We live in an age that is obsessed with ‘How Other People Do Things,’ and it would seem that most especially of all, we want to know how other people parent. (Oh, hello. This is a parenting website. You may already be aware of this.)
Except if they are male. Nobody ever asks a male figure how they balance work and family life, or the ways in which they prepare for a busy week, or the ways in which they contribute all of their energy to the parenting partnership (even if their full and willing participation equals precisely fifty percent of the reason that the square shaped wheels have not come off the rickety old chicken wagon that is my delightful metaphor for what it sometimes feels like when you have three children six and under.)
I don’t know. Maybe I’m not reading enough Men’s Health. Is ‘fathering’ a ‘hot topic’ over there, at the Men’s Health? Anyone? Anyone? (*taps mic*) Is this thing on?
I only say this because my husband and I both work on The Daily Show, which means that occasionally people interview us about various things. And the ratio of times that I have been asked about ‘how I do it’ vs. the number of times he has been asked ‘how he does it’, is approximately 347 ba-jillion to ZERO.
On behalf of my husband, (who doesn’t care at all about this issue, which to him, is not even ‘an issue’ at all) this twists my panties. Yay! I get to be offended on his behalf.
And so, on this day, as I sit beside my husband at our workplace, I am going to turn to him lovingly, and ask him the question that no one ever honors him with: Lover, how did you ever get so lucky to have met such an intelligent, beautiful woman, and how do you deal with her unstoppably smoldering sexuality?
Actually, it went more like this: Husband, wearing noise-canceling headphones in order to avoid listening to me, watches something on his computer and eats a sad looking chicken breast and a Diet Coke. I brought my own lunch. Mine was delicious and healthy. Thanks for asking.
Me: Babe. Babe.
Me: BABE! (throws pencil at him to get his attention)
Me: How do you do it?
Him: (remembering I told him I was going to ask him this) I’m not doing your stupid thing.
Me: Just answer my question!
Him: OK. I don’t. I’m a shitty father.
Me: Don’t make a joke.
Him: Print that other shit up and let’s get to work.
Me: Just. How do you do it?
(Husband leaves room to go get a cookie)
(Husband enters room ten minutes later, munching on cookie. N.B. did not bring one for me.)
Me: How do you do it?
Him: Oh Christ. I don’t know. I just … live.
Me: I love you.
(shrugs shoulders, notices the clackity clack of my keyboard)
Him: Oh, are you writing this down? OK then. I don’t have time for love. Seriously. Let’s get to work.
Me: (makes mental note*)
Me: Thanks for the cookie.
*mental note: cancel pitch appointment for Men’s Health magazine
But please, check out our delightful menfolk of Babble. They’d be simply delighted to tell you How THEY Do It, for they do it with maximum panache:
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