Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fathers Still Know What's Best

"I wish all my dad's would bring a list from their wives" is the first thing Fred's Dr. said when he saw me pull the check list out of my pocket. I tried to defend myself by saying that I had brought Fred to the doctor several times before without the supervision of his mother. Still I couldn't shake the idea that he considered myself and all dads to be mere babysitters who are simply a stand in that will do when mom is not around. Kinda like having to use shredded instead of sliced cheese when grilling a sandwich. Yes it's still cheese, but there's no substituting the real thing. In my defense I'm just one guy who can't very well be held responsible for how half the population on this planet acts, but I tried. "I'll have you know I helped make this list and I'm just double checking that I covered everything." Again judging by his response that for every solo dad bringing in his sick child comes a dozen calls afterward from a very worried mother who didn't have all her questions answered, I felt I had no choice but to concede the point.

Dads used to be considered the last word. June always took Ward's lead. The show was called Father Knows Best not Mother May I. I'm not trying to be sexist, I'm only saying that just because Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin can't manage to tie a knot without somehow getting an ER tech involved doesn't mean all dads are that way. Given I will concede that during the first few years of marriage it's every man's nature to act like an idiot in hopes of getting less chore time and more football time. For quite a while there my wife was convinced I couldn't peel a potato or fold a towel because the end result was something that would not be acceptable in a bathroom closet or pot of stew. When it came down to it though I just wanted to see my team kick the extra point.

Now that I'm a dad things are different. Not only is everything in my household a tag team sport, but it's the same with all my buddies. We take our daughters to birthday parties, our sons shopping for school clothes, and cook dinner three nights a week. We still talk about the latest Nascar race or who showed up on SNL the night before, we just do it while waiting for ballet class and T-ball practice to be over. When we show up at these places it's not because we have to or their mom is sick so we are getting stuck with the task, it's because we are parents and we enjoy the spending time with our kids. Now if only all the Al Bundy's out there would quit furthering the stereotype.

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