Friday, July 19, 2013

Papa Pancake Gets Pissed

The time has finally come.  On Monday I'll be at the hospital to welcome my bouncing baby boy into the world (unless he decides to burst forth a little early).  Even though I'm twice a dad, I still have the fluttery-belly feeling like I'm on a roller-coaster that's at the top of the track, about to lurch over the tip and send me speeding down towards twists, turns, and loop-de-loops.  Man, I really want to go on a roller-coaster after typing that sentence.  Maybe I'll just watch the opening credits of Step By Step instead.

That was refreshing.  Alright, now that I'm done with that, I'll get to the point I was trying to make before jumping into the main article:  I'll be busy next week.  Don't you fret, however, because there will still be something on the blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I'm just not sure what, yet.  If I have time over the weekend, I'm going to write some blog entries and set them up to post automatically on Monday and Friday (and I'll set up a video for Vednesday).  If I don't have enough time to write over the weekend (or if I'm just feeling lazy), I'll just set up a video for each day.  That way, you'll at least have something to look at on each of those days.

So now that that's over with, let's get to the main point of the blog for today.  I'm about to be a papa again, which means I'll be out and/or about with my son in the upcoming months and years.  And if you see me out in public with Link, YaYa, Maggie, or any combination of the three, don't say something stupid like, "Daddy has the kids for the day?"  This will piss me off.

It's happened to me so many times in the past.  I would be out with one or both of the kids just going about my business, and a crusty middle-aged or post-middle-aged woman would say something like, "Mommy has the day off?"  No, bitch, Mommy doesn't have the day off.  She's working right now, and that's why I'm grocery shopping with a bunch of kids.  That kind of obnoxious comment bothers me for so many reasons.

For starters, it implies that spending time with my children isn't a regular thing for me to do.  If you think seeing a father with his kids is abnormal, that's your problem (and society's problem).  Maybe your husband didn't spend time with your kids, and maybe your dad didn't spend time with you, but don't assume that I'm the same way as the 'men' in your life because of your own experiences.

When people open their mouths and let that kind of stupidity fall out, it also makes me feel like they don't think I can handle taking care of my children.  I've been doing it for nine years; I'm pretty damn good at it.  Our society has this antiquated notion that dads are wacky, bumbling idiots who can't tell a diaper from a receiving blanket, and that we only come in handy when it's time to cut the grass, hang a picture on the wall, or teach one of the kids how to throw a baseball.  This simply isn't true for a lot of us.  There's a lot of good dads out there.  Unfortunately, there's still a lot of scumbags who can't keep it in their pants but aren't man enough to stick around and provide for their children.  They give us a bad name, but I don't consider them men.  Real men aren't afraid of fatherhood.

(For the record, I'm more likely to be wacky and bumbling when trying to hang a picture on the wall than when changing a diaper.)

So, the sexist attitude toward male parents bothers me, obviously, but the reverse, which is also implied by comments like those mentioned above, irritates me too.  By implying that I'm not capable of caring for my kids, because that's not 'the man's role', you're also implying that a woman's role is to pop out babies and raise them.  Of course I can't get pregnant and birth them myself, but I sure as hell can raise them.  And if, in theory, my wife can make way more money tending bar or waitressing than I can working the bullshit jobs available in my area, and she tells me that she'd prefer to work while I stay home with the little Pancakes, I'd be fine with that.  In fact, I'd relish the opportunity to get to spend that much time with my family.

Listen up, crusty old women:  It's not the 1950s anymore.  We don't live in a time where a man goes to work from 9 to 5, and that one job is enough to provide for his whole family and save money on the side.  Men work.  Women work.  Most of the time both parents have to work just to make ends meet.  It's been this way for quite a while; it's time you stop pretending everything is still the same way it used to be.  Take a moment to come to the realization that there is no such thing as "man's work" and "woman's work" anymore.  My wife and I work as a team, as do a lot of couples in our age range.  Making stupid comments based on your outdated mode of thinking only makes you look like a jackass.

And don't dare call it "babysitting" when I'm taking care of my kids.  I'm raising them, not babysitting.

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