That time I asked Michael Ian Black to be my marriage and parenting counselor

By | February 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm | One comment | feature slider, Interviews | Tags: , , ,

Michael Ian Black is a lot of things. He’s an actor, a writer, an author of children’s books and of books for grown-ups; he’s a solid stand-up comedian with a pair of albums and a Comedy Central hour special to prove it; he’s a also a married guy with two kids. And it’s those last credits I was most interested in as I was preparing Laughspin‘s coverage on his memoir You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations, out Feb 28. Because here’s the truth: I’m 34, been married for six years and have two sons, ages 3 and six months (or so), and I’m losing my fucking mind.

So, what to do: Talk about my feelings to friends? Talk to my wife? See my therapist three times a week instead of just once? Start seeing a therapist? Start drinking heavily? No, to all of the above. I’ll tell you what you want to do. You ask Michael Ian Fucking Black for advice.

I’ve been married for six years and now have two sons— ages 3 years and 6 months. It’s nearly impossible for the wife and I to “get it on” in any organic fashion these days—what with the baby still in our room and the older one, who needs constant attention. Can you suggest some ways we can overcome this problem?
My suggestion would be to reacquaint yourself with your hand. That’s the best way to ensure you have sex when you want/need to do so. Young children and consensual adult sexual activity are almost mutually exclusive terms, so you’ve got to just deal with that fact. The good news is that even though you are probably having less sex than before the children, you are almost definitely also desiring sex less often, since when you have young children, it’s so much more enjoyable to sleep than to boink.

In order to get some alone time I, many times, go the bathroom – whether I have to drop a deuce or not – and just sit on the toilet with my laptop or iPhone. Sometimes I’ll stay in for 20 minutes or more. I have a feeling my wife is starting to catch on that I’m not really taking epic dumps. How else could I steal away some time for myself?
This is what I do: say you are running low on milk. Volunteer to get the milk. That way you get points for helping out but you also get some time to yourself. You can also do this with fixing the car, donating blood, helping orphans, rescuing dolphins, etc. Basically, anything that will get you away from your wife and children. The other thing you can do is drink some bad milk or something that you really do get sick. Then, for the next several weeks, you can claim illness and disappear into the crapper for hours at a time.

My wife and I really don’t allow toy guns in the house and we really discourage our older son from pretending to shoot or kill things. I, however, have been letting him watch Star Wars and Lord of the Rings since his birth. That’s ok, right?
It depends. Are you letting him watch the new Star Wars movies? Because that’s not okay. Everything else you’re doing is fine.

My 6 month old refuses to sleep through the night or take naps longer than an hour. It’s getting increasingly frustrating, especially after hearing so many other parents telling me that their little ones have been sleeping through the night since they were 3 months old. How would you suggest I get this kid to sleep?

There’s nothing you can do. Believe me, my kids were the same way and we tried everything. We rocked the kids, drove them around, let them stay up late, got them up early, gave them extra food and milk, everything. Nothing helped. They were up when they wanted to be, which was ALL THE FUCKING TIME. All you can do is steel yourself to the notion that your children are going to sleep when and how they want, and even when you scream at them that daddy is exhausted and will smother them with their pillow if they do not pipe down, they will not listen.

One of my greatest fears about getting married and having children has always been that I would turn into a fat-ass dad. I’ve always been a compulsive eater but I’ve been able to counter its effects with lots of cardio. Now, with two kids, its getting more difficult getting to the gym to stay thin enough so that I don’t feel like a horrible piece of shit. In lieu of the gym, what can I do to maintain a boyish figure?
It’s a lot harder to get exercise when you have kids. It’s also a lot harder to eat as well as you did before because they will not let you do anything so eating becomes a matter of shoving food down your face whenever you get a minute. Instead of trying to maintain your boyish figure, a better plan might be to allow yourself to gain the weight over the next few years and let the children know it’s their fault. That way, you get to eat your horrible foods, you don’t need to exercise, and you get to assign the blame to somebody else. That’s win/win/win.

Sometimes I’ll find my 3-year-old is flicking his pecker. He’s even exclaimed, “My penis is really big!” Now, I don’t want to discourage open discussion about genitals and stuff, but I also don’t want him to think it’s cool to start tugging on his junk at school or at a restaurant. I’m not sure how to react or what to say. How would you suggest I handle the situation next time I seem him examining his member?
I’m pretty sure most people understand that a three year old doesn’t understand the appropriate place to wank it. His body exploration is fine. When in public, try to distract him from his weenie by saying things like, “Look! There’s Thomas the Tank Engine!” After a few times of not seeing Thomas the Tank Engine, he will become so dispirited that he will begin to associate touching his penis with disappointment.

I haven’t started saving for my kids’ college tuition. Can I have $10,000 to get their education funds started?
Enclosed.**

You can pre-order You’re Not Doing It Right on Amazon.

**Michael Ian Black is a fucking liar.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

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