Modern dads are some of the most involved dads ever. They’re hands-on, head-in-the-game parents for the most part. That’s why it’s surprising and frustrating that we still treat them like morons — adorable morons, sure, but morons — when they commit parent fails.
The latest in dads who are cute because they think they are people is this dude, who accidentally sent his kid to day care without a shirt on.
It’s a cute and funny story that will probably immediately remind you of something you or your partner did in those early days. The time you dressed your kid in the dark, and they rocked sheer tights over their diaper until you picked them up after work. Or the slip your toddler wore to a birthday party because your partner thought it was a legit dress. We all do it: jacked-up, inside-out, head-through-the-armhole/arm-through-the-head-hole dressing mishaps.
So why, oh why, is the immediate reaction when it’s Dad’s turn to bunk up the wardrobe almost always in the vein of, “Aren’t men adorable dumbasses? Aren’t they lucky they have us to fix their mistakes?”
Har, har. Except there are two things wrong with that. By and large, dads really aren’t idiots. It’s a rare dude who doesn’t bristle a little at the commercials that feature a bumbling buffoon putting his all into deciphering how a mop works.
There is, of course, a subset of guys who play along. See, honey? I want to help with the kids, but I’m just so terrible and inept at it! Guess you’ll have to do it. Sorry ’bout my penis.
Excuse us, but no. We all have met this man, and he is a walking sitcom joke. It’s lazy and disingenuous to pretend that moms are just better at things like scheduling pediatrician appointments and making ponytails, two tasks that don’t require the assistance of one’s genitals.
That’s the second gross thing about this reaction. Pretending basic parenting tasks are mom-specific is a fantastic way to make sure we keep having to do double duty at parenting.
Factor in the near certainty that a mom who acts like she doesn’t know what a shirt is wouldn’t be met with hair-tousling and a chorus of “aww”s so much as she would a consensus that she’s just a shitty mom, and really, no one wins here.
I mean, being the buffoon dad is a surefire way to make sure you benefit from never having to be an equal partner, so that’s sort of a win. But most dads we know don’t do that, and they don’t love that every time they try to get their hands dirty, they’re met with chuckles and condescension. Refusing to give dads who are giving it their all the credit they deserve just means you’ve got a lifetime of mothering everyone in your house, including the dude you married.
We’ll take a hard pass.
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