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November 07, 2005

"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

I recently saw a father in a store sniff his son's butt, realize that his kid had pooped and instinctively pass the child on to his mother. Meanwhile, the mother had been trying to find a winter coat for her son and was in the middle of a conversation with a saleswoman. And oh yeah, one more thing? The mom looked like she was about 6 months pregnant.

The father clearly had that insouciant "I don't clean no stinking diapers" punk-ass attitude. Clearly, he thought he was too cool for school and that changing diapers was a woman's job. And while one part of me wanted to knock him on his ass with a giant jar of A & D, another part of me realized that, despite the increased involvement of fathers everywhere, there were always going to be dads who don't quite "get" what parenting should be all about.

For me, parenting is just as much about the bad times as the good times. And I truly think the foundation of the relationship I have with my daughter over the course of our lifetime is being set in stone now. When she hits her head into the coffee table, I'm there to give her little kisses and make sure she feels better. I don't pass her off to Mommy and say, "Here. The kid's crying." How fucking lame is that?

Look, don't get me wrong. Changing diapers when your kid has diarrhea or is suffering from a week of Total Ass Explosions (TAE) is certainly not my favorite thing to do. And now that my 13-month old daughter has discovered that she can run and climb, getting her on a changing table is like wrestling alligators while someone is throwing mud at you. But hey man, it all comes with the territory. And it should be part of the job description. Because I think that if you're there only for the good times, then the consequence is going to be that your kid's not going to turn to you when times do get bad. And is that the kind of relationship you want with your child?

Maybe I'm making too big of a deal about it. Maybe, as usual, I'm overthinking the situation. After all, it's Monday and my kid's been pooping like a gumball machine all weekend. But, as my (much smarter and possibly ulterior motive-related) wife tells me...

Men who change diapers change the world.

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