Episode 92: Bean Dad


Emily:                                      Hi, I’m Emily Ladau.

Kyle:                                        I’m Kyle Khachadurian.

Emily:                                      You’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall.

Kyle:                                        What are we going to talk about today, Emily?

Emily:                                      We’re going to talk about Bean Dad. I’m real sorry about it, but I’m not that sorry, because it’s super relevant.

Kyle:                                        Who, what, where is Bean Dad?

Emily:                                      We’re going to get to all that in a minute but first, I actually wanted to start on a bit of a happier note and give a shout out to one of our patrons on Patreon. Kensuke Nakamura is a super awesome human being who has been a patron of ours for a while and he reached out to us recently to share that they create audio described movie trailer. I had the chance to check out some of their work. I think it’s fantastic. I love that they’re working on creating access for blind people, and I’m really excited to be able to shout them out. If you are a patron or become a patron and have work that you would like us to shout out, how can they do that, Kyle?

Kyle:                                        They can go to patrion.com/theaccessiblestall. Just $1 a month and choose the current and future episodes of The Accessible Stall and remain accessible and who doesn’t like that?

Emily:                                      Whoa, what a good deal. But in all seriousness, we are glad to shout out Kensuke and we appreciate their support and we wanted to support them in their accessibility endeavor. We will link the audio described trailers in the show notes. Be sure to check that out because it’s super awesome. Now alas, I must return to talking about Bean Dad. I’m sorry.

Kyle:                                        Enlighten me, Emily. What is it a Bean Dad?

Emily:                                      Let’s just say that 2021 started off strong on social media with a complete jerk of a father, deciding that it was a great idea to tweet the saga of how he basically tortured his daughter into learning how to use a can opener. Twitter blew up. Social media was so angry at this person that last I checked, they deactivated their Twitter account because everyone and their mother was letting him know what a crappy parent he was. I think we should talk about it today because not only is it crappy parenting, it’s ableist parenting.

Kyle:                                        Isn’t it amazing how those two things tend to go together?

Emily:                                      Yes. I think it would help if we set up some context for people who are not wasting their life on Twitter.

Kyle:                                        All right. How should we do that? Should I just go and start reading it or do you want a Reader’s Digest version?

Emily:                                      Yes. Let’s do the Reader’s Digest, selected tweets, best, greatest hits kind of thing.

Kyle:                                        Okay. First you have the intro tweet, really sets this, sets the tone.

Emily:                                      Who’s this guy though? What’s his actual name?

Kyle:                                        His actual name is John Roderick and that’s okay for me to say, because he’s got a check mark next to his name so he’s some kind of public figure. Anyway, he writes this. He writes, “So yesterday my daughter, 9, was hungry and I was doing a jigsaw puzzle so I said over my shoulder, make some baked beans. She said how? Like all kids do when they want YOU to do it. So I said open the can and put it in pot. She brought me a can and said open it how? With a can opener. I said incredulous.” He goes on and on about how can openers are God’s gift to man and they are [00:04:00 inaudible] since sliced bread.

This nine-year-old who doesn’t know how to use a can opener, doesn’t know how to use a can opener, and she gets increasingly frustrated and they spend six hours trying to open a can. At some point during his jigsaw puzzled filled rant, he says that, “I should say that spatial orientation process visualization and order of operations is not things she intuits. I knew this would be a challenge, but it’s a rainy weekend, so, okay.” Emily, would you say there’s a lot to unpack here?

Emily:                                      Oh my God, for once in my life, I was not thinking that, but it’s so true. There’s so much to unpack.

Kyle:                                        Okay. We’ll obviously link this Twitter thread in the show notes, but I just want to say right off the bat, I’ll admit, I read this, I didn’t see the spatial awareness thing at first. What I did notice was the absolute egotistical tone that this person was writing in. It was his duty as a parent to treat every second with his daughter as a teachable moment and if he doesn’t teach this kid how to use a can opener, and if she doesn’t teach herself, excuse me, that he has failed as a parent because there’s no way he’s going to do it for her.

Emily:                                      It’s so frustrating all around and a lot of people that I’m connected with on Disability Twitter were immediately calling out the ableism in the whole situation, in addition to the other toxic parenting things.

Kyle:                                        It’s completely ridiculous.

Emily:                                      I guess the question is, is there value in trying to force your child into doing something? I just don’t think so. I don’t think that’s a good way to teach.

