Monday, November 15, 2010

Look Who's Babysitting!!!

Well, I have managed to stop myself, thus far, from becoming the creepy guy at the park or at the store who comes up to everyone that has a baby and starts a conversation.  I know that that is very unsettling for me, but maybe I am different than a lot of other people.  I am not friendly by nature.  Yet, that doesn't mean that I don't I have a hard time not going up to strange babies and infants and cooing at them.  

I am constantly searching for a playmate for my son. I just don't want to be, or refuse to be rather, one of those horrid, creepy, friendly people who practically throw themselves at you because you have a baby.  But, what's even worse than those people, are the unwanted advice people.  Yes, I remember that not so long ago I stated that it is important to pick and choose wisely who you listen to and what advice to take or not.  However, that does not apply to any old grandma or mother or grandpa or father that you come across.  

When it comes to strangers, you can pretty much ignore them totally because, let's face it, these people aren't really out to help you.  All they want is to sneak a peak at the little one you have attached to you.  Why wouldn't they?  Your baby is beautiful, and they are creepy.  

Well, maybe they aren't all creepy, but they sure as hell are all annoying.  And, people like that bother just about every young parent with a young child because they can't help themselves.  

These annoying advice givers have told me everything from, "You hold your son (who was 5 weeks old at the time) too much," to "That baby really needs to be disciplined!"  

Give me a break lady who probably has rickets.  He's only 3 months old.  How the hell do you discipline a 3 month old?  

I have also been told I have no right keeping my son from his mother through out the day.  "Babies need their mothers you know?"  Yes, I do know that, but my wife is the bread winner in our household.  What do you want me to do, go back to work at the retail store I worked at and make minimum wage and try desperately to feed three people on such paltry wages?  

It's not going to happen.  

Believe me, I have tried the math.  Sure, I can try for other jobs.  In fact, I have tried for a lot of other jobs.  You'd think a bachelors degree would be worth more than nine or ten dollars an hour, but it isn't anymore.  The sad thing is, I had higher paying jobs right out of high school ten years ago, than I have had since I graduated college.  

With the jobs that are currently available to me, there is no way my family would be able to live,  and paying for daycare costs more than what I would be able to make. So, there is no possible way I could be a financial contributor to my household right now.  

That really sucks!  

It makes me feel like less of a man.  I know that there are others in similar situations, so it seems like something should be or could be done.  I just don't know what, and  until then, I am a stay-at-home dad who writes blogs during naptimes, which is fine with me...for now.    

At first, the worst thing, for me, about being a stay at home dad was overhearing all the jokes uttered at my expense whenever I went out with the little man.  I felt pressure to defend my manliness all the time.  

Then I gave up listening to them entirely.  After all, who really gives a shit what some wino buying Old Milwaukee's Best at eight o'clock in the morning thinks anyway?

Besides, there are some clever jokesters out there that are worth listening to, even if their jokes are at your expense.  

For instance, one old geezer told my son that he hoped he took after his father in the looks department because his momma (meaning me) was ugly as sin.  Then he called me honey and told me my apron was untied.  

You see, that was not so bad.  It was kind of clever, and I don't think the old guy meant any harm, but if he did I don't care because he'll be dead soon.  

At least, it wasn't another "pull the string sally" joke.   Those got old before they started.  

I'll tell you what else got old really quickly, the men and women that come up to me and ask if I am babysitting.  

Go to hell!!!  

I am so sick of hearing that stupid, same old, bullshit!  What's more, I can't even turn it around on them because most of the time  the person asking if I am babysitting will throw a fit right in the middle of the store if I respond to them sharply.  

Here's an example.  

I was shopping one day at P&C, before it was bought out by TOPS, and this lady with three kids came over to me in the "fresh" produce isle.  Then she looked at me and said, "Look who's babysitting!!" To which, I replied, "And you're doing such a great job too.  I am so proud of you!" in my goofiest, fakity happy voice.  

Holy Crap!  Was she pissed at me for that!  

She started screaming, "How dare you question my ability as a mother!  What do you know about raising children?" and blah blah blah.  It went on from there for a little while until the store manager got involved.  

I think what really made her angry was the fact I wasn't paying attention to her tantrum.  While she was yelling I was shopping.  

I find that when people act like that it is best to walk away and hope that they realize that they are being an ass sooner or later.  Most of the time it works.  My wife taught me that trick by doing it to me so many times I can't count them all.  

Anyway, there was a part of me that thought this lady's reaction was hilarious, but, then, I happened to glance at her children. They were terrified, which made me feel really bad for them.  First of all, she really wasn't setting an example of exemplary behavior, and, secondly, if she is willing to act like that in public, what does she do when she is at home?  

Those poor kids don't even have a chance.

The only other time I tried to spin the old babysitting question around on someone, I received a similar response, just not as explosive.  I was in K-Mart shopping for fall clothes for my baby and this lady walked right up to me and asked, "Are we babysitting today?" My response was a surly, "No, WE aren't doing anything.  I am shopping with MY son."  That caused a cursing fit which lasted again until a manager came and saved me.  

This lady wasn't as loud as the first lady, but she followed me around while I was ignoring her.  I would have put her to work and had her push the shopping cart or something, but I didn't think she was game. 

Apparently, I hurt her expletive laden feelings.  I tried to tell her I was sorry, but, for some reason, she didn't believe that I was sincere.  Of course, I wasn't.  I just wanted her to go away because I saw an outfit that my wife would love for the little man, but this middle-aged moronic lady was blocking it with her semi-quiet tirade.  

I never did get a chance to look at that outfit.  Oh well, he would have just out grown it in a week and a half anyway.

Since these episodes, I have learned that part of being a dad is having hardly anyone take you seriously as a parent.  I keep saying to myself, "You'll have to get over it." but  I doubt that will ever happen.  

It's just the way it is for now. 

There are jerks everywhere, and, believe it or not, you are one too sometimes.  So, do your best to ignore them, and, whatever you do, don't throw tantrums in front of your child.  Mostly because it is a really bad example to set,  but it also makes you look like an asshole too.    

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