The Daddy Factor, part 2…

A few months ago I posted a blog (The Daddy Factor)  about my husband taking our three older boys out to lunch in a food court and how three elderly ladies felt the need to tell him that the boys were exceptionally well behaved. Then they said to him: “It’s great to see how well behaved your boys are. Please pass onto your wife that she’s done an excellent job.

Well, after last week’s effort, I hate to think what they would have said to him, and am positive that they would not have passed their compliments on to me. In fact, I am pretty sure that they would have been ringing Child Services and reporting us…but let’s start at the beginning…

We are big fans of the show, The Big Bang Theory, in fact, our ten year old can quote episodes verbatim and our eight year old bares a remarkable resemblance to Sheldon (both physically and emotionally).

Fellow fans may remember the episode where Raj attempts to imitate American sayings, but gets it wrong and comes out with a mish-mash of quotes that don’t make sense. Well, apparently our six year old, Lachlan, was paying more attention to that particular episode than we thought.

While at a food court, eating lunch, the boys were reminiscing about their favourite sayings from the show. Lachlan joined in and said, that the top of his voice, while waving his sandwich around in his little hand,

“Hey, remember when Raj said: IN YOUR ARSE!”

Of course, the entire food court heard him and turned their stunned faces in the direction of Jason, who was now choking on his lunch.  The two older boys were as stunned as the rest of the food court population, while Lachlan, oblivious to his blunder, was smiling and dancing.

The eight year old pointed out that Lachlan had gotten it wrong.  Raj had actually said: “Shut Your Arse!”, meaning to say “Shut up”.

Jason pointed out that in either case, it was not appropriate language for children and they shouldn’t say it again. Especially in a large public space, like a food court.

Fast track one hour later – Jason and the boys are happily ensconced in their seats at the movie theatre, waiting for the main feature to start.

A young child, sitting with his family in the same row, had been talking through the trailers, but no one cared because he only looked to be about four years old. We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

As the main feature started, the small child continued to chat, even though his parents had tried to shush him.  We all know it’s impossible to tell a small one to be quiet when he has something to say.

Lachlan, however, thought otherwise. He leant  forward in his seat, turned toward the child and said, loudly:

“Shut your arse!”

Yep, you read correctly. Our six year old told another child to shut his arse. In perfect context. Perfect timing.  Not in a busy food court, but in a quietened movie theatre where everyone could hear.

Jason was stunned into silence, as were the older boys – especially our ten year old, Ethan,  who was sitting next to the mother of the other child. Ethan chose to let the backrest of the seat swallow him whole as he disappeared into the tweedy upholstery.  All that remained were to enormous, shocked blue eyeballs that were bulging out of his head in an attempt not to laugh, mixed with utter shock at what Lachlan had done, and fear that the mother would blame him.

Jason and his rugby player physique joined Ethan and made himself as small as a 100kg man can be, as he too disappeared into the manky upholstery of the seat.

And me? I wiped tears away from my eyes in hysterics, as this was relayed to me later that afternoon. I was at home writing at the time, so missed out (for once) on the public humiliation that comes wrapped in the gorgeous bubble that is my six year old, Lachlan.

But, the next time his teacher tells me that he is having trouble comprehending  things at school, I will be able to tell her otherwise!

The daddy factor…

My husband took three of our children to the local shopping centre and bought lunch in the food court recently.  Sitting opposite him were three elderly ladies, in their late seventies.  They watched on as he organised the boy’s food, helped to open their drinks and then sat down and ate lunch himself.

At the end of their meal,  the ladies made their way over to his table and said:
“Excuse us, but we just had to tell you, seeing as you’re a dad and all, that it is so nice to see you in control of your three sons in a public space.”

But here’s what Jason heard:

“Excuse us, but we  just had to let you know that we thought it was a miracle that you were able to coordinate two activities at once. We know that men are absolutely useless at multi-tasking, but you managed to not only control your sons from running riot around the area, but keep them seated and eat their lunch as well.”

He smiled through gritted teeth.

Then they said: “It’s great to see how well behaved your boys are. Please pass onto your wife that she’s done an excellent job.

This is what he heard:

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  It’s clearly all your wife’s doing because you, as a man, are probably busy getting drunk at the pub with your mates, watching footy and cricket, belching, farting and incinerating  steaks on the barbeque. None of your son’s good behaviour could possibly be attributed to your limited participation in their lives. Your wife must be an angel to put up with you.”

He smiled and thanked them for their insight, and promise to pass their compliments onto me, which he did, in a voice significantly higher than usual.

Of course I am happy to take half of the credit for our boy’s good behaviour. But credit where credit is due – and the other half is owed  to Jason.  Like most modern dads, he’s an active participant in their lives every day and he wouldn’t have it any other way.  He’s wiped bums, been vomited on, snotted on and done his fair share of resettling teething children in the middle of the night. He’s an awesome dad and I love that he is such a positive role model for our boys. My wish is that they will be just as awesome when it is their turn to be a dad, (although hopefully not for a really, really long time!)

I took the boys  to the same food court today for lunch. The same kids at the same food court. I even left the two older boys to their own devices while I got lunch for the third. They were perfectly behaved in my absence, although I figure that chowing down on meaty pork ribs and chips was the main reason for this. They had been in the swimming pool all morning and were famished by lunch time.

And did I get any compliments? Did anyone come up to me to tell me how well my husband has brought up our children? No. Not one person.  I got a few approving smiles from the grand-dads in the area, but that was probably more to do with the mini skirt I was wearing than my mode of parenting.  I can’t turn the head of a twenty-something anymore, so unfortunately, I have to take whatever comes my way to boost my mothered ego.

So, what’s the moral of this story? It seems to be that if a person has a penis then it is assumed that he is mildly retarded when it comes to being a parent. It is both fortunate and miraculous if he is able to bring the same amount of children home from any outing,  and he should be awarded a medal of honour if he manages to bring home the same children that he took out in the first place, i.e. he hasn’t lost one and picked up a stray along the way just to make up the numbers.

Dads do things differently – but differently is not necessarily wrong.  It’s just different. So what if he picks up the dropped ice-cream and brushes the dirt off it before handing it back to a heart broken kid instead of throwing it out because it has germs on it.  I’m just glad he wants to take our kids out for an ice-cream in the first place. Thanks to all the men who are great dads and husbands. May your sock and jock drawer runneth over each Father’s day.