Today Asher and I went out for our first ‘big trip’ all by ourselves. It wasn’t overly exciting and I suspect if Asher could tell you he would say it wasn’t a great deal of fun. The major point of the trip was to go to the doctor so Asher could have his six month immunization.
He did great at the doctor. This trip was one needle and while I would say he made sure we realized he didn’t appreciate it he didn’t go into major rage either.
Since the trip to the doctor went so well Asher and I decided to pop into CostCo so we could get our back to school lunchbox shopping done.
As a dad going anywhere with a baby unescorted is kind of a funny thing. Lots of people are always smiling at you, and making comments like ‘Oh good for you’, or ‘giving mom the morning off eh’. Normally I smile at people when they say things like that even though they bug me a little.Truthfully I can’t tell if people are trying to be encouraging or if they are being a little patronizing.
Sometimes these comments sound like this to me; ‘A dad out with the kids, alone!? Wow way to go champ! What a trooper, taking the kids all the way to a grocery store, and they even appear to have all their clothes on the correct way and everything!‘
Like I said normally I just try to smile. I think people mostly are trying to be encouraging. That being said as we wrapped up our shopping I found the exchange at the cash register mostly patronizing. Here was the conversation;
20 Something Male Cashier– Wow the babies asleep, Mom’s always have their babies crying, Dad’s know what to do, they got this.
30 Something Female Cashier- That’s because dad’s give their kids rum before they bring them here (obviously annoyed)
Me (30 Something Male in case you forgot)- Quietly politely smiling as I pay
The male cashier’s statement wasn’t fair. My kids will cry when they are out with me just like they will cry when they are out with Meghan. Sometimes there is just no getting around it. Sometimes part way through a grocery trip kids become bored or hungry or tired and they start to cry and act up. That’s life.
BUT the female cashiers statement was mean. Meghan doesn’t have to drug our children so they behave when they are out and neither do I. Asher was asleep on me in the ergo because I was bobbing around as if I was shopping at the CostCo on the Moon. He fell asleep on me because he is used to me holding him and falling asleep on my shoulder. He fell asleep on me because he is comfortable with his dad.
I know for a long time and in many homes Dad’s are the secondary parent. The person who steps in only when Mom needs extra help or a little break. My dad wasn’t like that, I am not like that, and many, many many other dad’s are not like that either.
Mom’s most of us got the message. You wanted us as fathers to step it up and not be like those 1990’s clueless sitcom dads. A lot of us listened. Now please give us the credit and respect we deserve.