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CATCH : First, Get the Pancake -

Cooking and food as a dad // Matt Dawson

Cookies Are Not Weapons

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First, Get the Pancake cookies

I am, if I can flatter myself, a connoisseur of the Kung Fu Movies. I know the difference between Andy Lao and Andy Lao, I’ve even seen the movie where Jackie Chan plays a bad guy – if somebody gets kicked in the head on film, then I’ve probably seen it.

The creativity of the fights are what keep me coming back. It’s a lot like watching dance – you come to appreciate how the choreographer uses the environment, the items found in the space. Jackie Chan is stupendous at this, he fights with skis and shopping carts, hovercrafts and light spring jackets. He can turn a tap number from “Singin In the Rain” into a goon-knocking donnybrook. He can, and does, use anything as a weapon.

But he doesn’t use cookies, and neither should anyone else.

I’m not talking about whipping thin mints around like ninja stars, or slopping a lump of cookie dough into a tube sock and laying down justice like a young Steven Seagal in a pool hall of ruffians.

Parenting, in some ways, is just managing the rate at which your kid is exposed to the shitty aspects of the larger world. If you don’t have a general outline of when to talk to your kid about violence, inequality, and the fact that Pro Wrestling is scripted, then you might want to go back to ECFE classes till you do.

This is actually much harder than you’d think. You have to understand, there are entire industries staffed with well-educated people in suits who make 3 times my salary spending 50 hours a week trying to bypass me and sell things to my son. Keeping him from sugar, Disney, and all that mass-market branded diaper-fill is a losing battle as a parent. You will not win against these people. The most you can hope for is to hold them off for 2-3 years so the guy’s got a foundation under him before Mickey Mouse starts teaching him to want.

And I can intellectually comprehend the desire to be “the fun uncle” or the sassy grandparent who breaks the rules “for the kid’s own good.” I can objectively grasp, as a hypothetical, that to a certain extent, a little spoiling is harmless in the long run.

But objectivity – like sleep and silence – is a precious commodity when you’re a papa. Precious, in this case meaning practically nonexistent. And understanding why an assumedly well-meaning relative does something that undermines you as a parent is not the same as being okay with it.

Seriously, we work hard to keep processed food and sugar out of the little dude’s diet. Including cookies. The vigilance is constant, the forces against us are legion – Et tu, Lemony Snicket? Et freakin tu? When you give him cookies (with full knowledge we don’t want him to have cookies), you’re striking a blow for evil. You’re pretty much going full Saruman on us.

Don’t give him f#!*ing cookies. Just don’t.

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