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