Some of you may have seen this previously up at The Fly Chalupa. If so, pretend it’s new to you.
Since we’ve had our son, I’ve had ample time to reflect on how differently fathers approach parenting.
My husband is great and very hands-on. But he certainly sees things from a different perspective than I do.
For instance, I see the bottles in the sink and think “Alex needs more bottles at school and one for tomorrow morning when David gets up with him so I can sleep and not nurse. Plus there are bottles at school that need to come home to be washed. Oh, and he needs more food at school. I think he’s ok on diapers and wipes. I’m going to put the water on for pasta, cook that, make the sauce, clean the pot and then put water on to sterilize these bottles. Hot damn, I should have invested in a bottle sterilizer but at this point it seems like a waste of money. Oh crap, what’s the kid got in his mouth??”
David sees the bottles in the sink and thinks “Wow, that’s a lot of bottles.”
This difference in mentality extends to which movies are appropriate viewing for younger children. David seems to think “Well, he’s going to see it eventually, so he may as well see Pulp Fiction for the first time with me. At 6 months old. And again at 9 months. And again at 10 months…”
On the other hand, I sit and ponder the classic children’s movie The Never Ending Story and wonder if The Nothing will scare my son.
It’s not just my husband either. This is a Fatherhood Epidemic
When I was a child, we were playing at the neighbor’s house. Their father was watching Jaws. I didn’t think much of it. He asked if we were scared and I believe I casually said no. Now, since I was 5, casually saying no could have involved screaming the word no and throwing a tantrum. The memories of 5 year olds aren’t to be trusted, so I really can’t be sure on this.
In any event, he responded, “Well, you should be scared. Because one of these days, Jaws is going to come out of the toilet and EAT YOU!”
To a father, this is a funny joke. Hahahahaha! The child is afraid!
To a mother, this is how you make a child terrified of the toilet for the next four months.
My mother and I had many confused fights following that exchange. I did not want to get on the potty, she did not want to clean my urine from the floor. She didn’t understand why I was scared. I was positive she’d lie to me about sharks not being able to come through the toilet. I KNEW now, I KNEW that they could do it. Chris’ dad had let me in on the secret. I was sure she was lying to protect me but I was also sure she was lying. She tried desperately to get me to explain my fear, I refused so she wouldn’t have to lie.
Neither side would budge.
When I finally told her why I was scared, she was irritated I’d seen such a scary movie. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I finally explained to her the neighbor’s funny “joke”.
“That’s why you were afraid? He told you that?” she asked incredulously.
Really, mom? You should know by now: fathers do not believe that children are children.
They think that they are adults in miniature.
I think I will try to demonstrate this fallacy by letting Wild Thing begin watching Three Stooges marathons. When he starts waking my husband up by slapping him silly, we might get the message across.