Saturday, January 21, 2006

Daddy makes a good mother

The lines between the traditional roles of mothers and fathers are blurred now more than ever before, and that is good news for a mother who finds that she doesn't always enjoy the daily drudgeries of her job. Another good thing is a father who doesn't mind taking over the role of mother!

A good example of this came this morning. I was lying in bed trying to figure out how much longer I could lie there before I had to get up for an appointment while he was tending to a sick child. She was bent over the john while he mopped her brow and gave her sips of water to drink. I admired this scene of fatherly devotion from my horizontal viewpoint before flipping over in the bed, wanting just a few more minutes under the warm covers.

Just a minute or so later, the other child came in the bedroom with announcements of her morning hunger, which was a good thing given the fact that she herself was sick a few days before. I promptly told her to ask her father for something to eat, something I tell her quite often.

A second or two after advising her to direct her need for food toward her father, I thoughtfully added, "Your daddy makes a good mother." Of course she didn't understand that, immediately retorting, "Men can't be mothers. They are fathers." A valid point indeed. "You are right, they are fathers. Your daddy is a good father, but mothers are usually the ones who feed their kids and take care of them when they are sick and he's doing that, too."

He continued looking after them while I went to my work appointment and throughout the rest of the day while I read the paper and wasted time at the computer. He fretted over them getting enough to eat and drink and cuddled with them on the couch as they all watched some mindless television. After their baths he flopped in bed with them and read to them until they all went to sleep.

That sounds like a very good mother to me. I aspire to be as good a mother as he.

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