Dad on a Lark
A blog by Rand Richards Cooper,
on parenting baby Larkin
An unexpected thing happened at poker. I play with a group of guys, all in our late 40s. For four hours we drink scotch, tell stupid jokes, and trash-talk each other. We also keep the table loaded with junk food.
Most of the others have kids 10 years older than Larkin; my belated entry into the ranks of marriage and fatherhood provoked considerable mirth, since I'd been seen as a fairly hard case. The razzing can get raucous. But Paul, a college professor, doesn't joke much, so I didn't know what to think when he suddenly reached over, tore the bowl of Cheetos out of my hand, and said, "Stop."
"Huh?" I managed, baffled.
He asked how old my daughter was. Just over a year and a half, I told him.
"Well, my father dropped dead of a coronary when I was 17, and you can't begin to imagine how that affected my life." He waved the bowl of Cheetos. "You can't be eating this crap. You have to be there for her. And you're how old already?"