Kyle:                                        I think it could be, but not when they’re hungry. You can’t teach anybody anything when they’re hungry ever, especially a child.

Emily:                                      Although, not to the point of torture. If you keep reading on, she starts crying and getting upset and I feel like it goes from being a teachable moment to being a complete disaster.

Kyle:                                        Yeah. If after six hours your kid hasn’t gotten the can opened, you’re an asshole. You give them five minutes. Five minutes. That’s a long time to try and open a can especially if you don’t know how to do it. If they can’t do it after five minutes. Just do it for them and go, “See.”

Emily:                                      Yeah. It’s really frustrating to me. I think I’m going to use the word frustrating a lot in this, this assumption that if only you try hard enough, you can do something. Because if that was actually true, then I could walk and do cartwheels and be a gold medal freaking gymnast.

Kyle:                                        Just listen to this. “She knew this was a commonplace task and a common tool, but also that this was serious business. She knows her dad and the stock I put in these things. A more mechanically inclined kid might’ve figured it out in minutes. She factored to the scale, but was rightfully proud.” This is after she had opened the can. Way to kick her while she’s down. She did the thing after hours and hours and hours and the label’s falling off and your jigsaw puzzle is not done and all you can think to say is, “Well, I’m proud of her, but hey, if she were just a little smarter in this area of life, she could have figured it out in just a few minutes.”

Emily:                                      Yeah, and it really doesn’t take into account the fact that human brains vary and human abilities vary. If you’ve never seen someone do something before, it’s okay if you don’t know how to do it.

Kyle:                                        Just, I know I’m being petty, but do you know why most cans have pull tops now? It’s because can openers suck. They’re hard to use and then you cut your finger open when you take the lid off. They’re just awful. They’re not good.

Emily:                                      I don’t think I’ve ever successfully used a manual can opener. I don’t have the dexterity.

Kyle:                                        I barely do, but it takes a lot of mental effort. It’s funny to say that, because he’s right in that it is a very commonplace task. It’s one of those things that even I wouldn’t think would take me so much effort, but as soon as I pick it up and try to do it, it’s like, “Oh yeah, okay. Yeah, you’re right. There it is.”

Emily:                                      Yeah, it’s challenging.

Kyle:                                        Also, she’s nine. Nine-year-olds are… They are children. Children aren’t the most inclined people to begin with. God, it’s just so silly. It’s all of it, is just so stupid.

Emily:                                      Were you ever forced into doing something for the sake of learning? I’m very curious. I feel like perhaps this is where we should add a trigger warning because I know that for a lot of people, this literally turns into a conversation about abusive parenting.

Kyle:                                        Yes. Not in that way though. There was, I can’t recall a very specific thing, but I couldn’t walk very well growing up at all, worse than I do now. Just, I was not good at it and my parents would regularly force me to do it anyway. It was their way of doing PT. I was also going to proper PT and I’m glad they did that. But they also, if I really couldn’t do something, if I really couldn’t go up the stairs for the fifth time, they’d be like, “Okay, well you did it four other times so I guess you’re getting the motions.” They would never, ever keep me at the bottom of the stairs or at the top of the stairs. It’s a similar thing to, “Oh, well, you’re not getting dessert until you eat all your vegetables,” and then they don’t eat their vegetables and then they get sent to bed and for breakfast the next morning, guess what it is? It’s last night’s vegetables. They’ve never done that to me either.

Emily:                                      I feel like I think that’s only a thing people do in the movies, but I know that [00:10:17crosstalk]. I think it’s a real thing.

Kyle:                                        Their parents did that to them. I guess they thought they were doing me a favor, but I wouldn’t call it a favor, but they certainly felt like it was for sure. I think there’s virtue in kids… I’m doing air quotes, but “struggling” for certain things. There’s a difference I think, between struggling to figure something out and struggling because you can’t figure something out. If you see the gears in someone’s mind turning and you can be like, “Okay, they will eventually get this. It might take them a few minutes longer.” Yeah, let them figure it out but again, six hours and for what? A f*ing jigsaw puzzle? It’s just silly. It doesn’t sound real.

