Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Day With Dad

I have always done the grocery shopping in our family.  My wife, Tammi, has joined me a few times, and it usually involved me getting very angry, and Tammi not speaking with me.  When I go grocery shopping I take an app and note every item in my cart.  I walk up to the register usually knowing, within a dollar, how much I have spent. It generally takes me about an hour, whether I have the boys with me or not.  In my head, Tammi walks down an aisle with her hand out, knocking items into her cart. 

When we lived in Wisconsin, we lived in a small town about thirty minutes from Madison.  When I say a small town in Madison, you should understand  I mean I lived on a farm.  The exact population in Stoughton WI is very small.  Let me provide you with an example.  Taco Bell closes at 9 p.m.  I should make that more clear.  Nine months after we moved there, when they got there first Taco Bell, it closed at 9 p.m.  Entire families went to go see the new “restaurant” in town.  One more example, next to the town of Stoughton, is the VILLAGE or Oregon. (Pronounced there as ORE-E-GONE)

Since I had always done the grocery shopping in our relationship, this didn’t change after my first son, Glenn, was born.  I was still working at the time, and, so, would always end up going the same time each week, Monday or Tuesday right after the first nap. I always seemed to run into the same lady working the liquor store.  She always said the same thing when she saw me and Glenn,  “Ohh, look a day with DAD!”

 I never said anything.  Rather, I just smiled and encouraged Glenn to be nice, and say, “hello.”  Yet, nothing annoyed me more than the “Day with Dad” statement.

Today in America, if a father takes any child into the store under four years of  age , he is viewed as a super-hero.  Old ladies stop me while shopping to tell me how brave I am to walk into a store with a child – as if they never dreamed of taking their four kids to the store because their family needed to buy food.  Come on everyone, I think we need to raise our expectations of the American father.  I often joke with Tammi that all I need to do to be a good father is not hit her and don’t leave her ass hanging.  Let me be clear, this is not a Day- With-Dad.  I am his Dad.  He spends every day with me.  Whether I am working or staying home, the kid is my son. When my wife goes to work, I am not babysitting.  She does not cut me a check once a week.  I will not pretend to be emotionless when it comes to my children.  I don’t cry when a hallmark commercial comes on but that doesn’t mean I am indifferent to my kids.

….Besides the alternative is to let my wife spend 40 dollars on organic fruits and vegetables when God intended for that money to be spent on meat and potatoes.

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