Shirking duties

To the two dads at the library this weekend: you are a couple of jackasses. I’m guessing your partners asked you to “please take the kids somewhere so I can have one freaking hour to myself.” When you agreed, layered under the gratitude and the giddiness there was an unspoken understanding—unspoken because your partner should absolutely not have to say this—that you would actually be with your kids. Whether you chose the library or not, you should have known that being with your kids means parenting your kids. Not taking them somewhere and ignoring them.

Jackass #1, I don’t want your goddamned daughter following me, hovering over my shoulder, leaning on my kid to see what I’m reading or showing him on the computer, and asking me to read to her. I don’t like her. It’s not her fault; it’s yours. You left her alone with a big wad of gum in her mouth and a need to talk to someone, anyone, who would listen. She’s five, dude. Spend some time with her. And take that goddamned gum out of her mouth. When she asks you to read to her, as she did when you finally showed up an hour later, don’t tell her “not now, maybe at home.” Fracking dillweed. You’re at the library. You have to read to your kid. It’s the law. (By the way, why would you bring home that crappy book she chose all by herself while you had totally abandoned her to do whatever it was you desperately needed to do alone while your kid wandered aimlessly and alone? Why not read that piece of junk now and take home something good? Something that, say, you pick out with her based on her interests? Oh, right. Because you’re a jackass.)

Jackass #2: Thanks for making Jackass #1 look good. He, at least, told his daughter not to leave the library. Your four-year-old is in the freaking parking lot answering questions from strangers about where her daddy is. She doesn’t know your name, by the way, you anal pore, because you don’t spend enough time with her for her to think of you as human. In her defense, we don’t think you’re human, either. And she doesn’t know where you last were because you’re so self absorbed that you don’t know four-year-old time runs in a parallel universe where fifteen minutes of something they like is “one minute” and one minute alone equals fifteen minutes of destruction. Or fear. You’re a useless sack of subhuman compost. And a useless father. When the strangers who are helping your daughter find you I hope they read you the riot act. And that they then call your partner who will now pay for that one hour of trusting your sorry, pathetic lack of common sense with the knowledge that that one hour a week, that one glimmer of hope at a sense of self should become a whole weekend twice a month (if you got joint custody, which no judge would grant). You’re as useless and horrible as a spicy linguine speculum. Jackass.

To all you other fathers out there, I hold out hope that you actually spend time with, think of, and care for your daughters. Leaving them alone at the library is, as you well know, not acceptable until they are old enough to head for the Judy Blume section. Once that happens, it is your job to hang out near the librarian’s desk so you can answer questions, listen in, and escort her out when she’s ready to be with you again. Until she’s reading Forever, though, please actually parent her. And after she reads it—for the sake of all that is awesome about fathers and daughters—keep parenting her.

It’s your mothereffing job.

(So is kicking the crap out of the Jackasses who don’t do their mothereffing jobs. Help the rest of the parents out, would ya? We can’t do this alone.)

20 thoughts on “Shirking duties

  1. I love you.

    I love you with chocolate sauce, cherries, sprinkles, and whipped cream when you rant.

    New category: It’s your fathereffing job.

  2. jc I knew you’d appreciate calling fathers out on being mothereffers. Fathereffers, on the other hand, should get out of jail free because just effing a father is enough of a job.

  3. Please note that all the language in the post recognizes that fathers may be partnered with someone of either gender. But the mothereffer bit is heterocentric. Noted. But still funny, so equality takes a small hit for the sake of the language.

  4. Did you say anything? What do you say? I need a script. Our library us actually pretty strict about telling parents not to leave their kids, but the park is another story.

  5. @letmestart you know I’m pretty keyed up about things in general, but lazy parenting and absentee parenting drive me batshit insane. I know damned well the parents who ignore their kids see them one hour a day on weekdays and as little as possible on weekends. Kills me.

    Let’s go egg their houses.

    • Hi, Melissa! That’s your first comment since you moved your blog, so you got caught in spam. Sorry.
      No, I didn’t say anything. I was on my weekly Mom-and-Oldest date with Peanut and I didn’t want him to notice what was going on. I usually use him as a reason to temper my reaction, and to explain how I get angry with other drivers, for instance, but how they have their reasons that I don’t know about and I need to be gentle with them. Helps me not scream in the car. I did tell the annoying gum girl “Wow, that’s loud gum.” And when she asked me to read to her I told her “right now is my special time to read to my son, but you can ask your Dad or Mom.” When her dad came by later and refused to read to her I loudly offered to read another story to Peanut. The Jackass was too busy collecting his other kid from the video game he was playing on the library’s computer to hear me.

      Hi, Yasmin. I don’t know either. I spend 412 hours a week with my kids but I still make time to have a date with each one, each weekend, where for two hours I do *nothing* but pay attention to them. We play, we go to the library, we fly kites. Seems working parents should have 3,000 times the incentive to do the same. For at least two stinking hours a week per kid.

  6. I heart you! You say exactly what I want to say – and exactly the way I want to say it. I just don’t have the guts.

    ” You’re at the library. You have to read to your kid. It’s the law.” – It’s the law! Damn straight, sister! (Have I mentioned that I heart you?)

    • Hey, fae. Honestly, I’m a jerk and probably shouldn’t have reproduced, but at least I take the responsibility seriously. Mostly. Sometimes. Okay, not really, but I don’t leave my kid to entertain himself in public when I should be with him.

  7. Nap, no false modesty please. You know you’re an awesome mom. You raising some great little humans there. I’m in awe at the lengths you go to raise such fine little men.

  8. What are these dads finding to do at the library that is so utterly fascinating? Really, I’m mystified… Try the K library up the hill next time. It’s almost always empty.

  9. Really? He left a FOUR year old in the parking lot? What an idiot!

    I appreciate how you showed restraint, but damn, that must have taken a lot out of you not to beat his sorry ass in the library. I would have called the cops. Bastard! No wonder so many women walk around their whole adult lives with abandonment issues!

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