Emily:                                      You’re actually making a really interesting point though and this is not at all a defense of Bean Dad, because this is not what he did, but you’re making me think about how there’s a flip side to this, which is when there’s an assumption that a disabled person just cannot do something at all and so it’s immediately done for them instead of being patient and giving them the space to figure it out. Which is very different than what Bean Dad did, which was forcing his daughter to keep trying, even when it was clear that it was completely futile and the whole situation was a mess and she was hungry and she was tired and everything.

There’s definitely also situations where I feel like a disabled person isn’t even given the benefit of the doubt that they can do something and so there is no teachable moment because they just don’t assume the person had the abilities from the beginning. I’m just thinking this through now.

Kyle:                                        I remember my parents used to always, the way that they did anything close to this was that they wouldn’t let me get hurt. They would say, “Oh, don’t do that. You’ll get hurt.” I being a little rebel was like, “Yeah, I’m going to do it anyway.” Then I would get hurt and they’d be like, “Told you.” That’s what they would do. I remember distinctly when I was a very small kid, it wasn’t even anything physical, I was fascinated with putting things together and taking them apart.

I still am and there was an extension cord in front of my bathroom door and I just kept plugging it, re-plugging, un-plug it, re-plug it, and by the 150th time I did it, I got a little zap. Not enough to hurt me, but enough to startle me because I’ve never been shocked before. My dad just like looked up from his magazine. He was like, “Did that hurt?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “I told you not to do it.” I was a little kid so I thought, “Well, his head is behind the magazine so he can’t see me do that, so obviously he doesn’t know that I’m doing this,” but he did. That’s the most Bean Dadest thing that my parents ever did but…

Emily:                                      I’m quite sure that someone somewhere is going to yell child endangerment but honestly…

Kyle:                                        There was none of that.

Emily:                                      I think that there’s such a big difference between telling a child to do or not to do something and then letting them figure out why they should or should not do that on their own.

Kyle:                                        Just to be clear, they would never let me do anything really bad like put my hand over an open flame.

Emily:                                      Oh, of course. No, I’m just saying what the internet is probably going to start yelling.

Kyle:                                        They could have tried all they want. I was very good at hurting myself as a kid because I wanted to figure stuff out. By that same token, if Bean Dad was my dad and I was that kid, I would have found a knife in the kitchen and eventually stabbed the can but I don’t think that Bean Dad would have appreciated that very much because the child didn’t use a glorious gift of God can opener.

Emily:                                      Yeah. It sounds to me like the whole point was she needs to learn how to use this specific object and if she doesn’t, then I have failed as a parent.

Kyle:                                        It’s not good because if your kid is disabled, them finding out how to do a thing in a different way than it’s typical, is a whole bread and butter. That’s what we do.

Emily:                                      Yeah. That’s another good point. We adapt. We figure things out. Okay, fine. The manual can opener didn’t work. Maybe we need an automatic can opener. Maybe we need a pull top can. Sometimes things just don’t work and I can’t believe it hearkens back to this, but our very first episode was on all of the God-awful internet controversy, over things like pre peeled fruit, pre-peeled oranges and stuff and wrapping things in plastic. I feel like Bean Dad would be the type of person to be like, “That is so wasteful and how dare you buy a pre-peeled orange. You’re so lazy. Why can’t you just learn how to peel the orange?” It’s like, “Because my body doesn’t work like that so I’m going to find an alternative way to eat the orange.”

Kyle:                                        Yeah. That would have been my parents as a kid. I’m sure they wouldn’t agree with Bean Dad though, but they did want me to always be as normal as possible. They see now that that probably wasn’t the best thing, but honestly, I’m a lot better for it because they had the wrong idea in mind for the right reasons. Their whole thing was they didn’t want me to be outcasted for being different, which fine. They didn’t see virtue in being disabled as okay. They certainly do now. Now that I’m an adult, they don’t care but back then they wanted me to be as a typical as possible.

Emily:                                      Yes. I understand parents wanting to ensure that their children have a level of self-sufficiency, but I think that self-sufficiency looks different for different people. If it’s not accessible to you in one way, it doesn’t mean that being self-sufficient has to be inaccessible to you. It just means that we have to think about what our requirements are for this concept of independence and self-sufficiency.

Those very concepts are rooted in these ableist ideas of the fact that every person, everybody is able to do things exactly the same way and thinks in the same way and moves in the same way and learns in the same way, and we don’t. We all have different ways of doing things. For me, self-sufficiency looks less like figuring out how to use the can opener and more like buying something that I can open.

