Protecting Your Poohbutt

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here is the second of the two pieces for today on the subject of raising daughters.

Author of two novels (Sunshine Patriots and My Booty Novel), Bill Campbell now spends his days chasing his toddling, 15-month-old daughter, blogging on Tome of the Unknown Writer, and wondering why he doesn't have the time, wits, or energy to write that third novel.

This past holiday season, I saw my future as the father of a little girl, and it wasn’t pretty. It contained a shotgun.

It started innocently enough. My 14-month-old daughter, Poohbutt, was playing alongside a two-year-old boy. A cute, little picture of holiday cheer. Suddenly, the boy abandoned his blocks, “yawned” dramatically, and slid his arm across my little girl’s shoulders. Before I could react, he turned her head and kissed her square on the mouth. Yours truly said, “Hey” (Note the lack of exclamation points), and the boy snapped back to his blocks while Poohbutt swift-crawled to Daddy’s protective leg. All to a chorus of “Aaahhhh”s.

All the adults thought it was cute. Some chuckled. Others giggled. The boy’s father high-fived him. Me? I thought I wasn’t going to have to suffer this scene for at least another decade. I suddenly found myself paraphrasing the beleaguered brother in the Loretta Swit comedy classic, Beer, thinking, “This black man has worked too long and hard to come home to a pregnant teenager.”

I know. A lot of you think I’m overreacting. But you fathers out there understand my plight. As soon as we saw a future womb emerge from our wife’s womb on the delivery table, we were immediately concerned with how to protect it. And our concerns are immediate: How did that toddler already know the “yawn” move?

Now, Little Girls’ Daddies the world over have spent billions of dollars and countless hours researching scientific means to protect their daughters since the chastity belt was ruled unconstitutional in 1810. The most promising is “the Lesbian Switch.” This handy, little device is activated upon the first menses and will shut off on your girls 28th birthday. The subject reportedly credits her previous sexual experience as “youthful experimentation” and is soon ready to pump out the grandkids.

However, researchers say the technology’s decades away from being perfected, and Staples refuses to release the “Not Easy” Button to the general public. So, we fathers are left to more traditional approaches.

Physical intimidation’s a tried and true device, but I’ll be in my 50s when Poohbutt hits puberty. I’ve hit the gym and have taken up boxing and street-fighting training. But let’s face it: My future, geriatric ass trying to kick a teenager’s ass will be tragicomic at best. I have to come up with something better.

There’s always the shotgun, but those can be messy. I’ve ordered some mounted animal heads for the den. I can show the young man around, regaling him with tales of “how I bagged the big one” and finish off the introduction with my lovely speech, “The Beauties of Hollow-Point Bullets.” I’ve also gotten Lasik surgery and have enrolled in sniper training. But seriously, I don’t want my little girl to grow up with a bunch of sexual hang-ups, and a trail of dead boyfriends can give the girl a bit of a complex.

Also, all these avenues lead to Dad the Bad Guy Boulevard. I don’t want to be the bad guy. Sure, I want to be in my daughter’s head. I don’t want to be her friend. I’m her Dad. I want her to think, when handed her first joint in second grade (these kids are fast!), “Dad’s gonna kill me!” However, I don’t want Poohbutt to picture me with horns and cloven hooves. There have got to be subtler, more passive-aggressive ways for Daddy to protect his baby.

Fortunately, Pops, there are. Studies have shown that education, the arts, and athletics all lessen the chances unexpected grandchildren. In other words, keep ‘em busy! Idle loins are the Devil’s handiwork. However, while activities are definitely important, the kinds of activities your daughter engages in are what really matter. I’ve devised a list of fields you should pursue with the girl. Please take heed. You can’t afford not to.

1) Quantum Physics.

This is the most sexless field of study your daughter can get into. I strongly recommend it. Yes, nerds wanna get laid, too, but they’re generally too timid to try anything. Your daughter will be safe. Besides, when was the last time Playboy ran “Those Sexy Sluts of String Theory”?

2) The Drums.

Many fathers make the mistake in pointing their daughters towards classical music and the violin. Sure, the boys in the orchestra are nerds, but you’ve seen the movies, that conductor is one lascivious bastard. And remember, that bow don’t come with no arrow. How will she fend the lecher off? No, my brother, she needs to hit the drums—not the skins. A proper drum kit is a mighty fine barrier that will keep the barbarians at the gate. If they do breech it, however, she has two mighty fine weapon in each hand, and a skillfully placed cymbal crash can leave a boy writhing in pain. Besides, drumming for hours in a rock band can be a heck of a workout. James Brown didn’t call Clyde Stubblefield “the Funky Drummer” for nothin’. Your girl’s “funk” will fend off possible suitors.

3) Field Hockey.

