Man Versus Child is a funny dad blog (the term "daddy blog" makes me want to scratch my eyes out).

I'm Doug Moe, a comedian from the UCB Theatre NY. I became a dad and realized that being a parent is the most ridiculous thing to ever happen to me. Man Versus Child is funny, not precious.

And it is not a “daddy blog.”

This sounds like Gap Store music
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My daughter when I played her “Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club.

Oof. That’s growing old in a nutshell.

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Warning warning

I was saying that my daughter is obsessed with time. But maybe we brought this on ourselves as parents with all the warnings:

"10 more minutes and we’ve got to go."
"Five minute warning"
"Two minutes!"

Nothing happens suddenly anymore. No more tyrannical, arbitrary parenting. Now it’s all kid-gloves and appropriate.

Literally, the other day I heard a mom say, “30 seconds and we’re leaving.” I’m like: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.

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Bad Internet.

Bad Internet.

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Should I be worried that my daughter is giving herself repeated Dutch Ovens?

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TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE
In a cruel reversal, my daughter, master of the dilly-dally, has become obsessed with time.  It’s a near-constant barrage of “What time is it?” 
She’ll check the time:  ”Oh, 8:17.”  Then two minutes later, “It’s 8:19.”  Then:  ”8:23.  Huh.”
She wants to know what time to be up, when to go to school, when computer time is up, when dinner is, what time is bedtime and most of all "How Much Longer?"
I’m way ahead of you:  this seems like a good teaching moment to get her to learn how to read a clock.  She already knows how, sort of, but with all the iDevices lying around, she’s rarely without an easy digital read.
Some parents are on a minute-by-minute schedule, but we are not.  There’s bedtimes and there’s schedules, but flexibility is key.  And now we’ve got this rigid clock-watcher harshing our gig.
It’s put us in the funny position of saying “It doesn’t matter” and “Time’s a construct, man.”  Okay, that last one is more of a riff, but the point is that time doesn’t matter unless it DOES.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?  Like Rust says, “Time is a flat circle.”
And it’s not as if knowing the time actually changes her behavior much.  If we’re running late and I’m trying to hustle her along, what do I hear?  ”Stop rushing me!”  Yep, back to the dilly-dally.

TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE

In a cruel reversal, my daughter, master of the dilly-dally, has become obsessed with time.  It’s a near-constant barrage of “What time is it?” 

She’ll check the time:  ”Oh, 8:17.”  Then two minutes later, “It’s 8:19.”  Then:  ”8:23.  Huh.”

She wants to know what time to be up, when to go to school, when computer time is up, when dinner is, what time is bedtime and most of all "How Much Longer?"

I’m way ahead of you:  this seems like a good teaching moment to get her to learn how to read a clock.  She already knows how, sort of, but with all the iDevices lying around, she’s rarely without an easy digital read.

Some parents are on a minute-by-minute schedule, but we are not.  There’s bedtimes and there’s schedules, but flexibility is key.  And now we’ve got this rigid clock-watcher harshing our gig.

It’s put us in the funny position of saying “It doesn’t matter” and “Time’s a construct, man.”  Okay, that last one is more of a riff, but the point is that time doesn’t matter unless it DOES.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?  Like Rust says, “Time is a flat circle.”

And it’s not as if knowing the time actually changes her behavior much.  If we’re running late and I’m trying to hustle her along, what do I hear?  ”Stop rushing me!”  Yep, back to the dilly-dally.

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Let me get this straight:  my daughter thinks Spy Kids and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice are better movies than The Princess Bride?  Maybe I should have sprung for the high-def rental.
I also think this speaks to a larger corruption in our society’s ratings system.  Last night I was at a Moth Story-Slam and all the judge’s scores were between 8.0 and 9.0:  8.4, 8.3, 9.0.  What the hell is the use of a 10-point scale if everything is between a single point?  Boy, I hope I get to run a Ukrainian-style dictatorship someday - we’ll call it Dougmenistan - because I have lots of important rules to enact.