Kyle:                                        Me too. It’s unfortunate because I do think that there are a lot of parents, as much as he was getting ratio to hell, I’m sure that they weren’t all hateful comments. I’m sure that there was a whole bunch of parents who loved it up to a point.

Emily:                                      Yeah. I saw a child therapist or someone who identified as being a child therapist, I don’t know if I believe anyone on Twitter, but they were like, “I’m a child therapist and I think this is a great teachable technique.” I was just like, “I hope everyone stops sending their children to you because, no.”

Kyle:                                        Yes. forcing your kids to learn something is completely… There’s value in that but then you take it past an extreme, which I would say extreme is way before six hours. Honestly, that’s just ridiculous.

Emily:                                      I think he thought that he was avoiding coddling her, but he took it into this harmful extreme that’s honestly going to haunt her now.

Kyle:                                        I think he just wanted to finish his jigsaw puzzle.

Emily:                                      I think he just wanted a good Twitter story. Somebody I saw tweeted; Bean Dad could have just not tweeted that and everything would be okay. The reality is that even if he didn’t share his obnoxious story, parents are still like this all the time. I think it gets to the point of being really harmful and problematic. It’s not a cute parenting story. It’s, “I tormented my kid because I thought it was good for them.”

Kyle:                                        Yeah. The other thing too is I can’t imagine, actually I can. We’ve all been a frustrated kid at a parent before, but at some point, she was asking her dad for help and the dad made it very clear that he knew how to work at can opener and so when she would say… she would offer up alternative, she at one point she was like, “I’m going to hit it with a hammer.” He was like, I’m not quoting any more, but he was like, “That’s not going to work.” It’s like, “Okay, so, you know, that’s not going to work, but then you won’t help me use this can opener.”

Emily:                                      It actually reminds me more so of what it’s like in school when you don’t understand a concept and a teacher thinks that the best way for you to understand the concept is for them to just force it on you. If only you keep trying, you’ll get it and sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. Sometimes it does and that’s great. I think we need to acknowledge that some people just learn at different speeds and we need to be patient, but there is a difference between being, “Okay, you’ll get it if you keep trying, I can see you’re making progress,” versus, “It sucks for you that you don’t know how to do this math homework, but I’m going to make you sit there until you finish it.”

Kyle:                                        It’s funny you brought up math homework. I was thinking of the mean stereotypical English teacher and it’s like, “Hey, can I go to the bathroom?” Then they go, “May I… May you use the bathroom?”

Emily:                                      Yeah. Also, a real thing.

Kyle:                                        In this analogy, she’s hungry. Have you ever tried to do anything when you’re hungry? I don’t know. Maybe I’m weird, but when I’m really hungry, I can’t even focus on anything and don’t forget, she’s nine.

Emily:                                      People were also going off on him for the whole six hours of not eating thing and he was like, “She’s fine. She had a full breakfast.” If you really want to read into that, first of all, being able to eat is a privilege. Being denied it is a terrible thing to do and can wreak havoc on you. There’s literal studies done on how children have trouble learning if they show up to school hungry. If nothing else, there’s science behind this.

Kyle:                                        Yeah, well. This guy, he writes like he treats science as a religion. Someone should a link him to those studies. I swear. It was like Ayn Rand porn. It was like Atlas Shrugged, but in a Twitter thread. It was just so incredibly just gross.

Emily:                                      I also feel like we need to point out the fact that this John Roderick guy, co-hosts a podcast with Ken Jennings and everyone is mad at Ken Jennings.

Kyle:                                        Right. Yeah. I love Ken Jennings. I really wish he didn’t say that sh*t. I really wish he would just not and he keeps defending every time. It comes up twice a year and every time it does, he keeps defending it and it’s like, “Stop. How many times do you have to be told you’re wrong before you have to admit it to yourself? You’re such a smart guy.”

Emily:                                      I feel like we need to point to the fact that he consistently gets called on ableism for a tweet he sent out in 2014, something about how there’s nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.

Kyle:                                        It started a Twitter hashtag by Annie Segarra. Remember that #HotPersonInAWheelchair?

Emily:                                      That’s right. Also, that’s not his only horribly ableist tweet either.

Kyle:                                        No, I know it’s not. I know. That’s just his famous one.

