After not having heard it for weeks, I got called "Mr. Mom" twice in quick succession yesterday, at the very-quick-and-cheap haircut place and then by the supermarket checker.
I guess I do look a little like Michael Keaton.
The double insult put an ironic cap on a long day of domesticity. Boobaby woke up in an oppositional mood: not clothing, nor toothbrush, nor breakfast cereal would satisfy the beast. So we (read: "I") decided to make it a home day and set out to accomplish what we could with a house torn apart by days of travel and neglect.
We washed a boatload of dishes, baked sugar cookies, watered the yard, ran a few loads of laundry, and by the time naptime rolled around, Boobaby was back to her usual peppy self.
I, however, was running-into-walls-tired. Doing chores with a two-year old means doing them several times over. She’ll wash a bowl, but then I have to wash her, and probably the bowl, too. She learned to fold napkins today, but then, of course, I had to fold them again. The watering, washing, and baking all took their toll on her wardrobe; she was in four sets of clothes, and each change took a negotiation and a wrestle.
Collapsing onto the couch after Boo went down, I popped a bunch of old newscasts on the iPod. I was only half-listening when a statistic caught my attention. I can’t remember exactly what it was about, but I perked up when the reporter mentioned that whatever social ill he was covering disproportionately affects "manual laborers."
Does that mean — me?
In what way am I not a "manual laborer"? Sure, my job requires a fair bit of thoughtfulness, but I expect that the same is true of a typical auto worker. I really don’t know how the statisticians split the labor force (and I suspect with some annoyance that they probably call me a "non-worker"). But today, at any rate, my sore muscles and I felt ample solidarity with the world’s lunch-bucket workers. What a day.
So if you’re going to call me "Mr. Mom," at least do so with a little respect for the toil that goes into that, won’t you?