Paul says: A real Dad can change a diaper on his lap without putting down his beer. With a real Dad, there is none of this weak-ass gagging when Junior made a poopoo. As a matter of fact, real Dads don’t say the word poopoo except in tirades like ‘You say poopoo. I say shit because I’m the Dad. You don’t say shit. You can say shit when you become a Dad. Got it?’
Throughout the week, we have eluded to the fact that Dads and Moms are different. Dad is not Mom with a penis. We have our own special message and gift for our children and I think that it is a powerful and important thing that we give to our kids. Moms tell the kid that they are taken care of. This is the Momma bear, nurturing love that we all have heard about and many have experienced. And this is a super important message for the child to receive. Please, to the Moms reading this, do not think that I am tearing down the Mommy powers by pumping up the Daddies. I just want everyone to know that Daddies have some good stuff too.
So the Mommy meta-message is ‘I got this shit handled’. Or in other words, you are safe. Daddies have a different message that takes them to the same spot. Daddies message to the kid is ‘You got this shit handled’ or, in other words, you are safe. (Yes, safety is a big deal.)
Story time. The other day, our six year old needed to bring in a case of soda for his school party. We pulled up to drop him off as we always do and I said to him, ‘get strong, dude’. Then I handed him the soda and pointed him to his class. This earned me an ‘asshole’ from Lee. What? He got the sodas into his class and the hernia went away.
Another story. The three year old was having a monster-under-the-bed week. He was getting up at night fearful of the boogie man or vampires or ghosts or snakes or… the stuff that frightens kids. The first night Lee cuddled and soothed him, putting him to sleep in her arms. It was beautiful… the first night. By Thursday, we were getting tired of the fear game, nurturing Mommy’s cradling arm was getting sore, and we wanted to watch Fringe (You need to pay attention when you watch Fringe) so Daddy kicked in. My solution to the monsters? A gun. Yes, I armed my child with a half dozen of his most bad-ass toy guns. You know what? It worked.
If Moms have the domain of nurturing then Dads have empowerment. Think of the stereotypical Norman Rockwell type of pictures of Mom with a child. It is usually a Mother holding her boneless kid. Now think about the Dad picture. The kid is probably handing Dad a tool. Put the kid to work, that’s what I say.
Note: You all know that Lee and I are proponents of same-sex marriages and believe that same-sex couples should have all of the rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy, including parenthood. I do not want this post to be misconstrued in any way as an endorsement of opposite-sex only parenting. When I am talking about Dad and Mom, I am really going beyond the chromosomal aspects of parenthood. I am writing about Mom energy and Dad energy. I am writing about a world point of view. We all know that a single parent has to wear both the Mommy hat and the Daddy hat. The Daddy energy, like the Mommy energy, comes naturally. One person will be more Mommish and another more Daddish. It just happens.