Monday, October 3, 2011

"Are You Babysitting Today?"

Whenever I am out with my kids on the weekend, there is one thing that I hate more than anything else. Is it the constant screaming and demands for food, toys and attention? No, it is when people come up and feel inclined to ask me "Are you babysitting the kids today?"
Do I look like a thirteen year old girl saving up for the latest Justin Bieber cd? Do I look like Mr. Belvidere? No, I am their father! I want to be with my kids and share in my responsibilites of raising them to be happy well adjusted adults that add value to the planet (also my wife made me take them out).

If you should happen to have this happen to you in the future, here are a couple of handy responses to share with your new curious friend:
  • "No, I was actually was trying to kidnap them and they both wouldn't fit into the trunk."
  • "How dare you ma'am! These are my dwarf parents and I can't believe you would be so rude as to call them children. Dad here is a defense attorney working on some of the most important cases in the system today and Mom was runner up for Ms. Illinois in 1972. I think we both know that you owe them an apology and some candy."
  • "I am a cannibal and these are my afternoon snacks."
  • "Actually they are watching me. You see I am legally blind and I couldn't afford a helper monkey, so the state had all these orphans lying around...and let me tell you they are helpful."
  • "Thank god you see them too! Nobody else can see them and I was starting to worry that I was going crazy."
Seriously, as a father, I think it is important that we raise our children to understand that the time that we spend with them is not a "chore" or a "job". I know most of the time, people are just trying to make small talk, but children are very preceptive and start to intake "cultural norms" early in life. Make sure they know that you are not the babysitter, you are their father...and you can afford your own Justin Bieber cds.

If someone should ask what an appropriate question to you or your children would be instead of this, here are some acceptable statements that I appreciate.
  • Where are you taking the little ones today?
  • It looks like a big day out with Daddy. Where are you going today?
  • Are you having fun with daddy today?
  • Are you being good for daddy today?
  • Isn't your daddy so handsome?
Do you have this happen to you? Do you hate this as much as I do? Let us know.
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