I’m not mad about it. For one thing, it’d just be impossible for us not to be. But for another, I know we’re going to be the good kind of weird. In fact, I tell many people that my goal is to emulate Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson’s parenting style from the movie Easy A. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I want to adopt an Asian child, so when they make a casual reference to clearly being adopted, I can do this:
What makes me so sure about our weird parent status?
For starters, there’s the way we treat our dog, Marlowe. As many parents do with their children (fur or otherwise), we use different voices when we talk to her. But it’s not just baby talk; we put on accents, we talk like monsters, we mimic her wide range of barks. We also have an unusual nickname for her when she’s being particularly strange: “little barginga” (pronounced bar-GEEN-ga). I don’t even know where that came from. Lawrence started saying it, and when I asked why, he said “Just look at her! She’s a little barginga.” Initially, I refused to say it, but now not only do I use it, I occasionally shorten it to “barging.”
Then there’s all the things we say we’re going to do to our human kids when they show up. Using an accent for the first four years of their lives, only to drop it and pretend like it was never there in the first place, has been batted around. Demanding they called Lawrence “the Captain” was a joke for a while. I’m pretty sure there was something about any elaborate spooky prank to play on them, in addition to Lawrence wanting to fake photos to convince them they were an alien baby we found in the woods—an intergalatic Moses in the weeds. I can only imagine how ridiculous these ideas will get once I’m actually pregnant and we have to pick one to actually go through with.
It’s pretty clear to all parties involved that we’re just the younger version of his parents. Lawrence’s dad is very laid back and go with the flow, which helps him deal with an emotional wife who is always changing her mind about what she wants to do (in the present moment and in general). Gee, ring any bells?
Plus, the elaborate spooky prank is seemingly just a genetic thing. When Lawrence was a kid, his mom used to pretend that she was a witch. She’d also pretend to be dead, for reasons that I’m still not sure of. He promises he was only a little scarred by this, so I guess I can support him doing something similar with our kids. (You’re not a real parent until your kids are partially traumatized, either emotionally or mentally.)
Then, there’s all the weird stuff we do together that I’m worried we won’t be able to curb once we’re Mom and Dad. Take the way we fake-fight. We pretend to throw punches at each other, I pretend to slap him (seemingly convincingly enough for someone driving past us once to look very concerned), and we’re constantly saying things like “You’re the worst” or “I want a divorce.”
Don’t even get me started on how often we speak in quotes from our favorite shows and movies; even I’m surprised by how often we can say “pickles” in Linda Belcher’s voice and have it be relevant to the conversation. There are inside jokes so deeply ingrained that 1) I couldn’t tell you where they originated from and 2) there are some words I can no longer say like a normal person because we turned them into a garbled approximation of speech.
We say “Hungarian” instead of “hungry.” We refer to my period as “uterus maintenance.”We once spent a 40-minute car ride speaking only as the characters of an older Jewish couple that we got from comedian Andy Kindler (thanks to many, many viewing of the animated show Dr. Katz). Because I’m the only one in his family who doesn’t call him Larry, I occasionally meld the two and say “Larrence.”
We’re fucking weird, y’all.
But I love it.
Because even with all of that, I’m pretty positive we’re going to be great parents. So our kids will forgive us our trespasses into weirdness. I mean, there’s no way they’re not coming out as some little, caramel-colored weirdos, right? So they’ll have to love us for our oddities!
And if not, they’re going right back into that spaceship.