We need a clean up on the table saw, stat

Should I care that the class is called mommy and me, or the play group is MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers)? Should it bother me that there isn’t a changing table in the bathroom of Home Depot or that I get that the “mommy’s got the day off today, huh” comment when ever we go out? I think it should bother me but it doesn’t really. I just can’t get to worked up about it but I feel I should, like it’s my God given right as an American to cry about my own injustices. Maybe  it’s true that stay at home dads are lazy and that’s what keeps me from caring or maybe I just don’t care enough to work up the outrage.

The mommy groups and classes are just smart marketing. They know their target audience and I’m not it. They like having me there, but odds are it is more likely that mommy or nanny is bringing the kids to afternoon swim, or play time at the coffee house.  Just like all those beer commercials that are targeted towards the doofus male that loves beer, babes, and baseball. Sure there might be an intelligent person, or maybe even a woman, that likes that beer but they are playing the numbers, betting the over and titillating their target. The mommy language on all the groups is doing the same and I am cool with that.

The lack of changing tables in the mens rooms is annoying to me but again it doesn’t really last that long. My last trip to the great orange tool warehouse saw me changing a kid on the shiny new table saw on one of the corner end displays. There was a plastic cap on the blade so the kid got to spin the wheel while I wiped his willy. I thought it was pretty thoughtful of them to provide the space for men to change diapers in a manly way and it made up for having to walk back out of the mens room after coming up empty on the changing table quest. Mildly annoyed and a bit defiant but no outrage at the minimization of dads in the child care game.

As for the comments from the ladies named Bev working the register at the super market, i’m used to the “daddy’s got the boys today” or “giving mommy a break.” I know that the majority of the time that comment is spot on, astute commentary on the almost complete reliance on women to raise kids. I don’t even have to make a smart ass comment anymore, now Primo corrects the ladies by telling them that “Daddy has us everyday because he is a stay at home dad and mommy works“. It’s better that he clear it up then for me to make one of those smart ass comments that gets me a talking to that night once Beautiful comes home and hears about out day.

Really it seems a bit trivial for me to get worked up over these things because most of the interactions I have with people that see me with the boys are positive. I would rather give them an example of an involved dad that is the primary caregiver so they have our picture in their head when they think of dads. That won’t stop me from finding creative ways to illuminate some of the annoying parts along the way. People were very impressed by the infomercial Segundo and I gave them on that table saw. “So easy a toddler can use it!”

Part of the Fatherhood Friday group of blogging Fathers and Mothers over at Dad Blogs. Please click on the image to the left to find more great writing from other bloggers trying to make sense of this whole parenting thing

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  13 comments for “We need a clean up on the table saw, stat

  1. 04/23/2010 at 6:31 am

    It strange how the country wants and excepts progression in all areas except the part of dads being responsible and actually taking care of the kids.

    Thanks Jon Gosselin and Balloon Boy Dad..
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..A Prestigious Award =-.

  2. Jamie
    04/23/2010 at 7:56 am

    Settle down. It took a long time for women to get to go to college, go into a bar alone, work, wear pants, and even vote.

    What I really wanted to say was, some people leave the house in the morning without turning on their speaking filters. They don’t think before they talk. Like when they ask young women with belly fat if they are expecting. “No, I’m just fat, but thanks for noticing.” Non-thinkers are everywhere just waiting to say something they shouldn’t.

  3. 04/23/2010 at 1:20 pm

    Loving that image. Well done. And I feel the same way as far as bristling against the “injustices.” I just don’t have that many bristles, I guess.
    .-= Homemakerman´s last blog ..Wednesday Night Fights =-.

  4. tom
    04/23/2010 at 1:35 pm

    Some places have changing tables in the men’s room, some don’t. After a few incidents of dads changing their kids on the saw tables, I’m sure Home Despot will get to thinking about setting that error straight. I say, you’ve done well.
    .-= tom´s last blog ..The Michael Filter =-.

  5. 04/23/2010 at 2:23 pm

    Very Zen! Nice post and yes, I agree that sometimes focusing on these issues and comments can add some unnecessary stress to your day. I found I had the most trouble with it in the early days of my home-dadding career, when it was probably more a reflection on me – with my insecurity and inexperience. Still, doesn’t hurt to highlight and challenge assumptions and stereotypes.
    .-= Reservoir Dad´s last blog ..Win A Free Mentally Sexy 2011 Calendar =-.

  6. 04/24/2010 at 8:24 am

    That used to be a big source of frustration for me too. (Your idea was brilliant by the way.) A few times I had to whip a out thick towel I started carrying around and take care of business right there on the floor (Luckily they were cleaner than normal floors). I always dreamed of just strolling into a women’s rest room and using their table. Would’ve been funny to see the look on someone’s face as they walked into to see me their with a kid whose poop-lathered ass-end was sticking straight up in the air and me giving him the wipe down.

    Anyway, when Home Depot puts in changing tables for guys you know we’ll achieved some sort of serious milestone. Good stuff.
    .-= Clark Kent’s Lunchbox´s last blog ..Babies From The Gut =-.

  7. 04/24/2010 at 8:35 am

    I’m a working mom and my husband stays home with our two sons. He gets the same reaction a lot. Plus comments wondering when he’s going to get a “real job” and start contributing to the family. Like what he’s doing isn’t the most important job he could possibly have right now. I respect and admire any parent with the patience and willingness to care for their children full-time.

    The upside to the changing table issue is when we’re out and the smell creeps out from our 2-year-old’s diaper my husband will just look at me and smile. “No changing table honey, your turn.”
    .-= angelynn´s last blog ..The long hallway =-.

  8. 04/24/2010 at 9:35 am

    When you struggle through being a stay at home dad without the changing tables and having all these judgement cast at you, you can look back at the moms who had it easy and say “pssht, you’re a bunch of pansies.” And, you’d be right, by comparison 🙂

    Take pride in knowing you’re doing a good job despite the gears of society working against you. Well, at least that’s the attitude I eventually adopted when I realized it was a lost cause to bitch about it. LOL
    .-= Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..Body Worlds: Art or Exploitation? Definitely Education =-.

  9. 04/24/2010 at 10:01 am

    We just have to break through that glass ceiling as SAHD.
    .-= Edathomedad´s last blog ..Saturday Story Time (The Three Little Pigs, as told by Elle.) =-.

  10. 04/24/2010 at 10:44 am

    I’m with you. Most of my interactions while out w/ Tessa are very positive. Love that Primo does the correcting in public to the dumbasses who think that what they have to say matters and that they’re funny…
    .-= Chris (@tessasdad)´s last blog ..Some good Saturday reading =-.

  11. 04/25/2010 at 2:17 pm

    Great attitude. I feel the same way. I can’t fathom being bothered by what other people think of me taking care of my daughter. During the week. On the weekend. Or ever.
    .-= Chris from Wrath66´s last blog ..The Situation Womb Episode IV: A Poo Hope =-.

  12. Ben
    04/27/2010 at 2:21 pm

    Great post. I’m not a SAHD myself so don’t notice these things but if I was they’d really annoy me. Quite sexist, when you think about it, isn’t it?
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Week Sixteen: Time to clingfilm the carpet =-.

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