Friday, June 02, 2006

I want to be a dad

Last night, my husband had his annual Open House at his school, so I had to take Boogie to her "Dad's Night" at her preschool. I went with her and her grandpa and it was great.

It started with us sitting outside while all of the kids in the school got together on the bleachers in front of us. Along with the music director and his acoustic guitar, they sang 4 songs that they've been learning this month. The pastor said a few inspirational words, and then it was on to the activities.

For food, they had pizza and chips, watermelon and cookies, cheetos and oreos, all the scrumptious things you love to eat. At different stations on the playground they had various events. You could eat dirt and worms (chocolate pudding with crushed oreos and gummy worms). You could get your face painted. You could stand on stumps and hit each other with those noodle things that you use in the pool to knock each other off the stump. You could use your whole body to wave these gigantor bubble makers to make the hugest bubbles ever. You could gather a pile of wood and molding, using glue and nails (along with saws and hammers, which I wasn't quite sure was age appropriate for the kids), to make a bird house or an airplane or whatever else some of the talented dads could make. You could get shaving cream and fake razor and shave your dad. Or you could get some paint and make your own pet rock.

We had so much fun. Boogie's grandpa made her a birdhouse. She got her face painted and ate some dirt and worms. Little Dak was happy because he had food (I had to get him a plate after he stole some chips off some little girl's plate). A great night.

Then I thought, "What the hell?" I had attended the mom's night last month (excuse me, it was called Mother's Tea ... which should give you an idea of how different it was than the dad's version.)

Ours started with us sitting in the chapel. Each class in the school (the 2 1/2-3 year olds, the 3-year-olds, two classes of 4-year-olds, the 5-year-olds who aren't ready to go to kindergarten, and then the big kids who come to the school before and after their regular school until their parents get out of work) came out to sing three songs. While it's nice when your child is out there singing, it's pretty long to sit through five other classes of kids you don't know singing their songs until they all come out at the end to sing a couple more songs as a group. Just singing four songs total, as in the dad's version, was definitely better.

We also listened to a motivational speaker talk about how important our role as mothers is. But she came across more as, "look what a great mom I am with my great kids" than telling us we were doing a good job.

So an hour later, it was on to the activities. Oh wait, there were no activities. Just iced tea, punch and little cookies. No pizza. No watermelon. No giant bubbles.

Why do they think that mom's aren't interested in that stuff? Why is it that when a group of men and women get together, the women congregate in the kitchen and talk about shopping, while the men sit outside by the firepit drinking beer? I'd much rather be outside. Sometimes, i think it would be better to be a dad.


At 2:08 PM, Blogger McSwain said...

Yeah, really! I always think these things about women's/men's ministries at church, too. The guys get to go stay at a lodge in the woods and have campfires and hear speakers with some sort of national reputation, while women have tea in the church multipurpose room and hear the church secretary talk about her favorite book series. What's up with that?

Giant bubbles sound like FUN!

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Newlywife said...

I know it's cheesey, but I have to say...just reading your blog gives me a good role model for mom-hood. To hear about a regular girl, with a career, going to lawschool, and all the while raising these great kids. It makes me feel like it's attainable.

And as for the role of mom v. dad...I agree, it seems like you get a better deal as a dad! Particularly if there are games and food!

Great post!

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Carolyn said...

Wow, thanks Newly Wife! While I know I'm not the perfect mom, comments like yours give me hope! :)

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Wow, yeah, I'd want to be a dad, too! What fun! I think I'd write the school (or the PTA or whomever is in charge) and share your thoughts with them. They need to know! If it's like our school, one person on the PTG decides it all and it's all just how she envisions the world!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

Your daughters preschool sounds wonderful and obviously encourages parents to be proactive in their childrens lives . Dad’s night sounded like a blast and I think is great you chose to go since your husband wasn’t able to. There are so many parents out there who just don’t take the time to be involved which is very said. Our children depend on us to support them in everything they do, and it should be our number one priority to be there for them despite our work commitments. Unfortunately, my husband does not have that flexibility at this time in his life with the military, so I too go to everything when dad cannot. I believe more times then not parents’ loose site of what is most important in life.... I believe it is our children. Not the material things we can buy for them through long workweeks, but the quality time we spend with them talking, reading, and laughing with them. Have you ever heard that song "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry & Sandy Chapin? Well… that song has always touched my heart and we try to the best of our ability to avoid being that type of parent. It can be hard I know but our children’s youth is something that cannot be rewound at our convenience. It passes by so quickly and so I try my best to enjoy every second possible.

I too would much rather be outside by the fire pit, and I am a lot of the time. I think that your Mom’s night experience was very typical because as women we are able to focus for longer periods of time then men, honestly even when we are not enjoying it .Women are great pretenders, and much better at being polite. We have it so much easier than dad’s do because we can be out there by the fire pit and in the kitchen sharing our inner most personal thoughts venting with our girl friends without judgment and men just do not have that luxury. What dad’s have is a wall that keeps most people at a distance and we are the ones who they share their hopes, dreams, and fears with privately. I think that although your Mom’s night was dull it was important because we as women have such an awesome responsibility to our children to provide them with an idea of what role a mother plays as well as a father. Yes… I know that may sound somewhat old fashion, but it is a good foundation to build off for a young girl, and is good for a young boy to learn as well as respect. Have you ever heard that John Mayer song “Daughters”? Truly, that beautiful song is so true.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

aw, so cute. i love how the theme transcends the mother's nteam and dad's night. you almost incorporate that tone into your conclusion, like a little kid saying, "i wish i were a boy!" or something. the whole thing sounds like fun. fortuitous that you got to be a dad for the evening. maybe you can inspire change for the next mother's tea. :)

At 4:45 PM, Blogger rebcram said...

I will remember that when Evan gets to preschool that I always need to go to the Dad events!

At 6:36 PM, Blogger doggerelblogger said...

I'm right there with you and the guys - I have no interest in talking about the best place to buy Fisher Price toys. And yet? Do the moms gravitate towards this boring stuff, or are we pushed there out of guilt... or something?

At 6:54 AM, Blogger K. said...

You don't need to be a dad. You can just be a mom who sits outside by the firepit drinking beer. ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home