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.)