punk rock dads and peanut’s pants

The internet is choking on websites about parenting, most of which are utter crap. But one I enjoy is Offbeat Mama, which caters to the punks and the freaks and the hippies and anyone else considered a social other in this day and age. It’s where I found out that having a nipple peircing doesn’t mean you can never breastfeed and, this morning, it’s where I read an article called “Why punk rock dudes can make great dads.”

Turns out some folks got together and made a film about punk rock papas. They found a bunch of successful punk dudes (from bands like Blink 182 and the Chili Peppers) with kids, interviewed them about the ways that a punk rock mentality conflicts with and/or supports parenting, and followed them around with cameras while they played with their incredibly adorable children. I think I might even want to watch it, if only to see what conclusion the filmmakers come to about the question the film seems to be posing: What happens when folks from an anti-authoritarian movement find themselves in “the ultimate authority position” (as the filmmakers call it) of the father?

What already irritates me about the film is what a few of the fellows have to say about punk. “Punk rock was supposed to be about no responsibilty, no rules, I’m going to do things my way,” says one of the dads featured in the film. And yeah, punk rock is about throwing all the prescribed rules out the window. But no responsibility? The punk rock I know and love is all about responsibility. Responsibility for our own choices (because we don’t need the government to make our choices for us or take responsibility when we choose the wrong thing), our friends, our freedom. These guys are talking about the oogles and the No Future punks and cough cough a number of people who have been sitting several meters away from my trailer for three days, being drunk and loud and surly. And not in the good way. But I digress.

Another man interviewed in the trailer says that “Nothing in the punk rock ethos…prepares you for being a dad.” But that one I don’t even need to rebutt because someone else has already done it for me:

“It’s noted in the trailer that ‘There’s nothing in the punk rock ethos that prepares you for being a dad.’ But, actually, we’d like to respectfully disagree. Because we think that a life spent submerged in punk rock is the best training any human could hope for when it comes to raising a child. As anyone who has ever lived in a punk house, or squatted, will tell you, you will never find a more practical human being on earth than a punk — they’re good at eating on a budget, they’re good at making clothes last three times longer than they should, and, by God, they can fix anything and everything, often using only regular household objects and a bit of creativity (think of them as stinkier MacGyvers). Just imagine what these people are capable of once their band has been successful and they’ve got some money in their pockets!”

Not to mention the fact that punk rock also prepares you for mass chaos, piles of people in small beds, sleep deprivation, and a lot of screaming. It even helps you build up a high tolerance for unwashed dishes. So obviously the Beard is going to make an excellent dad. But I already knew that.

What I don’t know, but what I’m going to know later today (insert a thousand exclamation points) and eventually dramatically unviel to all of you (insert another thousand exclamation points), is what our darling Peanut’s got in his or her pants (exclamation point exclamation point exclamation point). If he or she was wearing pants that is. And it’s a good thing that he/she isn’t because otherwise I don’t think the doctor would be able to tell the man bits from the lady bits on the ultrasound. Anyone care to make a wager? So far the bets are all going for “girl.” I would give you a psychic mama hint, but so far I’ve dreamt Peanut was a girl, a boy, and a raccoon, so you can see how much I know.

And PS, here’s the trailer for that film:

0 Comments on “punk rock dads and peanut’s pants

  1. I thought you weren’t going to find out the sex?! Or have you changed your mind?

  2. FVM: Just a little more suspense.

    Jill: Heh? I never said anything about not finding out the sex. I’m all about finding out the sex. And excited as hell to finally know something about the being that has taken up residence in my stomach. 🙂

  3. Having been meaning to comment since a couple posts ago (just moved to Germany and am loving learning about the wagonplatz and you, and congrats on the little peanut).
    I think what you describe above is why punk rock moms are so awesome – they are the moms that other kids in the park want to play with because they get that mess and creating and play is a part of care. But being a dad seems to bring out different cultural stuff – and some culture stuff that butts up against or into and sometimes with punk. (Just the fact that you all are thinking about this will help with the transition!)

    And my baby prep tip is you is pick a song or a rhythmic story (just one) that you love, that you will never get tired of, and start singing it or telling it over and over again out loud to your belly now. It can be a song that you love or talks about your love or that is delightfully fun. Because there will be moments when you need a shared song, an anthem, when the world is so new or scary or exciting for peanut or for you. There will be something magic about whatever song you pick – it may clear a room, or make you both calmer after singing it, or just get you to the next moment.

  4. Hey Elaine!

    Where did you just move to? If you end up coming through Mainz, let me know…

    It seems the punk thing, or maybe even just the radical culture thing, has a lot of bumping points with the whole having kids things for both the mamas and the papas. I’ve heard a lot of radical (politically) folks in the last years talking about how having children is “wrong” with such insane overpopulation and are abstaining from doing so based on that thought. Not my line of logic, but hey, to each their own. Though I always think it’s a shame that more radical folks don’t have kids. Can’t let the catholic folks have all the fun (and pass on much more of their way of thinking) now can we?! 🙂

    Thanks for the tip as well. A couple of months ago I read about a family that always sang the baby bump the same song and then when they sung it right after the birth the baby instantly stopped crying and just stared in wonder. So of course I had to start right away. Our song has become You Are My Sunshine, which I enjoy changing the words to (the song is actually really sad and about being left, which you really just don’t realize at first with a title like that, and I just wanted it to be about love and the like, already have a tongue-and-cheek verse about baby-inspired sleep deprivation). Last night during band practice she started kicking during my favorite song, so it’s either her favorite song too, or she wanted us to shut the hell up and stop disturbing her sleep. Heh.

  5. I’m in Darmstadt, just south of Frankfurt.

    Awesome melody to play with and super awesome that you are making up verses – take that song out of the sad zone and make it yours.

    Personally, I am in the parenting as a radical political (and amazing) act camp. And if you are not directly involved with kids, I guess, the focus can stay on kids as consumers of resources. But being directly involved with little ones – it feels more like kids as sentient beings that can work together with you and challenge you to not just spout but BE.

    Now I understand why the most inclusive and least rigid groups always insisted on childcare at events.

    (If you get a chance – check out Rad Dad it’s a zine out of California – good winter reading)

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