Do giraffes neigh? Or, What’s it like to be a stay-at-home dad, Answer 5: Liberating.


Tongues rock!

Leaping around like a grounded trout. Singing when I probably shouldn’t be given my lack of ability to stay in a particular key. Dancing in the middle of a beautiful day. Barking like a dog, neighing like a giraffe. (Do they neigh?)

If you saw me on the street acting like that, you’d cross to the other side and call the cops. But when I’m with Boobaby (and, today, with another dad and toddler*), it’s more than acceptable — it’s cool.

“Testosterone” was the topic on This American Life __a couple of weeks ago. Among the personality traits associated with high levels of the hormone were “decisiveness” and “conformity.”

That is to say:

  1. Gotta be a real man…
  2. Gotta fit in and be tough…
  3. Gotta resolve problems decisively and quickly…
  4. …Without thinking much about it.

Words fail me to describe how much I suck at all four. I dither, I avoid confrontations, I debate problems inside my overcrowded head endlessly. I have 7 unlistened-to voice mails on my phone because I fear if I heard them I might have to, you know, deal with something.

So I’ve never been confused with an alpha male. Gamma, maybe, but even that’s pushing it.

But being a dad, I can act just exactly how I want, using Boobaby as my excuse. If I get a funny look, I just shoot right back with a knowing “Well, I’m just being a good parent!” nod, and that trumps any remaining pressure to fit in as a “guy” I might have felt.

*I won’t name the other dad I was being goofy with, to protect his privacy. But oops! A link to his site slipped in!