Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Who (the FUCK) are YOU?"

I drop Jackson off at school every morning and pick him up every afternoon. It's weird for a stay-at-home Dad. When you are out and about, other moms look at you like, "Aww, he's a super hero Dad." When they see you drop off and pick up everyday, they look at you like, "Oh, I get it...he's unemployed."

The other day, I read about a Dad who asked another mother about a play date, and she reported him to the school for hitting on her.  This made me even more hyper aware of the creep aspects of being a misunderstood dad.  Not only to they think I'm a loser, but they think I'm a predator loser.

I'm probably reading too much into it, and the stories that we tell ourselves are always worse than reality.  BUT, nothing is more honest than the reaction of a child...

Jackson has a way of asking for things when he knows the likelihood of a denial is at a minimum.  When I picked him up from school the other day, we found ourselves walking next to another child and his mother.  Jackson asked, "Can we have a playmate?!?"  My usual response would have been, "Let's ask Mommy" followed by a toy or snack to serve as a distraction in the hopes that he would forget the question altogether.  But the other mommy answered immediately, "Sure!"  So, I told her that the next day I would bring in my info so we could make the arrangements.

The next time I saw the mom, I gave her an index card with my number, email, and Nicole's number also, in an attempt to reduce the "creep factor."  Without missing a beat, her son (not remembering me from the day before) says, "Who are you?"  Those were the words he used.  HOWEVER, his tonality and facial muscles were clearly communicating, "WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO GIVE MY MOM YOUR INFO, YOU PREDATORY LOSER?!?"  

I have no doubt that this was brought up at their dinner table that night.  The little guy stood up for his mother's honor.  He made sure to take the alpha male role in dad's stead.  And at age 5, he clearly put me in my place.  "I'm Jackson's Dad."  He then said, "Oh, OK" ...but his untrusting face remained as though it was chiseled from stone.