Emily:                                      I’ve seen people dig up his archives. This is a repeated pattern for him and Bean Dad is racist and antisemitic and homophobia [00:22:33 crosstalk].

Kyle:                                        I saw that. It was like, “Oh wow. It really just doesn’t stop. Does it?” I’m of the opinion, broadly speaking, that somebody shouldn’t be really responsible for something that they said that long ago. We’ve all learned and changed. However, there’s a limit and let me tell you, Bean Dad crossed that limit boy. Oh my God.

Emily:                                      So did Ken Jennings. It’s so clear that they haven’t learned from it. If you say something horrible and you have clearly evolved and changed your ways, I’m probably maybe willing to give you the benefit of the doubt but my God, Bean Dad and Ken Jennings keep digging their own holes.

Kyle:                                        Ken Jennings just, it breaks my heart because I’m a huge fan of his and it’s, I just, I wish he would just be like, “You know what? You’re right. It’s not that hard.” Just swallow your pride.

Emily:                                      I don’t even know how you separate that enough to be a huge fan of him.

Kyle:                                        I’ll tell you exactly how. It’s because I’m not the kind of person who, when I like a celebrity, I just, that’s it. I don’t follow them on Twitter. I don’t follow them on Instagram. It’s because I know that if I do, I’m going to find something horrible that’s like, “Oh God.”

Emily:                                      They always [00:23:47 crosstalk] heroes.

Kyle:                                        No, I’m serious. I’m so serious. It’s, I can appreciate you for your art. I can appreciate Ken Jennings because he’s really good at Jeopardy and I love Jeopardy, but I don’t think I’d like to meet him in person.

Emily:                                      Kyle really does love Jeopardy.

Kyle:                                        I don’t think I’d like to meet him in person as much as I once thought I would, because of that. Does that mean that I can’t still love him on the show? No. I do, but it also doesn’t mean that I am excited to meet him anymore. Not that I ever had the chance, but still, it’s just one of those things.

Emily:                                      Nah, I get it. It’s challenging when you already like someone and then you find out that they’re really problematic, but I suppose you can appreciate him for his skill on Jeopardy and Jeopardy is a fun show but Bean Dad is not fun.

Kyle:                                        Let’s not forget where we… Yeah, I know. I just want to point out to all of you listening that if his daughter were non-disabled, I mean, we might not be talking about it on this show, but it’s not like we would suddenly approve of it either. You know what I mean? It’s not like we’re only harping on this because she’s disabled. We’re harping on it on the show because she is disabled but if Emily and I saw that and that part of that tweet wasn’t there, we would still be mocking this guy and saying how sh*t he is.

Emily:                                      Yeah. I think that’s really important to note. Also, I don’t think that you need to be a disabled person to experience the effects of ableism.

Kyle:                                        Certainly not.

Emily:                                      I think that ableism is something that can affect people more broadly just because we have these very rigid ideas of what people can and cannot do or should and should not be able to do. Whether or not Bean Dad’s daughter had actual diagnosed learning disabilities or not makes no difference. He was still in the wrong, but on top of that, it’s very clear if he knew enough about her to point out that she has these particular learning issues.

That makes him even worse because he’s aware of the issue and think that you can somehow just overcome a disability if only you try hard enough. It’s like the mentality that, Stella Young makes a joke in her TED Talk about how no amount of smiling is going to turn stairs into a ramp. A positive attitude is not going to change an inaccessible situation. Why do we, as a society act like we can just smile and try harder and that will fix everything? Or not even fix everything because then there are these assumptions that a disabled person is broken, which they’re not.

Kyle:                                        No, but you can fix the world around you. I don’t know, for example, with maybe a pull tab on the top of your can, so that you wouldn’t need a can opener. We all know the importance of universal design, but my point is that this guy shunned them as if they were bad. I guess in his story, it’s a stark contrast to what he’s trying to teach his daughter. I get that but it is only another way to open the can. It doesn’t harm you if they exist. It’s just a way to make something easier for some people.

Emily:                                      Right. There’s more than one way to do something and I think that we tend to forget that and that really frustrates me because I know that I have to figure out different ways of doing things because that’s just how it is. That’s how my body works.

Kyle:                                        Both hands [00:26:56 inaudible], is a jigsaw puzzle more important to you than your child? I’m not even a parent. I’m pretty sure the answer is no.

