel bad she's end up doing what

00:53:14   people call like unpaid emotional labor

00:53:20   you know and so I just so then we just

00:53:24   we just pedal along in silence while we

00:53:26   both chew on that mm-hmm

00:53:28   and but but it was a it was another

00:53:32   example I think of this like tendency

00:53:36   that I'm trying to resist which is that

00:53:41   that tendency to to social engineer in

00:53:46   any direction even the opposite

00:53:49   direction of what we think we were

00:53:51   socially engineered to do because

00:53:52   because every time you change one little

00:53:56   thing you change a cascading series of B

00:54:00   of this like yes initely repeating

00:54:04   unpredictable you can't change one was

00:54:06   engine you can't change the one thing

00:54:08   about anything and I don't have any I

00:54:10   don't have any fear that my daughter is

00:54:14   going to be fragile it's not currently a

00:54:19   danger and I mean did I tell you maybe

00:54:21   we didn't talk about about when when she

00:54:23   was in preschool we went to the locks

00:54:27   here in Seattle and you and I have been

00:54:28   visited the locks with her family yeah

00:54:30   it's a dynamic environment boats are

00:54:34   coming and going the locks are run a

00:54:37   chance to get a tour of Seattle from

00:54:38   John take it it's long they say about

00:54:40   that Hey

00:54:41   sign up sign up on this clipboard but

00:54:45   the locks are run by the US Army Corps

00:54:47   of Engineers and they take that job

00:54:53   pretty seriously and they have you know

00:54:57   like big burly people on either side who

00:55:01   are yelling at people in the boats that

00:55:02   they're doing it wrong and every it's

00:55:05   very you know that's it's a big

00:55:06   operation it's an industrial scale

00:55:09   operation well we were there with the

00:55:11   preschool and there are you know there

00:55:14   were 23 year olds all running around and

00:55:18   the teacher was the sort of barely

00:55:21   keeping them together and I was one of

00:55:22   the parents who were along for the ride

00:55:26   and Marla maybe she was 4 she's standing

00:55:31   there on the edge of the blocks and

00:55:33   there are hundreds of tourists there to

00:55:35   all claming it up at Marlo at the top of

00:55:37   her lungs was saying you go over here

00:55:42   and you stand there and you hear and the

00:55:46   teacher teacher you need to over this

00:55:49   and balidaan she's yelling it like just

00:55:51   passers by you that shirt doesn't match

00:55:55   those pants and and I said she's the

00:56:03   mistress of the locks

00:56:04   she was just appointed herself and I

00:56:07   said at a certain point sweetie you need

00:56:10   to just cold check your mega bossing of

00:56:15   everyone for just a second while we

00:56:17   figure out how we're all gonna get

00:56:20   through this small aperture and a very

00:56:24   big man with a beard and a hat that said

00:56:29   US Army Corps of Engineers who was

00:56:32   standing there in the process of yelling

00:56:34   at a shipping you know like a that no no

00:56:40   NOAA icebreaker turns around on his heel

00:56:44   looks at me and says we don't say

00:56:46   bossing to young women

00:56:51   nowadays we say we encourage them for

00:56:54   their

00:56:55   but you know like autonomy or

00:56:58   authoritative necessarily you have

00:56:59   something something something he gave me

00:57:01   some lecture out of a playbook and

00:57:02   turned around and went back to his job

00:57:04   and I'm not anymore somebody who's just

00:57:08   out doling out lessons to everybody on

00:57:10   the street I'm trying not to be because

00:57:13   I find that's not very effective I found

00:57:15   from being on Twitter for a long time

00:57:17   that just being out there sheriffing

00:57:19   everybody is not any fun right right

00:57:21   right and it doesn't and nobody gets

00:57:23   better

00:57:25   nobody improves it's like yeah part of

00:57:28   the the international tone police yeah

00:57:30   but this guy and I don't know whether he

00:57:33   has kids or not yeah he might I read

00:57:35   that in The New Yorker

00:57:36   my sense is he didn't but he's a he's a

00:57:39   liberal but he's working at the US Army

00:57:41   Corps of Engineers and he's out there

00:57:43   sheriffing and what he you know what he

00:57:47   is doing is trying to make the world a

00:57:50   better place but he doesn't know my

00:57:57   daughter and he doesn't know that she's

00:57:58   a fucking bossy little Nazi like that

00:58:02   she would literally run the world if she

00:58:06   could from her three-year-old brain from

00:58:09   her three-year-old understanding of how

00:58:11   things need to be ordered and just to

00:58:12   clarify here if there were an equivalent

00:58:15   equivalently aged male you would have

00:58:20   said the same thing well absolutely but

00:58:22   here's the thing and this is the one

00:58:24   where you know like don't at me but

00:58:27   anybody who has kids and who spends any

00:58:29   time around kids knows those little boys

00:58:31   just don't do that like I'm sorry to say

00:58:34   but little boys do not go bossing

00:58:37   everybody around like that they know

00:58:40   they're hitting each other that's true

00:58:41   and they're hitting everybody else

00:58:43   they're bonking and they're screaming

00:58:45   and they're running and they're hitting

00:58:46   they are not standing there saying you

00:58:49   are here and you are the mama and you

00:58:51   are the one who is you are the Corps of

00:58:53   Engineers guy and here are your jobs and

00:58:55   here is where you stand

00:58:56   it just isn't it's just it is a thing

00:58:59   that's different between them and and my

00:59:04   daughter is the queen of it like the

00:59:07   ultimate or

00:59:08   of things and of people and of I mean

00:59:11   you know it all is she has it she has

00:59:14   the plan she she sees the the matrix and

00:59:19   so so so that's what this guy was saying

00:59:22   right if that was a little boy you

00:59:24   wouldn't have said that but a little boy

00:59:25   would not have ever done it this is not

00:59:27   a little boy trait and also you know but

00:59:32   I didn't say like hey mind your own

00:59:33   beeswax or I didn't decide it was gonna

00:59:35   be a show do you got a beer to play cool

00:59:37   no I was just like huh yeah thank you

00:59:40   for your service

00:59:41   yeah thanks for your service exactly

00:59:43   anyway meanwhile Marlowe in an empowered

00:59:47   fashion will you shut the fuck up for

00:59:50   like three minutes while we get through

00:59:53   this door but as you know as time goes

00:59:57   on like looking at the looking at the

00:59:59   kids and though