God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Man + baby = freak

Posted by Martin on October 21, 2006

Just been out for the morning with my one-year-old son, giving my wife a very well-earned lie-in for the first time in weeks. We had great fun – went for a coffee (he likes to wave to people and eat fruit), did a bit of DIY shopping etc. Pretty standard stuff, but I was struck by the reactions of people around us. I’ll admit, I don’t spend enough time alone with him, but I’d never picked up that people now think that a man and baby out together look strange.

Some people were definitely wondering if it was my alloted time slot, dished out by a judge somewhere, but most were just looking at us like we were aliens. Especially when I started talking to him. Is that weird? Talking to your baby? I know he’s not exactly versed in Shakespeare, but he understands some stuff, and he’s only going to learn more if he hears it, right?

Well apparently that’s a minority opinion. As I walked around the supermarket, asking my son if we had enough milk, a woman gave me a stare that said ‘I’m going to call social services’. Clearly I didn’t expect him to know how stocked our refrigerator is – it was just interaction.

Together with the general astonishment I saw in the high street at man + baby, this little incident has really made me realise how attitudes to family are sadly changing. That may be so, but I’ll keep on behaving like a freak, thankyou very much.

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2 Responses to “Man + baby = freak”

  1. Mate, it is the “lookers” who are strange. It might also be that you are in a white middle class area (?), the “role deffinitions” are stronger there. And to think, pre-industrial revolution men and women where out in the fields side by side doing the work . . . keep it up mate, oh, and while we are on the whole “fathers hanging out with their kids thing” – too many leaders kids are growing up not really knowing who their fathers are (except they lead the “church family” and don’t really know, or hang out with thier own) . . . um, I’m not anon like you so maybe I need to tone down the venting.

  2. Chris said

    When I see a man out with child and no women it makes me smile. You can see in the child’s face that it is special time for them. (Ok the ones old enough to realize it) The structure of our culture has the children with the women or upper middle class land with the nanny (9xs out of 10 a female)it is a rare sight to see father with children.

    Dad’s are cool they say yes to things Mom would say no too. I work in a coffee shop, we sell gooey sticky stuff that kids love. I see a lot of families and I know who belongs with who. One time a cute little boy looked up at his Dad with these huge begging eyes for a frosted with sprinkles doughnut. Dad ordered the treat, I laughed. The little boy smiled jumped up and down. I handed the bag over and the Dad asked why I had laughed. I told him that the boy asks for a treat every time he comes in here and Mom always says no it’s not good for you. The Dad said oh maybe we should put the doughnut back. Little crest fallen face on boy. I said no you should get it. These are the things he is going to remember about you 30 years from now, the special moments of a rare treat and time with you. The boy got his doughnut. The Dad comes in now almost every Saturday, sometimes he has his little boy and sometimes he has his little girl they always have a treat and sit and eat it together at the table talking. The little girl is about 2 now and the little boy is about 4.

    Nope your not a freak your a beautiful sight in our country.

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