Forgetful Dad. He’s the one who often acts like he’s been doing this parenting lark for five minutes, not five years. He says things like, ‘Where are the nappies?’ and ‘Which beaker should I use?’ On day trips he’s responsible for remembering ONE thing for your child, which he still manages to forget. But are these dads really forgetful? Do they just think this stuff isn’t important, or worse, that they don’t need to remember? Because us Mums can’t forget…
Last Sunday, we went on a five hour round trip to visit Daddy Pig’s friends. I was responsible for 4,514 things including breakfast, dressing the kids, making the packed lunches and packing the pyjama bag. Daddy Pig was responsible for two. Beer. And the booster seat.
You already know what happened. We arrived at our friends. WITH the beer. WITHOUT the booster seat. ‘Well, I remembered the beer,’ Daddy Pig said triumphantly in a, ‘Hey, I’m not as useless as you make out!’ way. This might be when I uttered the word, ‘Tosser.’
Daddy Pig thought that I cared about the lack of the sodding booster seat. I didn’t. Not one iota. I’ve watched Godivy eat crusts (and not even her own) off the floor. I’m hardly precious.
No, for most of us mums in these situations, we’re frustrated because we always have a whole heap of stuff to remember. And rarely forget anything. I get that, often, we’re around the kids more and in the habit of knowing what they need and when. But, I don’t think we’re even expecting Forgetful Dad to be proactive. Listening and responding to a simple request makes us happy enough. ‘Can you pack the booster seat?’ ‘Yes, darling. Of course.’ Job done.
But when everything falls to us, it can be irritating. It can make us feel a bit resentful. And perhaps even a little jealous. Jealous that ‘Fun, Forgetful Dad’, can afford to be so much more carefree and casual than ‘Stressy Mum’, when it comes to the kids. Still safe in the knowledge that nappies, snacks and booster seats will find their way where they are supposed to be.
I mentioned it to my friend. She empathised. And went on to say that she’d asked her husband to give their daughter some Calpol before school that morning. She’d also stuck a post-it note on her daughter’s beaker with ‘GIVE CALPOL’ in big fat capitals. Just to really cover all her bases. Of course, her daughter never got the Calpol. Because the post-it note wasn’t drawing enough attention to itself by doing a dance or playing a fanfare.
So tell me fellow mums, what gives? Are Forgetful Dads lazy? Do they think that remembering the snacks isn’t their job? Or are we expecting too much? Maybe, it’s as simple as that whole, ‘Why Men Don’t Listen and Women can’t read Maps’, theory where our brains function in ways that make men and women good and bad at different things? If it is that, I’d rather know now. Accept it. And move on. Or move out. Ha ha.
Perhaps you’ll say this isn’t a universal problem at all. That your other halves are all snack-packing, booster-wielding professionals. And it’s just our house that is in disarray.
After all, anyone (ahem, Daddy Pig) who forgets the basics like packing their trousers when they cycle to work can hardly be trusted to remember something as obscure as a booster seat, can they?
I mean, actually. What was I thinking, expecting quite so much?
Do you live with Forgetful Dad? Have you found a way to get him to do more? Or are you a SAHD who lives with Forgetful Mum and believes this is no more than a habitual issue? Would love your thoughts in the comments below.
Picture courtesy of www.smartphOWNED.com