It’s the closest thing to a “Lesbian Switch” we fathers have right now. There’s also softball, but the girls don’t get to take the bats home with them. That hockey stick is a nice, little weapon. Have your girl repeatedly watch Braveheart to learn how to properly wield it.

4) Akido.

As a pacifist, my wife’s against martial arts training for Poohbutt. Me? I want her to know some ‘80s Gymkata stealthy ninja shit. I want her to be a deadly mix of Bruce Leroy in The Last Dragon (“He catches bullets with his teeth?!”) and Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse (who actually ripped some dude’s throat out). A nice compromise is akido, which uses the opponent’s attacks against him. While leaving the larynx intact, your girl will be able to fend off any pimply-faced playa without hardly breaking a sweat.

5) 1-800-NUNNERY.

As a recovering Catholic, I was a bit hesitant to go this route, but, after the “yawn” move, I got this bad boy on speed dial. At the first hint of trouble, Our Ladies of Vengeance and Blood are getting a call. No matter what, until girls start serving as altar boys, your girl will be safe in the convent. Give ‘em a call, visit. They make the best pierogies.

If none of these tactics work for you, Dad, pray. Pray hard. And if that doesn’t work, shotguns are running for less than $300 (I recommend the Mossberg) online. While they don’t make hollow points for shotguns, a load of buckshot in the ass will make any boy think twice.
T.J.K. said...

HILARIOUS! How DID that toddler already know the maneuver?? Come to think of it--it makes sense in the context of his dad high-fiving him no?!?

Anonymous said...

This is classic. So funny. But the part about akido I am taking to heart, I swear I am enrolling my kids--daughters and sons--in martial arts as soon as the classes will take em.

Mom of 4 Boys said...

I am not starting flaming gender wars (or continuing them from the previous posts in this series) I swear but i DO want to point out in reaction to this:

"Studies have shown that education, the arts, and athletics all lessen the chances unexpected grandchildren"

That it works both ways and we gotta keep our boys occupied too. I'm not a hater I promise. I am just a mom of 4 boys!!!!!!

Taruna G said...

This is so funny thanks for sharing, I will check out your books!

Anonymous said...

I would be careful if I were you. We all want what is most restricted from us. If you don't approach sex and relationships with the opposite sex as something that is a part of life, it will be the forbidden fruit and your daughter will do anything in her power, with or without a hockey stick or drumstick in hand, to get it.

Parul M said...

This is so funny. But I would love to know, sincerely, where this immediate fear comes from. There are so so so many things to worry about once you bring a child into this world (trust me, I turn into a worrywart all the time), but I find it so baffling that men instantly focus on sex and dating when, in reality, you have years and years to figure that stuff out! Why IS that?!?

Long time Reader, First Time Commenter said...

Hardy har har, okay you are being tongue in cheek so I am not going to point out (with too much force) that we should encourage the drums and field hocky and quantum physics because they are actually great things for our daughters to get into!

Deepa, I am loving this feature, thanks for putting it together!

Renu said...

William: It sounds like you are a stay-at-home dad? Dare I ask for you to give your 2 cents to the back and forth in yesterday's comments to the posts by men??

Funny piece, let us know how these "tactics" work out for you...! Hahaha.

Nari said...

'There are so so so many things to worry about once you bring a child into this world (trust me, I turn into a worrywart all the time), but I find it so baffling that men instantly focus on sex and dating when, in reality, you have years and years to figure that stuff out! Why IS that?!?"

Parul M, your question is similar to my last one over on the "Unspilt Milk" post.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and refreshing post. Yes there is a lot to worry about, but this was so well written. It sounds like you are quite involved in your life with kids - your kids are very lucky for that.

Yes - martial arts is the way, as well as a teaching the kids (both girls and boys) family values and principles at home by demonstration.

Please keep up the good writing.

Anonymous said...

So funny! Do you have a list for parents of boys?!?!?!?!

Shimo said...

i hear you bro. . . I was thinking that Softball thing too . . but then I didn't want her to be a "softball girl" very tough issue we have to deal with here. Also. . .if we keep the guys away totally we risk the closet super freak being unleashed in college. . . Keep working on this Lesbian Switch i think you are on to something there.

Kavia said...

Alright I am taking notes. I kid you not, my 3 year old daughter already shows the signs of being boy-crazy! At her preschool, she has "boyfriends" who she says "I love you" to! (And I'm a mom, btw, so don't go thinking all of us moms aren't worried about this too!!)

Nari said...

Why all the worry if a daughter becomes pregnant in her teens?

If you have a son and he becomes a teenage father then he may have to give up any chance at University and higher education because of course he will have to get a job in order to pay the child support.

Why all the emphasis on the female's sexuality and not the male's?

Their are risks for both of them so I would expect to see equal concern and protection for both.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. I want this on a tshirt: "

"Your girl’s “funk” will fend off possible suitors."

