Townie Guide to... baby daddying

Townie Guide to... baby daddying

Richard W. Daley, photographer, fathersome figure

Years in Lawrence: Eleven years, with six months back in Overland Park plus six months in Chicago. I don't remember much of those days so I care not to count them.

How much of a damper does having a child put on your pimping ways? Or is it easier to pick up women with an adorable tot at your side? Don't worry, I won't tell your wife...

Fortunately my wife hates and there is no way she'll ever read this, so I can be totally honest. It helps to have a really cute kid and not everyone is as lucky as I am-Maya is beautiful and women love her. If I knew back in high school the power of selection a cute kid brings, I would've had one 14 years ago and scored a better date to my senior prom. Hindsight is always 20/20. What can you do?

What are some activities you and Maya do together? Has she mastered co-op fragging in Halo 3?

Maya is a cold-blooded Master Chief. I can't keep up with her. She has already beat the game so we're just waiting for the release of Grand Theft Auto in 2008. Until then we will fill our time with spin art, painting, reading Dr. Seuss, playing guitar and watching movies.

Is having a child similar to having a pet, except that the state frowns upon training her to use the backyard as a restroom?

We have a pretty tall fence, so using the backyard hasn't been too much of an issue. Maya likes me a lot more than our pets, so already she's better than them in every way. I can't imagine anyone or anything bringing me more joy than Maya. Pets just make my house smell like pee.


Are there any bars in Lawrence that you can sneak Maya into? If so, what's her favorite cocktail?

As social as she is, I'm hesitant to take her out just yet. She hasn't developed a social filter yet, so I'm sure she would get us into trouble. Maya is only 3, so we have some time before any of this is an issue.

Is Lawrence a good place to raise kids?

Sure. The preschool Maya goes to is the best reason to raise a kid in Lawrence. I would name it here but after my first few answers here they may not be too keen on that. Ah, screw it-it's The Little Red School House. I try and emulate Lawrence's most famous father, Hugh Beaumont-a.k.a. Ward Cleaver-in my everyday parenting practices. Fair, balanced, understanding, and impeccably dressed with perfect hair.

Do you fear that, having grown up in Lawrence, Maya will become a liberal arts grad with a taste for PBR and unemployment?

Every day. God forbid she becomes a film school grad and spends 10 years 'finding herself.' Yikes.

What's the hardest part about raising a kid?

Too many things to list. It is better to enjoy every second together and not get bogged down in the paralyzing fear parenthood brings.

OK-what's the best part? Other than the tax breaks, of course...

I can't pin it down to one thing. I can say that the greatest moment of my life was holding her for the first time just after she was born. Nothing I will ever experience could ever top that moment, and I am so thankful every day to have her. Kids make life better, even for a sarcastic jerk like me.


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