(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

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