Mike and I took the girls down to Fisherman’s Wharf the other day to peer at the sea lions, eat fried squid, and otherwise enjoy the side of San Francisco that only you tourists usually get to see.
Parenting two kids in public is a octopus’s job: I was changing a diaper, chatting with Boo about sea lion poop, warming a bottle, and arranging a blanket. As I sent Boo off to play “leap of death” with Emmeline (no worries — Mike is totally buff) so I could feed the Blueberry, a passing Tourist Mom mentioned something to the effect that she should call our wives to let them know what a good job we’re doing.
Hee, hee. Yeah, call our wives.
Stay-at-home-dadding is crazy that way: one day you’ll be getting crap for not putting a jacket on your daughter or feeding the baby from a bottle (as if I have any choice in either matter), the next day you’ll be praised to the planets for basic competency.
Tourist Mom had clearly become mired in the swamp of assumptions. Mike and I, she could plainly see, are the kinds of dads who take Mondays off (once a month, maybe?) to take the kids off of mom’s hands. What great dads! They babysit and they change diapers, even!
I rarely set people straight on these matters (that’s what the blog is for), though I’ll admit I was sorely tempted to explain (laboriously) (again) all that men-can-be-nurturers crap. Or maybe just to impersonate a gay family — I mean, hello? two men with their three kids on the pier in San Francisco, doesn’t “married couple” even enter your mind?
But as usual, I didn’t say anything but “thank you” and sat comfortable in the knowledge that Tourist Mom at least witnessed dads being good with young kids. And that’s as much of a departure from her normal reality as she seemed ready to accept.