Let me get this straight:  my daughter thinks Spy Kids and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice are better movies than The Princess Bride?  Maybe I should have sprung for the high-def rental.

I also think this speaks to a larger corruption in our society’s ratings system.  Last night I was at a Moth Story-Slam and all the judge’s scores were between 8.0 and 9.0:  8.4, 8.3, 9.0.  What the hell is the use of a 10-point scale if everything is between a single point?  Boy, I hope I get to run a Ukrainian-style dictatorship someday - we’ll call it Dougmenistan - because I have lots of important rules to enact.

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Rather than censoring content for your daughter, put a strict time limit on how much media she consumes. No TV during the school week. No online before homework and piano practice have been completed. Talk/show her quality vs. dumbed down fare.
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@youreveness (in reply to my OMG post)

Lots of good and funny replies to my OMG post.  Reading @youreveness’ reply above though, I wanted to make sure that none of you are ACTUALLY using my blog as parenting advice.  That would be a huge mistake!

Our daughter does have time limits and she does sometimes watch good stuff.  And how did you know she plays the piano?!?

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Everyone is lying to you! Facebook is a lie! Instagram is a lie! No one takes pictures of baby throw-up.
- Me - from my interview at Best Moms TV
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Does anyone know how to email this iPhone art my daughter made directly to a child psychologist?

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THE HELP
My good pal, comedian Ari Voukydis wrote recently:

"Nothing fills me with low-level dread like, "Daddy, can I help??" To Rex, "helping" means either throwing everything I’m working on down to the floor, demanding to be carried, trying to touch a hot stove… In short, the opposite of what I consider help. The sentiment is lovely but the execution is maddening."

Kids are terrible helpers.  And you can’t fire them (they’re related to the boss)!  Of course, good parenting dictates that you try to let them help.  You want them to learn good habits, what it’s like to be part of the family, a strong work ethic, yadda yadda.  Very noble.  Best thing to do is to throw them some peripheral busy work so they don’t fuck up anything important.  ”Help daddy sweep the garage!  Start over there in that already-clean corner.”
Some kids don’t even want to help, but you make them.  As a bonding activity, I’ve tried to get my daughter to help me.  She never wants to.  ”Let’s bake cookies, it’ll be fun,” I say.  She whines and moans through the whole thing.  Pretty soon it’s just me doing the baking and she still gets a cookie at the end.  Not fair.  
But I relate.  Even as a grownup, I’m not into helping.  My dad is a real “projects” guy.  Whenever I visit him, there’s a lot of stuff to do.  It’s like a work camp or something.  And to a city guy like me, most of these projects seem OPTIONAL at best.  
Last summer I helped him spray wash the siding on his house because pine needles were stuck to it.  This involved shooting water high up on the side of the house and then attempting to knock the needles off with a wet rag attached to a long segment of piping.  I’m like:  ”Doesn’t winter’s snow knock that shit off eventually?  Leave it alone.”  Or the time after a hurricane that I had to help move logs and branches from the side of the road to ten feet further from the road.  Unless my car’s driving over them, aren’t logs on the side of the road just part of nature?  Isn’t this just busy work?
Hold up.  Is my dad still giving me “busy work” so I don’t fuck up his projects?

THE HELP

My good pal, comedian Ari Voukydis wrote recently:

"Nothing fills me with low-level dread like, "Daddy, can I help??" To Rex, "helping" means either throwing everything I’m working on down to the floor, demanding to be carried, trying to touch a hot stove… In short, the opposite of what I consider help. The sentiment is lovely but the execution is maddening."

Kids are terrible helpers.  And you can’t fire them (they’re related to the boss)!  Of course, good parenting dictates that you try to let them help.  You want them to learn good habits, what it’s like to be part of the family, a strong work ethic, yadda yadda.  Very noble.  Best thing to do is to throw them some peripheral busy work so they don’t fuck up anything important.  ”Help daddy sweep the garage!  Start over there in that already-clean corner.”

