I was recently diagnosed with a fairly severe case of chronic WKAK – Want (to) Kill A Kid.  The medical term for this incurable, insidious affliction is “IWarnedYouIWasGoingToKillOneOfYouAsAnExampleSomeday.”  One in six fathers ages 35-44 will get it.  I have six children.  Do the math…

Luckily, I caught it in time.  I want to share what I’ve learned over the past 16 years in the hope it will help others, especially new dads, avoid it or at least lessen its impact.

Causes include:

  • Having said the same thing to the same people for the 1000th time – “Are you really playing ball in the house AGAIN…?”
  • Broken televisions – See “Are you really playing ball in the house AGAIN…?”
  • Being blamed for not saying something 1001 times – “But you didn’t say not to play ball in the house THIS time…”
  • S*** rolling downhill – First-born messes with #2, who takes it out on #3 and it flows down the line.
  • No refunds on the Magic Refrigerator – You know the model, you fill it, close the door, open the door and it’s empty.  Again.
  • Kids who don’t ever stop eating – See above.

Symptoms include:

  • Pretending you don’t hear them calling your name, hoping they’ll just leave you alone –  (“Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad.  DAD!”).
  • Fantasizing about locking them outside in the rain – But not if there’s lightning.
  • Sounding like your parents – “I brought you into this world…”
  • Telling kids to just “hit them back.” – Doesn’t teach the best lesson in the world, but eventually the point will get across.  My younger brother took me out once when I was 14.  Haven’t touched him since.

Treatments include:

  • Yard Work – For them, not you.
  • Confiscation of electronic devices – Like ibuprofen it’s temporary but it works wonders.
  • The 40/100 Rule – You get a full-time job, you get a full vote.  Otherwise, deal with it.
  • Remembering that these same kids are the best proof that you can do something right and that you wouldn’t trade them for anything, at least not permanently…