Emily:                                      I really just think that he must be one of those guys who thinks it’s a good, funny idea to come up with these parenting anecdotes and then put them on the internet.

Kyle:                                        I don’t know this guy, I don’t know his life, but not every single thing has to be a teachable moment either. We talk about that all the time, but just because your kid doesn’t know how to do something or just because your kid encounters a situation that they’ve never been in before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your only goal should be to step away. I don’t think that everything short of extreme danger or whatever necessarily has to be something that you have to learn or you have to thrive. The best thing that makes us… the best thing about people is that we rely on each other. If we put you in the woods to forge on your own, you’d be dead in an hour or I would, I don’t want to speak for you, but how was she going to learn how to be a person if she has to…? I’m getting way too far.

Emily:                                      No, you’re right. Part of being a human being is understanding that we can be interdependent and that’s okay. That the way that our society works means that nobody really functions as a truly single entity. We all rely on something or someone other than ourselves for survival purposes and that’s okay.

Kyle:                                        Is Bean Dad really a true individualist if he’s using a can opener? I mean, couldn’t he invent his own way to open a can that someone else…? He’s getting help. I’m exaggerating but…

Emily:                                      No, from every angle, there’s something wrong with it and I’m actually very interested in hearing more takes from the disability community. So far, every single one that I’ve seen has basically pointed to the fact that this ableist and harmful and not how you teach a child to succeed. I find myself wondering if there are disabled people with different takes, because we can’t say that we speak for every disabled person.

On the whole, my hope is that the story was a teachable moment for a lot of people to take a step back and realize that maybe they’ve done this to someone too, and maybe they won’t do that next time. Maybe they’ll find a better way to teach. Maybe they’ll find a better way to help someone or to explain something or to make sure that someone learns something. I’s not that hard to be a decent person.

Kyle:                                        Really not. I will say the only time that… I’m trying to think of very specific memories and I don’t have them, but my parents would do that to me if, and only if that they knew that everything I needed was within my space, but that wasn’t even the case here. Because even if she managed to get the can opened in a reasonable amount of time, she still has to cook them or something. I’m just saying it’s just too much. It’s too much.

Emily:                                      Starting off 2021 was too much.

Kyle:                                        Hey, it was quite the start, right? I didn’t see it coming.

Emily:                                      It only took what? 72 hours. When was that happening? Over the weekend?

Kyle:                                        Yeah. Get your 2021 bingo cards ready kids. Bean Dad is the free space.

Emily:                                      I feel like this might’ve been the most anti-climactic new year’s ever.

Kyle:                                        I’m so grateful for that though. You know how done I was with 2020?

Emily:                                      How?

Kyle:                                        I watched the ball drop in New York. Then again, Seattle. I watched it twice. My 2020 ended two times.

Emily:                                      Where did you watch it, on YouTube?

Kyle:                                        Mmhm.

Emily:                                      Yeah, we watched it in New York because I’m in New York, so that makes sense but the hour before my mom accidentally got her heat pack trapped in her wheelchair wheels and so we spent the hour leading up to the new year, basically vacuuming up a million little beads.

Kyle:                                        It’s an allegory for 2020.

Emily:                                      Basically, yeah. The beads are everywhere. The vacuum is not controlling them. The vacuum is Donald Trump.

Kyle:                                        I’m sorry. I’m just looking at the Bean Dad thread again. He calls out the brand of the can opener the swing away can opener as if it’s some Holy grail, like it’s the Coca-Cola of can openers. It might be. I don’t know because I don’t have a**hole for can openers.

Emily:                                      Maybe it’s a very specific type of can opener, but I got to tell you, I am not up on my can opening college.

Kyle:                                        I Googled it. It looks like every other can opener I’ve ever seen. It’s fine.

Emily:                                      Just get an automatic can opener and call it a day. Come on Bean Dad, you suck.

Kyle:                                        Yeah. You could use all your jigsaw puzzle money. Those are expensive. The higher piece count you can get, it adds up.

Emily:                                      Deep breaths, everyone. 2021 is off to a great start.

Kyle:                                        That kid is going to tell that story in therapy. That kid is going to get a full ride to some school somewhere.

Emily:                                      Because that’s what her college admissions essay is going to be about. “My dad was Bean Dad.”

Kyle:                                        She’s going to deserve it.

