Husband and father! Two titles that many people (mostly men) have. They are two titles that carry a lot of weight and mean many different things.
As a husband I am: 1) Mr. Fixit (Or, Mr. I Think I Can Fixit But I Really Can’t – it’s a long name, but it best describes me.) 2) Counselor (better known as a Yes Ma’am Man. Her – “Do you think this is a good idea?” Me – “Yes Ma’am.” Never disagree even if you disagree.) 3) Decision Maker (Me – “Where do you want to go eat? Her – “I don’t care.” Me – “Okay, let’s go here. Her – “I don’t want that.” Me – “Yes ma’am.” 4) Vocal Coach (I give her vocal chords a good stretch – Huh? What did you say? is my tool – I heard her the first time, but the more she uses her voice the more melodic it becomes.)
As a father I am: 1) Banker (I think that’s self-explanatory.) 2) Jailer (I don’t have prison cells in my house, but if it weren’t illegal I would consider it for my teen and pre-teen.) 3) Referee (If I had the jail cells I wouldn’t need this title.) 4) Sounding Board (I invite them to tell me their problems and concerns and give them the best advice I can – “Go ask your mom.”)
Obviously this is a small representation of the burden I carry. I could give a full, comprehensive list of my responsibilities as a husband and father, but I’m not sure anyone (other than me) wants me to drone on and on about how wonderful I am.
I did neglect to list one title that I have as both husband and father. I’m not all that thrilled with this one, but if it makes my girls happy I will gladly bear this torch. I am The Fall Guy (no, not the stuntman played by Lee Majors on television). If there is blame to be placed it usually ends up on my shoulders. If my daughters do anything wrong it is ultimately my fault because, as my wife has reminded me on numerous occasions, it was my chromosome that made them girls.
My daughters usually pass the blame when it will get them out of trouble with their mom or if it will help them “save face.”
I don’t mind taking the blame to help my daughters avoid embarrassment as long as they don’t make me look like some kind of creepy old guy that goes around bullying little girls. That will obviously need an explanation.
Let me paint a picture of the scene – Sunday night at the fair and my oldest daughter was waiting for me while I covered an event. I called her when I was done and told her to meet me. Her first words were, “Can you get me some French Fries?” I said “Ask your mom,” which didn’t work because mom had already gone home. I bought the fries and I held them while she poured the seasoning on top. I was shaking the fries to get the seasoning to the bottom when she bumped my hand. The fries landed on the ground. I watched her face as she contemplated what to do. I saw her eyes light up as she made her decision. I knew exactly what she was thinking and I had to stop her, “You’re not putting the fries back in that cup.” Her shoulders immediately slumped and that is when the blame game began. I don’t know how she figures that I knocked them out of her hand when I was holding the cup. Instead of arguing I walked away. She could have easily asked for a new cup of fries by saying she or I dropped them. That didn’t happen. With a tear in her eye and as if she was trying to quell her sobs, she points towards me and tells the vendor, “That MAN knocked my fries out of my hand.” She might as well have said, “That creepy old guy sneaked up behind me and with a sinister laugh smacked the fries out of my hand and ran off.”