In a few weeks we’ll be honoring the men who put up with our curses while we were in labor. Sure, we wished them all to go to hell and die (in that order) while they were telling us to pant and blow, but what they do after the umbilical cord is cut is the true measure of a father.
My ex wanted to take part in all the baby chores. Not realizing that at a certain age, babies can roll over, he stepped away from the changing table TWICE in the same diapering, with the same result. Babies hitting terrazzo (glorified concrete) floors make a sound something like smashing melons.
He was a Navy man, so I went with a group of wives to visit him in Perth, Australia when the ship was in port there. The ship’s doctor was so delighted to see his baby that he threw said bundle of joy in the air, forgetting that the wardroom had low ceilings. “Merely a glancing blow,” he said, as his wife yelled at him and the other moms looked on in horror.
There are some jobs that seem to be specific to fatherhood. Teaching kids to ride a bike, tossing a baseball, bailing his daughter out of jail when she’s caught on the street at 4:00 AM with a pill from Mom’s medicine cabinet in her pocket. We didn’t mention that one in the annual Christmas letter.
When I remarried, my husband had no children of his own. My kids were grown and out of the house, so he thought he was off the hook. Hahahahahaha! My kids latched onto him like a boil on your butt.
Fathers generally get the short end of the stick. On TV they are portrayed as dufuses, and fatherhood doesn’t get the good press that motherhood receives. They take the joke cards, t-shirts, and singing fish with good humor.
Men, once your swimmers hit the egg, the real work has just begun. Remember to thank God for the burned toast and runny eggs, and be sure to check the ceiling height before tossing your kids in the air.