Monday, January 26, 2004

It is impossible for me to babysit my own kids....

Strange title, huh? Well, it is true. It is impossible for me to baby sit my own children. The reason that I say this, is the fact that people sometimes give men undeserved credit for watching their children, or caring for their children when their wives are away. I submit that a man NEVER babysits his own child. He merely continues to act in the capacity of a father. If a woman is out in public with her kids, do people assume that she is "watching them", just because her husband is not present? Still confused? I will try and illustrate this...

Not too long ago my dear mother-in-law passed away. Understandably, my wife has been stressed out handling arrangements and overall dealing with her loss. Some of her friends came into town and decided to take her out shopping and hanging out on a Saturday. They were gone most of the day and came back in the evening. To my relief, my wife looked more refreshed, and more relaxed than what she had in weeks. When Renee went to the back to take off her coat, her friend looked at me and said. "Thanks Kelly. Renee needed some time away." I looked at her quizzically and said, "Thanks for what?" She replied, "Thanks for babysitting." I laughed and said, "But, they are my kids this was just a normal day for me." She kind of paused and I said, "You thanking me for 'babysitting' is like me thanking you for paying your light bill on time. That's something that you are supposed to do." She laughed, as well as me, and said, "I guess you're right."

I suppose the sad part of this story is the fact that there are some men out there who probably won't be bothered with their kids when their wives go away. Not that I am trying to campaign for the "Daddy of the Year Award", hell, I don't think that there is very much that is noteworthy that I do with my kids, I do what I think Dad's are supposed to do. But I suppose that some men and women cling so fiercely to what they think are typical "father" and "mother" roles that they can't get over themselves. I think that regardless of gender, it is necessary to be a good parent. I do concede that there are two things that it is impossible for me to do as a parent my wife can....breast feed, and braiding my daughter's hair. I will submit that I have at least tried the hair thing on several occassions to no avail.

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