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.
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.
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.