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some good old fashioned ranting


I'd like to take this moment to complain, rant, bitch, moan--feel free to pick your preferred verb.

Why must society lavish praise on the fathers out there who actually take care of their children? I'm not talking about full-time stay at home fathers who watch the kids all day. I'm talking about the fathers who change diapers or interact with their children.

Is this such an epidemic that any father who shows any interest in their OWN child is lauded as SuperDad?

I'll tell you right now that I don't know what the statistics are. I know there are a lot of single mothers out there and there are a lot of dead beat dads out there. I'm not talking about them.

I am talking about the married couples who have children together. It took two to have the child. Why wouldn't it take two to raise the child?

Yes, this stems from a particularly trying experience at the doctor's office last week. I had two sick kids and another healthy kid, to boot, with me. Two of them decided they had to use the bathroom and the only one open was the really small one. The one that's approximately six feet wide by three feet deep.

We made it through that and then had to sit in the exam room for ONE HOUR while we waited for the doctor. Yes, it was a busy day and there was only one pediatrician handling all of the patients. But I had three kids with me, six and under, and I was the sole entertainment.

All the parents in the house will heartily agree with me when I say, no one wants their crawling toddler on the floor of the doctor's office. So I had to hold the baby for an hour which was like holding a feral cat while there's a buffet of Fancy Feast on the floor.

Needless to say, I was fit to be tied by the end of that experience.

Because my husband works 40 to 60 hours a week he does not have the opportunity to experience such quality time with the tots, like I do. So when I hear his mother exclaim to me what a wonderful, involved father he is and how extremely lucky I am to have ever met her son and what a true gift it is that he changes diapers and feeds the kids, I grumble a little inside.

Don't get me wrong. He is My Man and I do love him with all my heart. But when I signed on to this marriage I only did so because I expected this behavior out of him. Just like I expected him to breathe air in and out each day, so as to keep his lungs and body functioning. Should we call ourselves SuperHumans because we breathe each day? No. We just keep breathing.

I should explain that my mother-in-law lives across the street from her daughter and son-in-law and her son-in-law is a real tool when it comes to their kids. He's all about himself and he lets his wife or his sister-in-law or his mother-in-law deal with the kids while he takes a nap, works on the computer or does stuff he wants to do. So I know my mother-in-law is inadvertently comparing her deadbeat son-in-law to her own son and expressing her own frustrations.

But I don't have any family helping me out. It's just me and my hubby. His family lives 250 miles away. And my family might as well live on Mars when it comes to lending a helping hand.

So why not shift the paradigm? Instead of lauding the fathers who are being responsible, why not condemn the phoning-it-in fathers to their faces?

Or, here's a really radical idea that probably won't catch on. But what about actually lauding the mothers who, by default, have to pick up all of the shit, literally and figuratively?

Okay, thanks for listening. I'll just go back to cleaning up shit (literally and figuratively) and grumbling silently.


2006-12-15 at 6:41 a.m.

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