Some kids don’t even want to help, but you make them.  As a bonding activity, I’ve tried to get my daughter to help me.  She never wants to.  ”Let’s bake cookies, it’ll be fun,” I say.  She whines and moans through the whole thing.  Pretty soon it’s just me doing the baking and she still gets a cookie at the end.  Not fair.  

But I relate.  Even as a grownup, I’m not into helping.  My dad is a real “projects” guy.  Whenever I visit him, there’s a lot of stuff to do.  It’s like a work camp or something.  And to a city guy like me, most of these projects seem OPTIONAL at best.  

Last summer I helped him spray wash the siding on his house because pine needles were stuck to it.  This involved shooting water high up on the side of the house and then attempting to knock the needles off with a wet rag attached to a long segment of piping.  I’m like:  ”Doesn’t winter’s snow knock that shit off eventually?  Leave it alone.”  Or the time after a hurricane that I had to help move logs and branches from the side of the road to ten feet further from the road.  Unless my car’s driving over them, aren’t logs on the side of the road just part of nature?  Isn’t this just busy work?

Hold up.  Is my dad still giving me “busy work” so I don’t fuck up his projects?

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OMG
My daughter has started saying “OMG.”  As she informed me, “It means ‘Oh My Gosh’ but then I don’t have to say all the words.”  This comes directly from her terrible TV show Jessie that she likes to watch now.  Or Lab Rats.  Or Kickin It.  Or A.N.T. Farm or Crash & Bernstein or Three Kings.  
She’s in a cycle of horrible Disney tween shows.  I have a hard time stomaching them, though they’re no worse than the crap I used to love like Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch.  They’re light, silly and dumb.  She calls them the “laugh-y” shows because of the laugh track.  
It’s fair to say that we’ve lost control over what she watches.  Netflix really has its recommendation algorithms worked out and is feeding her a steady diet of Laughies.  And I don’t have the heart to ban them.  I just wish Netflix had better *taste*.
What I want is a Parental Control feature with more nuance:
Explicit Content:  No
Explicit Language:  No
Nudity:  No
Main characters are Dummies:  No
"Funny":  No
Actually funny:  Yes
High schoolers dressed like they are in a porno:  No
Puppet:  Sure
Dumb, annoying puppet:  No thanks
Punctuate every scene change with a wailing guitar riff:  NO, GOD NO
Or, hold up - is this my job?

OMG

My daughter has started saying “OMG.”  As she informed me, “It means ‘Oh My Gosh’ but then I don’t have to say all the words.”  This comes directly from her terrible TV show Jessie that she likes to watch now.  Or Lab Rats.  Or Kickin It.  Or A.N.T. Farm or Crash & Bernstein or Three Kings.  

She’s in a cycle of horrible Disney tween shows.  I have a hard time stomaching them, though they’re no worse than the crap I used to love like Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch.  They’re light, silly and dumb.  She calls them the “laugh-y” shows because of the laugh track.  

It’s fair to say that we’ve lost control over what she watches.  Netflix really has its recommendation algorithms worked out and is feeding her a steady diet of Laughies.  And I don’t have the heart to ban them.  I just wish Netflix had better *taste*.

What I want is a Parental Control feature with more nuance:

  • Explicit Content:  No
  • Explicit Language:  No
  • Nudity:  No
  • Main characters are Dummies:  No
  • "Funny":  No
  • Actually funny:  Yes
  • High schoolers dressed like they are in a porno:  No
  • Puppet:  Sure
  • Dumb, annoying puppet:  No thanks
  • Punctuate every scene change with a wailing guitar riff:  NO, GOD NO

Or, hold up - is this my job?

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THROW THE LADY
A weird game my daughter made.

THROW THE LADY

A weird game my daughter made.

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Exhaust them before they exhaust you.
- PARENTING STRATEGY 
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