Since we’re not getting any Dan/Amy until next year I just wanna babble about some headcanons of them as parents. A lot of ppl, understandably, made remarks about how awful they would be as parents. I agree that they probably won’t be great for their kid’s mental health. But personally, I don’t believe that the kid will suffer from the neglect that Catherine went through.
Firstly, I actually think that Amy would be a pretty great mother. Yes, she’s nervous/uncomfortable around random kids. But I don’t think she would ever be neglectful with her own kid. She tries to seem cold/detached but in truth, she feels things very intensely and just wants someone she can love with that intensity. And she’s been giving lots of indications of wanting to settle down and start a family for a while.
But ok… here’s how I think Dan and Amy could be harmful towards their kid: With how competitive Amy and Dan are I think they would probably mess up the kid by being too demanding of him/her. I can see them both (though Dan even more so) wanting their kid to be better than all the other kids in school. I can even imagine Dan taking great offense at the idea that some other snotty faced brat is better than his kid at anything. In fact, I could see him meddling to sabotage the other kid in his fucked up Dan way.
I’m not saying that this wouldn’t mess up the kid. I should know, my parents were like this. And having such expectations put on you from such a young age can really mess with your self-esteem. But I don’t think it’s the same as complete emotional neglect – my mother grew up with narcissistic parents very similar to Selina and Andrew and personally I think it was worse for her than it was for me.
Regarding Amy as a mother, I tend to agree. Frankly, I think the hypocrisy of disliking and being irritated with children in general, and still loving her own child is something of which she is more than capable. I also think it’s important to remember that, no matter how much parenting is romanticised in Western culture, the most important aspect of being a parent is simply…showing up, giving a child a stable, secure, safe environment to grow up. It may be against the grain to say it, but children do not need an intimate relationship with their parents, what they need is to know that their parent will be there, no matter what. And everything we’ve seen of Amy in the show indicates that when she commits to a relationship, she commits.
Amy strikes me as someone who…likes to know ahead of time what role she is expected to play. As in, she doesn’t seem at all uncomfortable meeting strangers when it’s in her role as Selina’s Chief-of-Staff – she manages that very easily, because she knows what’s expected of her. Which means, I think that she’ll be much less uncomfortable around her own child than a strangers – being a mother is a role she understands, but being a “serious-professional-who-interacts-naturally-with-children-and-still-remains-focused-on-the-task” isn’t. She would never be able to work a room of seven year olds the way Dan did in Baseball.
Her tendency to bottle up her emotions, and brood and brood over them until she has some kind of cataclysmic break, isn’t exactly positive – she and Dan would be in a much healthier place if she’d had the confidence to tell him off properly after Nevada. (I’m not blaming her – I understand the many reasons why she did it – but running off with Buddy instead of confronting Dan about his behaviour was unwise at best). But in a perfect world, having the baby to look after will actually help resolve this a little – Amy’s never had any problem confronting Dan when she thought he was serving Selina badly, it’s when it’s herself that she won’t do it. As in, she will have to resolve her issues with Dan – however much she would prefer to avoid that conversation – because that’s necessary to give the baby a secure environment, she’s not doing it for herself, but for the child. (Again, I’m not sure this totally healthy, but it’s better than nothing).
That said, I don’t see her tolerating a child as indolent and intellectually lazy as Catherine. Selina let Catherine…flunk out of college, or not finish a year of college or whatever it was, because she “was tired all the time,” because Selina, by and large, doesn’t care that much (or, perhaps it’s fair to say, she doesn’t care for very long – if she hadn’t been President, with all the distractions that entails, things might have played out differently). With Amy…that child is being brought to every doctor imaginable until she goes back to college or receives a terminal diagnosis, whether she likes it or not (Amy, of course, will be impatient and irritated and frustrated the entire time, but she’ll show up – Selina wouldn’t).
I think she’ll be a better parent if she’s with Dan than without him, because – when he is not being unspeakably awful – he gets her to relax and pulls her out of her own head when she’s wound up and stressed. He’s also much better equipped to bear the brunt of Amy’s frustrations (of which there are so many) than a child would be – and in finding them funny, I think he helps Amy take a more balanced attitude to them. (It’s not a coincidence that Amy blows up at Selina after Dan was fired and not before – as odd as it may seem, he was providing emotional support no one else was by letting her blow off steam).
Dan on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. He’ll want the child to reflect well on him, as you illustrate so well, but he also…he’s not good at handling negative feedback from someone he actually cares about. Look how childishly he behaves in season 5 when Amy suddenly isn’t flirting with him and smiling at him and paying him unending amounts of attention. Because she has the temerity to be hurt by his doing something unequivocally hurtful, Dan lashes out.
If he can’t handle that, I don’t know how he’ll manage a screaming baby or a hyperactive six year old demanding attention, or a teenage daughter screaming that she hates him. It’s not pretty to think about. He also tends to be somewhat jealous of Amy’s attention, and having to share it with someone else, all the time, may not be something he handles well.
On the other hand, Dan is a performer and an extrovert, and I can’t help but think that the first time his son or daughter demands to be cuddled or runs towards him because “Daddy’s home!” he’ll surprise himself by getting a real kick out of it.
And if he did come to care about the child, the idea of said child not being successful, not getting first place in the spelling competition, or whatever it is, would really bother him. Especially as the more extraordinary and over-achieving the child is, the more useful he/she is as a political accessory. (I’m not saying Dan is going to run for Congress sometime, but…)
Which is why I tend to see the child rebelling by just refusing to give a single fuck. Catherine’s laziness is really a plea for attention – “look after me, I’m sick, I need to be taken care of” – which of course her parents only intermittently gave her. The Brookheimer-Egan’s laziness will be “fuck you, I don’t care about calculus, I’m going to drink beer in the park” and they will both find it absolutely enraging. They’re both so driven themselves that the idea of simply…not caring will be completely alien to them.