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30 November 2007

Mr. Dad?

Mr. Mom, the 1983 movie with Michael Keaton and Terri Garr introduced us to the concept of dads staying home with their kids while mom wen to work into the mainstream. The tag line was: "When mom goes to work, dad goes berserk!" Oh, really?

First off, even before I found out that a mother's temperature increases by 1 degree after birth so that the baby can stay warm while nursing did I believe that women are superior to men in many, many ways. What Tonya went through to get us where we are with Ethan is more than an army men could do any day.

With that being said, here is a notable exception of what women can NOT do better than men: BE MEN. Seems obvious right? Well, the Keaton movie aside, how about we let Mom be Mom and invite and encourage Dad to be Dad?

I have seem some dominant women 'mute the manhood' of their spouse because the man was not doing (fill in the blank - use your imagination) right. Eat olives out the jar with a dirty steak knife? Okay, we'll give you that one. But, please, if Dad wants to delay a meal for 5 minutes so that he can connect (play, wrestle, practice putting, etc.) with their baby after a long day away at work ... is the baby's future better served by that or by conforming to a strict Mom-designed feeding regimen?

The aforementioned was a scene played out some time ago in front of me and Tonya. Is this kid now an axe murderer? Unfortunately, Yes! Well okay, no, just kidding, but what would that couple have gained if they had celebrated, instead of ridiculed the earnest input of the Dad? What did they end up losing? In that instance the Dad walked away from his baby after being scolded for interrupting the Mom's master plan; and he surely had less of an incentive to initiate such spontaneous contact in the future.

To quote one the great philosopher's of the modern era, Rodney King: "can't we just all get along?"

So to the mom's out there driven to create a little nirvana for their kiddos ...intentional or unintentional...don't forget that kid's need their Dads too; Dads that need to be more than just a male facsimile of Mom.

What makes a Dad? Sugar and Spice and everything nice? Not exactly. Again, "Dad" is a title, kind of like plumber, politician or dog catcher...it is just a title. And like we talked about previously, titles are what you make of them.

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