Emily:                                      It’s funny. I meant to mention that before. Not everything needs to be put on the internet, including your child’s struggles. Despite what you may think, your children are not constant fodder for the internet, stop it. I mean within reason.

Kyle:                                        Hunger doesn’t have to be the struggle. I know what I said before, but a virtuous way to struggle for a kid is getting them off the ground after they fall off a bike or learning how to deal with your first breakup or something like that or learning how to do a new thing but you can’t and I can’t, I said this before, and we both have said this before, but you can’t do that when you’re hungry for six hours, it just doesn’t work that way.

Emily:                                      It only took me the whole podcast as usual to think of a time when I was parented right back on to the horse, if you will, falling off the horse and getting back up. When I first started driving, I had been evaluated incorrectly and I was using hand controls in the wrong way. The positioning was switched. I should have been doing gas and brake with my left hand and steering with my right but instead I was steering with my left and doing gas and brake with my right, if you follow all that.

There’s definitely, you’re supposed to be using a setup that’s right for you and that was not the right setup for me and so I proceeded to drive into a fence, into a ditch, into some trees and almost into a synagogue. Yeah, I would have just been part of their Friday night services. Horrible. You can laugh. I know you’re laughing. Go right ahead. It’s funny.

Kyle:                                        I’m trying not to.

Emily:                                      I can talk about it now. It’s no big deal.

Kyle:                                        Yeah, now you can drive. I don’t know why I’m holding back my laughter. You’re fine. You’re here.

Emily:                                      I did plenty of other really not great things while driving. I’m not the best driver, sorry, my grandma’s listening to this, but no, I’m a fine driver, but everyone makes mistakes on the road but not with the big one. After the police pulled me out of the car, which was in a ditch, I was crying and I was like, “I am never driving again. I’m not cut out for this.” My dad was like, “Yeah, no, you’re going to get back behind the wheel of that car.” I was like, “I don’t want to, I don’t want it. This is not for me.” He was like, “Nope, you are going to get back behind the wheel of the car and you’re going to drive.” He was right.

That was absolute torture, also dangerous and life-threatening but in that case, I really do think my dad knew what was best for me because he could have shown up in that moment and to rescue me from the scene of the accident and be like, “Yeah, you’re never driving again,” but instead he was like, “Nope, we’re just going to force you to get back behind the wheel of a car and you’re going to get comfortable and you’re going to deal with it.”

I don’t think that’s akin to Bean Dad. I think that’s different. I think that was my dad believing in me. Obviously, if I had really been uncomfortable, he would have not forced it, but he saw that I was making progress and he knew that I could do it if I set my mind to it, because I had already showed that I could, I just needed more practice.

Kyle:                                        What? You mean your dad didn’t tell you to get the car out of the ditch yourself and then fix it?

Emily:                                      Yeah, right.

Kyle:                                        He and Bean Dad would definitely not get along.

Emily:                                      Yeah, no. He was just happy I was okay, but he told me to get right back on that driving horse and I did, but no, I did not have to pull the car out of the ditch by myself with my bare hands and then fix it using all of my mechanic skills. What’s your final takeaway, Kyle?

Kyle:                                        I will be a better parent than Bean Dad because I will not do that and I just want to thank him for showing me exactly what not to do. It’s very helpful because I’m somebody that even when I read instructions, sometimes I get really confused and frustrated. I need to have a hands-on experience, like this child with the can opener. This painted such a vivid picture that I could really see it in my mind and I’m like, “Man, that’s such a great thing not to do.” I just want to thank Bean Dad for that and I really appreciate it.

Emily:                                      Yes. What a great lesson on how not to parent. I think my final takeaway is a reminder that everybody learns differently and everybody is different and that’s okay.

Kyle:                                        Don’t be a Bean Dad.

Emily:                                      That’s my motto for 2021.

Kyle:                                        Sounds like a good idea.

Emily:                                      Anyway, this has been another episode of The Accessible Stall. I’m Emily and that’s Kyle and might we say…

Kyle:                                        You look so good today. Today is your best quarantine outfit yet.

Emily:                                      Honestly, the best. Those sweat pants; really doing you justice.

Kyle:                                        That hair is fabulous.

Emily:                                      We love that you haven’t showered in three days.

Kyle:                                        Really adds to your overall aura. Good night everybody.

Emily:                                      Thanks for listening. Bye.