(finding parenthood painfully funny)

Baby Mama’s Comedy Chieftan, Nicole Blaine, sits down with a funny, freedom fighting father. Perfect for this month’s Freedom issue, here is US Veteran, Dad, Step-Dad, and incredible Stand-Up Comic, Erik Knowles (37). Catch his stand-up comedy now, in Kuwait, as he travels to three different military bases entertaining the troops. Or right here, on your screen, while you are “working” at your desk.

BMama: Erik, where are you from? 
EK: I’m from a little town in Texas, called Kountze (pronounced coonts).  I have four kids, three of which are step kids. My youngest is 3 and a half, he’s my biological son.  His name is Lincoln.  My three step kids are my little princess, Rylee, who is 8; Colin, who is 12; and Cameron, who is 13.

BMama: Do your step children like you? 
EK: My step kids love me, for some reason.  They’ve been accepting of me almost from the very beginning.

BMama: What advice would you give to a person who wants to win over his partner’s kids? 
EK: I had a step dad growing up, so I know the things that can make a kid resent that step-parent.  I’ve never tried to replace their Dad, or speak ill of him.  I encourage them to talk to him if they have problems.  Even though I feel capable of solving some of their passing problems, I know it’s important for them to have that relationship with their own father.  They look up to me for being a Marine, and a comedian.  We play and laugh regularly.  We have a tradition in our house that the kids have dubbed, “Erik’s daily beating,” where we wrestle and roll around on the floor and I let them beat me up with over-the-top, Hollywood style fight scenes.

BMama: What’s the worst step-dad move you made?
EK: I’m sure I’ve made plenty of mistakes with the step-kids.  It’s hard to think of a particular one.  I know my manly pride has gotten in the way of correct parenting, at times.  I sometimes find myself in arguments with them about trivial things, which is stupid because you can’t win an argument with a kid that doesn’t want to lose.  At their ages, logic and facts don’t always apply.  The whole world is different when you’re a kid.  There are different rules and realities; they haven’t experienced all the boundaries of adult life, so it simply isn’t real to them.

BMama: How do you compare to your parents?
EK: I used to think I was so much different from them, but the older I get, I’m finding that I AM them in some weird, unescapable way.

BMama: How long did you serve as a US Marine?
EK: I served in the Marines for 5 years and 5 months after Stop Loss. At this moment, I’m in Kuwait traveling around to three different military bases entertaining the troops.

BMama: Did you ever see comics perform when you were serving? How did that feel?
EK: I saw comics performing at my base while I served, and that’s the first time I had the idea of doing that.  I remember being right here in Kuwait, back in 2003, thinking what it might be like to come back as a stand-up comedian to entertain the troops.  I quickly dismissed that thought as just another of my wild fantasies.  Being here this week has been surreal.  There has been equal parts laughter and tears for me.

BMama: What was the best part about being a Marine?
EK: Finding family.  At times growing up, my family felt like an equation that didn’t quite add up.  I have two brothers walking around somewhere on this Earth that I’ve never laid eyes on.  The Marine Corps seemed to solve that equation for me.

BMama: What is the worst part about being a parent?
EK: The worst part about being a parent is just that it’s a constant test.  A test of patience, stamina, sleep deprivation, a test of strength and resolve.  It’s a test you can’t walk away from.  But it’s a test that requires constant SELF evaluation, self inventory. The worst part brings about the best part: growth.  Personal, physical, mental, and spiritual growth.  I thank God every day for the kids He put into my life who have inadvertently made me a better man.

For more info on Erik Knowles: http://erikdubya.wix.com/erikknowles


Author: Nicole Blaine

Nicole Blaine has been a regular contributing writer to Baby Mama since its inception! Nicole and her producing and life partner, Mickey Blaine, executive produced the HBO comedy special, Quincy Jones: Burning the Light, and produce the hit show, Virgin Sacrifice, at the Westside Comedy Theater. As a stand-up comic, Nicole has been seen on NBC’s Today Show, E’s That Morning Show, The International FringeNYC Festival, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival. Nicole Blaine is (according to LA Weekly) “a remarkable performer with brains, beauty and rich comic delivery.” Nicole lives in Santa Monica with her husband and two kids. They all suck so she has great material. Her honest (and crass) observations showcase her (according to Backstage West) “humor, passion, dazzling charm and a naturalness that many performers, or even civilians, would kill for.” www.VirginSacrificeShow.com www.NicoleBlaine.com View all posts by Nicole Blaine

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