I’m a little neurotic anyway.Â I think I’m also probably just on the edge of being OC.Â Anyhoo, ever since I stumbled upon this Discordian thing, I’ve used it to reassess things I do in my little life.Â One of those being Daddyhood.
I was a Dad before I was a Discordian.Â Or, I was a Dad before I discovered I WAS a Discordian, or at least, a Dad who had inherently shared some Discordian-like philosophies.Â I think it was really the discussions that lead to the BIP metaphor and pamphlet where I really started to reassess how I was operating as a Father.Â And I’m not talking about the basics of feeding, clothing, providing shelter, that sort of thing.Â It’s really more about the guidance I provide her.Â I’m well aware that no matter what I do, I WILL be a major factor in how her bars in her BIP are built.Â There’s simply no way around it, not that there should be.Â The question becomes, how can I best allow her to maximize HER control over her bars?Â
An easy example is when she was a young toddler she took a fascination to trains.Â I think it started with a free book the pediatrician gave us during one of her checkups.Â A basic board book about trains.Â Naturally, she eventually became aware of Thomas the Tank Engine and became enamored with the TV show and the toys.Â Western societal norms suggest that these would be “boy toys”.Â When you see the commercials or ads in magazines, they show little boys dressed in blue playing with these things.Â Rarely do you see a little girl.Â Now, I know, I know, “big whoop, you let your girl play outside of the gender box.”Â And you’re right.Â But the thing of it is, there are many parents out there who would steer a little girl towards Barbies and away from Trains and Trucks.Â And it can often be an unthinking or unreasoned reaction.Â This is what I try to avoid, without becoming anal about it.Â
I think this falls under the “picking your battles” meme that is pervasive in many a Parenting book or magazine.Â Where this meme falls short, however, is delving into normative behaviors.Â It’s great to explain to a Parent how sometimes it doesn’t make sense to fuss over whether or not they eat every single carrot.Â But what I would like to see more of is talking to parents about not making a fuss over every time their child acts a little goofy in public.Â I think many parents try so hard to prevent their child from becoming Dennis the Menace that they end up unwittingly caging their character.Â The joyful anarchy of childhood needs to be unrestrained and allowed to explore the territory of the world.Â Obviously, this has to happen within the confines of safety and security.Â
Discovering the Discordian philosophies and being a part of the development of the BIP ideas has been a very good experience for me as a Daddy.Â I think I have developed aÂ better understanding of just how much I can impact without knowing.Â It’s given me a unique perspective on my role as a parent.Â As much as I need to keep her physically and mentally safe, I also need to provide the freedom for HER to find out who she is.Â It is a joy to see it unfold.