It seems like everywhere I go, somebody wants to contradict my parenting. When passers-by see my two-and-a-half-year-old son, Oscar, trip and fall they go to help him up while I’m trying to teach him to pull himself up on his own. His friends’ parents just assume I’m okay with him eating gluten. The Heteronormativity Enforcers keep asking him if he has a girlfriend. And worst of all, they ruin our special time: robbing liquor stores together.
“Isn’t a little late for such a little boy to be out?” they ask.
Wow. Just wow. They think I don’t monitor my son’s sleep just because he’s out at night? Oscar and I are out at 2 AM because daytime robberies can go bad really quick. So you see, I’m doing what’s best for him here.
“Is it safe for a little boy to hold a shotgun?”
Yes, guns can be dangerous, but I am not going to shield my son from all the dangers of this world. Rather than pretend life is just rainbows and ice cream, I have given him a shotgun. You think I don’t care about safety? I made it smaller for him by sawing off the barrel. And it’s pretty rich that you think I’m unsafe when you’re the one with a shotgun pointed at your knees.
“Please, here’s the money! Just go! I have a family!”
Is that suppose to imply that I don’t have a family? That just because I choose to incorporate my son into my life rather than leave him at home with a sitter, somehow your family is better than mine? Armed robbery is the only way Oscar and I feel truly alive and we will ride this tiger straight to Hell. But some people see us having a good time together and they just don’t understand. Would you believe someone actually called the police? The police! Just because my son was unsupervised for a few seconds while I was threatening the cashier. Go helicopter your own children! Oscar and I are doing just fine.
Also, yes, a toddler in a ski mask holding a sawed-off shotgun is adorable, but don’t record my son without my permission. It is an invasion of his privacy and a denial of his agency. He is not an object for your amusement; he is a trained outlaw who will never be taken alive.
Yes, yes: I know people mean well. We all want children to grow up happy and healthy, but give the benefit of the doubt to us parents that we just might know what’s best for our own kids. Please respect my decisions and let me raise my own child.
Now, hurry up and empty your wallets into Oscar’s Thomas the Tank Engine knapsack.