Sarah said...

Nari lighten up! The post is obviously satire and I would bet the author would say he would have legitimate concerns if he had a son as well. But you know what? End of the day it is the girl who gets pregnant. I'm not saying we don't have to raise our sons well too but the repercussions of this sort of thing are more deeply felt by the girls in question.

G.D. said...

Thanks for my mid-afternoon laugh William! Your daughter is a lucky little girl!

Anonymous said...

Just you wait William, your daughter is gonna be showing you texts from boys on her toy phone in no time!

Have to Ask said...

Have to do it, have to ask: If it had been your son do you think you would have given him the high five?!? Before having a girl would your answer be the same???

grant said...

Yeah, bruh. That was laugh out loud funny. It's amazing how early the boys (and girls) start to take notice of each other. Our daughter is so strong willed that I think we'll have to worry about the boys in her path.

boukman70 said...

Hey everyone, I'm glad you enjoyed my latest Poohbutt tale. Now, let me see if I can answer some of these (Deepa gave me permission--you know I had to ask):

Mom of 4 Boys--While a joke, I think I did hear that somewhere, and I wasn't being gender-specific.

Parul M--You're right. There are so many things to worry about. I generally don't worry about them, though. I even refuse to watch the evening news because they're constantly trying to scare the shit out of us parents. I refuse to let them win!!! (Insert manly growl here.) I just wanted to make fun of myself because of the reaction I had with that boy. I was thinking, "No, I'll wait 'til he's 18--and then I'll kick his ass."

Renu--Good call. I'm a stay-at-home-ish Dad. I take care of Pooh 11 hrs a day and then I work part-time at night. I was a little confused and a little bummed about some of the exchanges yesterday--truth be told. My life just isn't like that. It's not perfect by any stretch. We definitely have stresses with my being so busy. But I told my wife that I hope she doesn't disparage me like some of the comments I read yesterday because I am trying.

Also, most of my fellow father friends and I do talk about our children quite a bit. I think the one gender difference I've noticed is that my male friends talk a lot about raising a child (providing for their future, where we'd send them to school, disciplining them) where a lot of my female friends talk about how they care for their child. In mixed company, I try to stay out of the latter conversations because I don't want to feel like I'm stepping in on my wife's domain.

I think that gender roles are constantly in flux, and we just have to try to negotiate these things together. I think there's frustration, aggravation, etc., on both sides but that we can't let that overshadow the joy. Nothing feels more right to me in this world than when the 3 of us are together being a loving family unit.

That's it for now. I'll hit yall back later--if you'd like.

Peace, Love, & Soul Train!

Shona said...

Thanks boukman! I am impressed that you are juggling watching your daughter and writing at sounds like you have a supportive wife!! Thanks again, enjoyed reading this.

Gine said...

Ohhhh, this is tooooooo good. . . . . *emails links to The World, posts on Fb*

SagaciousHillbilly said...

HAR! Funny.
As the father of two beautiful girls. . . one grown, one 16, I will tell you my strategy.
Whenever a young man is introduced to me I look them square in the eye and say (with my best Clint Eastwood shit goin on) "if you hurt my daughter, I will be very angry."

Christina said...

You sound like my husband with our daughter. She's now 17 and no babies yet. He played the role you lay out, I played the person with sense. :) She was on BC at 15, for "acne control", and knows how to use every BC method known to man. Also knows about every STI, too. The truth is scary enough, no need to go making stuff up, at all, at all. She's an orange belt in Karate, too. She's not perfect and she's been stupid, Lord knows, but with no lasting after effects at least.
As I've explained to Keith (my husband), we want our daughter to be a healthy, happy adult. Part of being a healthy, happy adult is having a healthy, happy sex life. So, we'll have to get over that mess.
It's actually harder with The Boy, to be honest.

parutron said...

tee hee - hilarious post! the use of "poohbutt" alone made my stomach hurt......

Anonymous said...

Dude I'm feeling ya. And for the record I have one of each. And I have "concerns" for both. So for those of you thinking "why worry so early?" How bout this scenario: A male kindergartner and female first-grader are found hiding in a locked bathroom and from behind the door is heard: "Oh, it's your dad, hurry put your clothes on!" The little darlings respond when asked what they were doing: "just kissing."
Yes, we want healthy adults but we need to remind the little ones early that some things are only for when they ARE healthy adults.
Also, my son has been getting the "you ain't got not job, you better stay away from that girl" speech since he was charming college students as a 3-year-old. HA!
(Please don't read any chauvinistic tenets into that last sentence. Oh, and I'm posting anonymously to protect the little innocents.)

bliss said...

I'm the mommy of a daughter and I've been thinking similar thoughts since day one! 'o)

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