Saturday, June 21, 2008

Will Dad ever do his share? Uh, define share.

I'm a little late on this one but last week's New York Times Magazine ran a cover story entitled, "When Mom and Dad Share it All."

The cover tag was a little more pointed -- it had a child holding a list with "Will Dad Ever Do His Share?" printed underneath.

Of course, they don't define share.

My husband will tell you, with a completely straight face, that he does at least half of the house and child care here. He honestly believes it. You can remind him that he spends 15 months deployed and then 3 month trips to the field when he's not downrange and he still believes it. And that is because he sees "share" as being what he has the capacity to do after work.

It's taken me a long time -- and a helluva lot of angst -- to understand that.

Honestly, I don't know that a child benefits from a score card type of parenting. I'm all for Dads getting more involved and those who can and want to taking paternity leaves or staying at home. But more and more, as I've wasted years shaking my fists at the sky over what seems like an unending inequity in family duties, I realize I could benefit from taking the same tact as my husband.

No, no -- I'm not advocating neglect of my child. But when the kitchen is cleaned, who does it hurt if the pots soak overnight? If a few toys don't get put away before bedtime, who says I have to spend my evening cleaning them up?

Maybe "equality" isn't really what we should be striving for here.

Friday, June 20, 2008


"It can't be done."

It's amazing how often the big, green machine responds to families with this particular phrase. Even after they promised that it, indeed, could be.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Okay, even if you are a fan of the President, this is funny.

Little Brown will be publishing a new children's book, "Goodnight, Bush." It's a parody of the tired classic "Goodnight, Moon" and includes lines like:

And a quiet Dick Cheney whispering hush.

Complete with said Vice President sitting in the Old Lady's rocking chair, holding a shotgun.

What will people dream up next?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oh, jeez. You have to be kidding me.


"Hi, Mrs. _____. This is Mrs. _____, my husband is in the Medics section."

"Hi! How are you?"

"Well, not so good and that's what I wanted to talk to you about."

"I'm sorry to hear that. What's up?"

"Well, I got my newsletter yesterday. And I was looking at the photos."

"Oh yeah. I think your husband's photo was in it, right?"

"Yes, his was. But behind him, in the chow line, I noticed there was a female. A blond woman."

"Uh...a female?"

"Yes, a female. Can you explain what she's doing there?"

"I'm looking at the photo now, ma'am. I'm not sure what there is to explain. She's a soldier. Looks like she's just getting herself some food."

"That is bullshit. This is supposed to be an infantry unit. Our guys should be nowhere near females."

I hate people.

Today, at the commissary, I found myself stuck in the freezer aisle. They had brought in some new brands of chicken nuggets and I wanted to look over the labels to see which were the least damaging to my child's health.

The aisle was also the site of a bunch of Father's Day promotional crap so after a few minutes of perusing, I realized I was blocking the aisle. It was a Mom with a little girl about Munchkin's age.

I apologized for blocking and not noticing and then said, "Given my son's predilection for meat in its most unnatural state, I am just trying to find the most healthy nugget they have."

She gave me a really snotty look and then said, "Chicken nuggets are never healthy. Maybe you should try actually cooking for your child if you are really concerned for his health."

I was stunned. Literally, speechless. Who says that kind of shit?

On the drive home, I thought about all the things I could have said to her. I could have made a list of all the stuff I do cook and all the healthy food my kid eats regularly. I could have complimented her on having so much free time and suggested that it may be due to her not having any life. I could have asked her if she had a stick lodged permanently up her ass or only when it came to kid cuisine. I could have asked if her fine family cooking was the reason why she was obese. I could have cursed her out. Or I could have just beaten the shit out of her and then screamed, "Clean-up in Aisle 11, Bob!" But, you know, why bother?

People can be nasty for no reason whatsoever. And I'm learning, when it comes to parenting, the viper tends to strike even harder.

So you cook those healthy meals, lady, and feel superior about it. We're doing just fine over here -- even with the occasional chicken nugget.