How To Raise A Family Of Women | HumorOutcasts

How To Raise A Family Of Women

March 31, 2015


I’m completely screwed.

White Wedding DressI have three daughters. Besides the obvious joy that statement brings, it also means several other things: I have no hair, I’m never right, there will be three colleges, three weddings, and consequently, I will never retire.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things along the way that I am happy to pass on to you younger fathers. Let’s start with the most basic thing: no matter how advanced your education, you are a guy and therefore you know nothing. You are someone who hangs around the house, says things no one listens to, hands out money, and changes light bulbs. Very little is expected of you.

It is your job as a dad not to understand, and to be a smart ass. Kind of freeing, isn’t it?

Baby_pigletsNow, here is how you use that to your advantage. Start early. At the tender age of 5, one of my girls hit me with the dreaded question, “How are baby pigs made?” I got the much older than her years stink-eye when I told her, “Well, baby pigs are the by-products of the Oscar Meyer factory, and that’s why it’s so good to eat lots of bacon.”

Carry this throughout their educational years. I’m going to warn you now. They start pre-calculus in 7th grade. 7th freakin’ grade! Holy crap. I don’t even remember my 7th grade teacher’s name, let alone how to find the derivative in a differentiation formula.

mathequationSo when they head towards you with that bible-sized math book and a furrowed brow, answer their question with, “Huh? What? Uh, hang on. I’ll help you, but I have something in the garage that I have to do,” and never come back until after midnight.

They have friends, they have the internet, they have a mother – they’ll figure it out, and be better for doing it. Or spend the rest of your life in one night trying to relearn all the math you ever learned, but in a completely different way, only to be told “your doing it wrong,” and then watching them cry. Your choice.

Deflect. Always deflect. Learn from my mistakes, Grasshopper.

If your lovely wife leaves the house to have an actual well-deserved moment to herself, and your daughter hits you with the dreaded bra shopping request that can’t wait five flippin’ minutes for your wife to return (and this will happen), then tell the little sweetie to “arrange a sleepover with your best friend and ask her mom; she’s got big boobs.” I guarantee that will be the last time you field that question.

Damaged_car_doorIf one of your older daughters constantly wants to borrow the car to go to movies with friends, or to put more dents in the quarter panels, tell her she can’t have the keys to the car because “I don’t feel it is safe for you to drive. It has an internal bi-lateral vortex server malfunction and I’m waiting for a very expensive part from Swedenheim.”

Stop worrying. They’ll be fine. These are kids that can live entirely on a diet of Chipotle and In N Out. They can conduct 654 texts per hour, “date” a boy while hanging out with a bunch of other boys and they’re all fine with it, and fix all of your high-tech gadgets just by lookin’ at ’em. Their brains are firing on all cylinders. Yours? Not so much.

So don’t try to exceed expectations. You’ll only fail. Just listen to them, try not to understand them, coach their softball teams, buy them junk food, tell them to do the opposite of what you really want them to do, and hang around the house. That’s what they want.

And change the occasional light bulb for them.


Forrest Brakeman

Forrest is a former stand-up comedian, half of the ancient comedy team of Proops & Brakeman. After training with the Groundlings, he founded the improv comedy group Los Angeles Theatresports where he performed and served as Co-Artistic Director. Forrest has performed at The Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, The Punch Line and Cobb's Pub in San Francisco, and has appeared on The Tonight Show and The Sunday Comics. His essays have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy/The Mid, Boomer Cafe, the Los Angeles Daily News, NPR's "This I Believe," and the Chicago Cubs Yearbook (you heard me).

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14 Responses to How To Raise A Family Of Women

  1. April 2, 2015 at 6:21 am

    The reason I had two daughters?

    I didn’t want three.

    • April 2, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Good night everybody! Thanks for coming!

      You are wise beyond your years.

  2. Laura
    April 1, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    So just so you know, your tricky little facebook link was the only way I could get here. It kept saying “server not found” when I tried to go in the through HumorOutcasts, so good on you for that! Now, as far as family dynamics, we are distributed evenly gender-wise in our family: my daughter is the oldest and my son is 6 years years younger. It was all well and good for many years, until my daughter left for college. The last 3 years, as my son’s gotten older and my husband has moved up the food chain in his job, I have been increasingly on the outs. Now I am reduced to grocery shopping, laundry, lunch making, pick ups and drop offs, homework checks and organizing sports gear. I cannot give any advice regarding baseball, mainly because I don’t know what I’m talking about, but also because my husband is an ex-college baseball player and coach, and if I say anything, both my son and husband look at me for just one moment (if that long), and then continue on in their discussion, as if I hadn’t said anything at all. I’m okay with it though. I mean, do they know anything about iambic pentameter? Hell no! So there. But anyway, the thousand yard stare I get from both these gentlemen whom I share a tiny house with, is enough to drive me to drink. Or theatre. Or both. My cat is no help, because he’s a fixed male, and he’s pissy with me anyway because I put him outside daily. Occasionally I get enough time with my daughter to offset the balance, but not enough because she’s 22 and a college senior who is not prone to long talks with Mommy on the phone. She has DUCK games to go to, and vodka parties to organize. So, it’s just me and the guys, with me swallowing my tongue, or getting laughed out of the living room. But hey! I still have a good head of hair, so I got that goin’ for me! Thanks for the great article Forest! There is power in numbers, and you are not alone!

    • April 2, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Yup. You’re husband has it aaaaaallllllll figured out 😉

  3. Bill Y Ledden
    April 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    No imaginary daughter of mine is going to learn pre-calculus. She’ll jump straight into after-calculus and learn how to use Google. If she wants proof, she can look at the label on my bottle of whiskey.

    Exactly Forrest, this is why I don’t have real kids.

    • April 2, 2015 at 12:33 am

      You won a long time ago, Mr. Y Ledden. Plus you have all your money. And your booze.

  4. Bill Spencer
    March 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for the enlightenment, most wise Master.

    • March 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      You are very welcome. Somebody should benefit from my screw-ups. Now, has anyone seen the remote?

  5. March 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Too funny. You are wellspring of excellent advice. 🙂

    • March 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      There’s no manual out there for a dad with three girls. Not that I’d read it anyway – I am a guy. I’m just trying to help some other poor bastard.

  6. March 31, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Although we only have one daughter, I made sure we always got girl dogs to keep the power balance in our favor. My husband began to lose his hair when my daughter hit 13. HA HA! Great post!

    • March 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      The dog and the cat are boys. Sometimes we just look at each other and shake our heads.

  7. March 31, 2015 at 10:22 am

    This all sounds like great advice Forrest!

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