Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father's day

Driving home from work today on Fairview I was winding around a biker (who should be locked up as a mental case for biking on Fairview during rush hour) and I saw a young mom and dad walking along. Mom had the 4 year old daughter in her hand and dad had the 10 month old baby on a sling on his front, facing out.  

Why does that make me cringe?

Now I have five kids and I read them books, teach them to swim, coach their teams, tuck them in at night and all other things a modern caring sensitive male is required to do. In fact, I enjoy doing such things. But a baby carrier? All I can think is, what a woman that guy is! Or maybe I should say, what a women use to be. 

Why have women so easily ceded and men so placidly accepted such a role as carrying the baby like a wet nurse? Before children we can all make pronouncements about how men and women are the same in all things yadda yadda yadda. But once your in that delivery room the cold hard facts of your uselessness as a male hits you. It lasts about 8 months, through breast feeding, crying, small diapers and spit up. And then it happens. One day you have the little nipper on the ground and are rolling a golf ball back and forth and he or she picks it up, beans you in the head and laughs. Now its daddy time. Dads are good for teaching kids to ride bikes and drive a car. Dads are good at killing bugs and going to Scout camp. Dads are good in emergencies and good at discipline. Moms are good at providing security, a safe place where all owies are cared for and every story is listened to. In a million more ways dads and moms are good at doing different (and some same) things.

So dads and moms are, generally different. But its seems in modern society we do everything we can to deny moms being moms and dads being dads. Moms take off six weeks after the birth of their child and then go back to work. Six week. They should be taking off six years but I'd take six months. Moms today come in late to their child's school concert, wearing their power suit and stand in the back with their nose in their device (my all purpose term for the evil that is the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, et al.). Moms today have nannies go on field trips and they have mannies take them to the park. Meanwhile dads today play video games, wear baseball caps and sports jerseys, are in a dodgeball league, are barely distinguishable from a teenage boy and become part of that game my wife likes to play "Dude or Dad?" How you play is go to SA sometime and see a child with one of these pseudo-adult males and ask yourself; Is that the cool uncle, drop-out older brother or an actual dad? And of course dads today wear their child.

I'm sure it me. I am out of touch and making hysterical generalizations. I knew the terra I stood on was not firma 25 years ago when a friend told me he had to go pick out china and crystal patterns with his fiancee. I stared at him. His lips were moving but I did not understand. I went on to find that many of my male friend's made the trip to Dayton's (Macy's for the young folk) to look through books with colors of towels for the second bath. Well the jokes on them. The modern corporate-fied woman/employer of nannies does not go in for crystal or china. Instead they hope for a baby sling to put on their husband-dudes and ride off into the sunset to their spinning class.

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