Swearing Devotion

Author Drew Magary tries to understand his adorable @*&# kids

June 13, 2013
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Drew Magary’s daughter, 7, already knows how to get a rise out of her dad. Her favorite word for a while was “faka” — which Magary interpreted as kidspeak for one of the words he uses most in his work as an author and blogger.

Magary, a married Bethesda father of three, writes for the sports site Deadspin (including a column called “Dadspin”), as well as for Gawker and GQ (for whom he recently braved a Kid Rock concert cruise). He shares his misadventures in parenting in a new book, “Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood.”

Seriously, why would anyone choose to become a parent?
I get questions from readers: “Why would I have kids? Why would people do this to themselves?” But there’s a reason everyone still does it. In the end you look back and you’re very proud of all the [expletive] you went through to make that person grow.

Yours is one of many recent “bad parent” books. Do you think they resonate more now for some reason?
It’s a whole subgenre now. Moms who like wine! Moms who swear! “I’m talkin’ real: My kids piss me off.” The Internet has given parents another avenue to embarrass their children. But I think kids have frustrated their parents forever. I think the frustration is kind of the point. If raising kids were easy, you probably wouldn’t love ’em as much. I know that sounds weird, but the process and intensity and all the difficulty and the hard work you put into it — that IS the love.

Your wife is a stay-at-home mom, and you work from home. Do you have trouble balancing work and family?
If there’s a crisis during the day, my wife will come into my office and tell me, “I need you to scrape the kid off the ceiling,” or whatever, and I do. By 8:30 or 9 a.m., I’m ready to be left alone to work. I mean, sometimes they’re very cute. You can come out, kiss their heads, have a little kid break. Then I go sprinting back into the office.

You’re unflinchingly honest in this book about the hard parts of raising kids. Are you worried about them reading it someday?
Even though I say in the book that I’m frustrated about my kids, I never say, “I would like to sell them. I’d like to put them in a bag and throw them in the river.” It’s honest about the anger and frustration, but ultimately you love them and all that cliched stuff.

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Fiona Zublin · June 13, 2013