Monday, March 27, 2006

and the winner of Most Exciting Parent 2006 is....not me



We share the child care, my husband and I. That is to say, he looks after the children one day of the week, and now thinks he's Mr Mom as a consequence. It's not just Fatty who thinks he's terrific, either...other women of our acquaintance are forever fawning over his perceived goodness and fatherly prowess and gushing over his wondrous ways. My mother thinks the sun shines out of his cute little butt. Huh! Does anyone praise me for taking care of my progeny the rest of the time? Not likely.

So anyway, the day that Fatty is the SAHD, he drops our daughter off to school, and then whizzes off to do something dazzlingly interesting with Ben. They go to the museum; they go eat donuts; they go to the library. Daddy is a veritable one-stop fun-shop. He says 'yes' to almost anything, food with any nutritional content is optional, and the house looks like a construction site when I pick my way gingerly down the hall after work.

Then there are the days I'm in charge. On these days, I must grocery shop, take kids to swimming lessons, take kids for haircuts, cut their fingernails, do washing, fold clothes, take kids to the dentist...blah blah blah. Do you see what I mean? I am simply no fun to be around. I get all the boring bits.

Now, in case you're about to tell me to let the house get dirty, forget the washing, and just go have some fun...well I do try to manage some small outing or new experience with Ben, while his sister is at school. I fit it right in between grocery shopping so we have food to eat, and taking the dog for her shots, so she doesn't die of rabies...or dog whooping cough..or whatever it is that dogs need vaccinations for. We still have good fun, but I suspect never as much fun as when time is unimportant; when Daddy is in charge.

Today, Fun Parent took Ben to the water's edge, to explore the mud flats in his Batman boots (I believe that -completely coincidentally - there happened to be some water birds in the area. And you know how my dearest Fatty feels about anything avian).

Tomorrow it's my turn. If the photo is anything to go by, I reckon the boots and the mud are going to be hard to top.

17 comments:

Motherkitty said...

Mom, I'm giving you a gold star in your book of life for today and every day you are "doing your duty." That's what mothers are supposed to do. We're just not any fun when there are chores to do.

I guess it's our sense of duty, and insistence that there be order in our world, that doesn't allow us to just drop everything to go off and have a little bit of fun. As your children grow up, they will recognize you as the rock in their lives and will appreciate all you've done for them. Most exciting parent -- maybe not, but you are the most loving and attentive.

susan said...

Ahh, but does Fun Parent have a black belt? And can he save lives on a daily basis? You have our vote!

doubleknot said...

Women have been multitasking before men even discovered it and made up a word to discribe it. Men tend to do one thing at a time - women have to do several things at a time or nothing would get done.
Good for you that you do take time for the little one - bet he remembers his times with you when he gets older.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

This is a phenomenon that you'll just have to accept...Fun Daddy is so much fun because Ben only spends ONE day a week with him and Fatty drops everything and gives Ben his FULL attention.

You on the other hand are with Ben six days a week and like you said are multitasking. If it were the other way around and you had the one day...then you would be the fun mom.

As far as fun time, you probably spend MORE fun time with Ben, but he is used to being with you and takes you for granted. I remember having the same feelings that you are having now and it wasn't until my husband died that I became the fun mom. LOL

Listen to MK and all the rest of the mothers of grown children...Your appreciation as a mom will come later.

cmhl said...

I'm with you--- I get all the grunt work too-- dh gets to take them to the batting cage. go figure..

Alice said...

But who do Ben and Laura turn to first when they are hurt, sad, ill, lonely or just need a hug???

DayByDay4-2Day said...

Ditto!

J's Mommy said...

I think it's always going to be like that. Daddy's are fun and Mommies are ... the boss!

T. said...

Well boots and mud might be hard to match. An old standby for me is getting the munchkins to help me make cookies. They get to mess, eat raw cookie dough (gross, but kids seem to enjoy) and feel like a grown up all at once. Doesn't take long, and you still get have time to scrub the damn toilet as well as being "cool mom".

MrsGreenThumb said...

You're going to love it when the kids grow up and call to ask your advice. You are the rock in their lives. Now that my parents have been gone for a number of years, it's my memories of my mother that bring tears to my eyes. Moms are the greatest! and you belong to the club.

manababies said...

I feel bad for laughing but you've made this sound very funny to me. I am in the SAME EXACT SHOES, but when I'm the Not Fun Parent, I don't think it's very funny. In fact, I think my kids think of me as the Hysterical Parent. Or the Unreasonable Parent. Or the Boring-as-heck Parent. Hmmph.

mackeydoodle said...

I say tomorrow you get your rubbers(whatever you call those boots Down Under)& get squishy in the mud too!! Very therapeutic you know:)

TUFFENUF said...

I think children are happy to be with us no matter what we are doing. It is important to include them in everything, even the everyday mundane stuff. So many children are totally ignored by their parents. Your children are very lucky to have such good parents. I bet you learned it from your mom & dad.

shellyC said...

Oh YES.....I know ALL about this!! Actually a post I wrote awhile ago should make you laugh.

http://shellsandbeans.blogspot.com/2005/08/being-daddy.html

But I am sure you are a fun Mum too!!!

John Cowart said...

I tried to comment yesterday but ...

Anyhow, this set up sounds fair to me; afterall I'm a guy.

Our grown children still talk about the days when Ginny would be in class and I would give them icecream and hot polish sausage for breakfast.

Dads are too useful.

Kerri said...

Jelly, we're all in the same boat. Someone has to be the serious one, and we're elected. I'm sure you balance each other out though. I just know they have fun with you.... you have that characteristic of always seeing the humour in life's little every day things. You ARE a fun mum, I'm sure of it!

Val said...

Kerri and others are being too kind: we moms are the enforcers, and therefore the bad guys. The dads are the soft touches, money flows out of their pockets like water - how can you beat that? They need us to get the practical stuff done and the place in order, but...that's...no...fun.