Sunday, January 2, 2011

I rock, apparently

The threshold for paternal competence seems criminally low.  In the last month, since the Hatchling arrived, plenty of people have complimented me either straight to my face or via my Smaller Half, saying what a great dad I am.

I do not understand why, because what I am doing at the time is simply holding my own child.  So I'm standing there just holding a sleeping baby and some complete stranger comes up to me and says, "You're a great dad!"

It just doesn't make any sense.  Perhaps if the baby was screaming and I was holding it in one arm while ironing a shirt with the other and making pancakes with my feet I would understand that people would be impressed.  And as for how impressed people are when I change a dirty nappy.  Good Lord.  You'd think I'd transplanted my own liver into the kid, the way it causes people to fall all over the places in rapturous praise.

Elderly women are the worst culprits.  I've had them grab me by the arm as I walk past, demanding to inspect the Hatchling, then praise me for my parenting skills.  Incredible, that I can walk in a straight line and yet, somehow, contrive to not drop the Hatchling or accidentally feed her peanuts.

Meanwhile, my poor Smaller Half, who busted a gut (literally) to produce the Hatchling and is in a permanent daze from the shock of being tethered to her 16 hours a day, looks on in wonder as she is elbowed to one side by hordes of women singing my praises and ignoring her contribution completely.  The upside of it all though is that it's very rapidly rebuilt my self-esteem after it was destroyed last year by my jerk supervisor.  Right now, I'm pretty sure that I'm some kind of superhuman.

And if you'll excuse me, I have to go.  I've been recklessly holding the Hatching in my arms while I type this and her neck seems to have developed more joints in it than mine does.  Gotta straighten her back out again.  All in a day's work for Super-Dad!


Matticus Finch said...

It's a tarp!
Your being left with no place to go but down. What you might like to consider is earning yourself a reputation as a terrible father so you can shine later on. At the very least you'll be looking at some sort of most improved trophy.

PTR said...

Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.

Matticus Finch said...

Schooled again!
When I wrote that I was actually thinking of the Keanu Reeves movie My Own Private Idaho, and now I learn that it was loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry. If you had a jib I should most certainly like the cut of it.

PTR said...

ha! that's pretty funny, I've never seen Private Idaho but did Henry IVa at school, so you obviously conveyed the idea perfectly...