Cynical Dad relates a great story about his wife defending his honor at Target (while shopping for Father’s day cards):
Zoey: Why does it say that?
Ella: It means that Daddy gets to take the day off.
Unknown Woman Standing A Few Feet From Them: Which is also every day.
Now I would love to tell you that Ella turned around, pounced on the woman, and bitchslapped her senseless while the kids cheered her on. But Ella did tell the woman I was a caring, loving stay-at-home dad who seldom received days off as the woman backpedaled, stammered, and apologized.
And then this story is related in that post’s comments:
I recently ran into the Random Lady in Costco who started gushing at how beautiful my daughter was and how my “husband, oh sorry, sperm donor, ha, ha” must hardly exist in my life any more because I couldn’t possibly resist loving my daughter a million times more than him, especially because she is so beautiful and really, the only reason I got married was to have her anyway, right? When I showed a disgusted, appalled face she only egged me on, “Oh, come one, you know it’s true. Don’t pretend you have feelings left for your husband… he’s not even here to hear you say it. You know this little girl is so much more…” blah, blah, blah.
I don’t have much sympathy for women who complain about stereotypical father behavior while, at the same time, reinforcing that behavior with their comments. You know what? You chose that belching, beer-swilling, covered-in-motor-oil, la-Z-boy-lovin’ dullard. Although it’s convenient and easy to just stick him in the man-role while you live in the woman-role, you really shouldn’t be surprised when he exactly lives up to your expectations.
Kate and I work hard every day to push past the conventional limits that stereotypes suggest. Because of that, we’re both better parents.
I love being a husband, I love being a father, I love being a parent alongside my wife, and I’m intensely proud of how I live in each of those roles. To the nameless woman at Target: you could have done better, and I’m living proof. But Kate’s the one who made a good choice and she deserves me.