Yes, I am a stay-at-home father, but frequently very comical in my attempts. I nearly burned the house down twice, once by cooking baby nipples down to a black tar with the second time gloriously wiped clean from my memory by six years of changing diapers, wiping tears from faces down to polishing poopy smeared backsides. Poop is close to writing in many cases or is frequently the end result.
Being a weightlifter, karate and now judo student prepared me for my married career as a Sherpa. One vacation in Costa Rica found me carrying one child on my back and another on my shoulder at the same time. I’ve pushed bags on wheels with car seats stuck out at odd angles, a backpack strung on my shoulder and my stomach and canvas bags of food hanging from each hand.
Recently, my son told his class that his father “was always late.” I’m just mostly late now. It’s an improvement over my youth where anxiety forced me to arrive an hour ahead of schedule.
He also told my wife, his mother, that we spent $29 on the new Star Trek movie in 3D. It’s really important, I told him, to very carefully plan when you’re going to tell your girlfriend or wife or both of them how much money you just spent, whether it be for a movie, a bottle of wine, new sneakers or a bar of chocolate. Perhaps this type of thing gives me some credibility in parenting circles.
Does EveryMan raise the bar to an outrageous plateau that men in parenting positions can only hope to reach after years of struggle and study? Does EveryMan stay at home to take care of the children while his wife goes to work? Does every Midlife Man and New Midlife Father do this?
This talk of Everyman plays into EveryMan’s self-absorption – in his belief that he’s actually funny; that maybe he can make a point without pounding on the table and acting macho. That he can be macho and still take care of the kids. That he can take care of the kids AND be a (new) midlife Mr. Mom!
By this time, Everyman’s wife would be rolling her eyes. But, here’s the beauty, I’m paving new roads, to be sure, but I’m still just one-of-the-guys. (At least I try to be!) Only now, I have even more stories, parables and situations that older parents, both male and female can relate to.
Look at it this way: In the end, Cyma Shapiro can point to my writing and say, that things could be worse: She could say that you could be married to that guy—and then roll her eyes, too.