Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stay at Home? Dad!

I sort of hate idioms.  I know (know? aren't you begging the question?...we'll get to that) language is relative, so I should embrace them.  For instance, I feel like I constantly hear people say, "...which begs the question..."  They mean it leads to the question.  Begging the question is a logical fallacy in which an unproved conclusion serves as a premise of an argument (such as stating that knowing language is relative as a premise instead of a conclusion).  Upon occasionally correcting such misuse, I have been told the incorrect use is an idiom, and I should get over it.  I know what you're thinking now.  "Since language is relative, in universe Z47, 'begging the question' was never a logical fallacy.  It was always another way of saying 'which leads to the question.'  Therefore you need to get over it."  No.  We are not in universe Z47.  We are in universe D286, which is a universe where begging the question is a logical fallacy.  The point of language is communication, and if I can't refer to an extremely well-established fallacy without the risk of equivocation, then there's no point to language.

What's the point, you ask?  A common expression for those of us who don't work so we can take care of our kids is Stay-at-Home Parent.  For me, this is a major misnomer.  I hate staying at home.  I don't hate hanging out with my kids.  But we always go do stuff.  It doesn't matter what.  I would literally volunteer for anything to avoid being stuck in the house.  For instance, if Erika called and said, "The Ministry of Health called and they need a family representative to go do our family's annual rectal exam," I would immediately volunteer to be the family representative.  It's something for us to go do.  I understand that this phone call would only take place in some sort of Orwellian dystopia (and even in that case, I'm not sure what purpose one member of a family representing their entire family's rectums would serve, but nightmarish future governments rarely make sense anyway)(also, how did Orwell get a corner on the dystopian reference market.  1984 is rad, but there are lots of other great works of a similar nature.  I've never heard a reference to a Huxleyian or Gilliamian (which sounds awesome) future.  It must be an American thing, because we're so afraid of communism.  Plus, how does it always refer to 1984?  What if I said Orwellian dystopia and I meant a future where animals ran the government?  I would have to explain myself, which defeats the purpose of such an expression.  Sheesh), but if it did, I would do it.

Here's the problem.  I don't know what to do with my kids when we just hang around the house.  I could teach them things, but I think that's best left to the suits in Washington.  So we go do stuff.  In the Denver library system, you can request items and have them delivered to your nearest branch.  Instead, we go to whichever branch where the item lives.  It's something to do.

I also don't enjoy "Full-Time Parent" because it implies that parents who work are not full-time parents.  My proposition?  Unemployed parent.  I know this doesn't work for parents who work part-time or something, but I don't.  I don't have any responsibilities other than my kids and the kitchen.  So that's it.  I'm an unemployed parent.

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