Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This was Country Roads in the Blair Enterprise February 13, 1992

I know, in this day and age, that it is extremely unpopular to create male-female role models for your kids, but in my family it just sort of happened. Before we knew it, the mom was in charge of certain chores and the dad has his own realm of duties to perform.

For example, the mom (that would be me) in our household does most of the cooking and housework. We never really sat down and designated those duties as “mom’s job,” it just happened. The mom is also in charge of the stern ‘just-wait’ll-I-get-you-home” looks the children earn when they are misbehaving in public.

The mom also has the privileges of going to the bank on payday, going to the grocery store when necessary, and going where ever else is necessary to keep a family functioning. (Or dysfunctioning, if you prefer.)

The dad in our family, among many other things, is in charge of silliness. It’s his responsibility to offer silly answers to silly questions, laugh at bad jokes and make up nicknames for things that happen around the house.

For instance, when our daughter was a colicky infant, her dad started calling her “Tiny-ranasaurus Rex.”

And one morning, she got a little carried away with the sugar on her cereal, and Dad promptly dubbed it Mount Sugar-Man-jaroo. It did look a lot like a sugar volcano had erupted in her cereal bowl.

If he can’t recall the correct name for the latest cartoon craze, he has a tendency to make up one of his own, like Jeenage Nontant Muja Turtles – or something like that. Or if he can’t quite remember the words to a song, he throws in something that has neither rhyme nor reason or anything to do with the original song, but he does have perfect pitch, and he has been known to juggle while he sings.

This often evokes the response, “Dad, can’t you ever be serious?”

I think it will be awhile before the kids truly appreciate their dad’s sense of humor and the fine fashion in which he has handles his responsibilities in creating levity in a world that doesn’t always offer a lot to laugh about, but I’ll bet long after they have grown and moved away from home, whenever they hear the French National Anthem, the words they sing to themselves will be, “I took my fish to church on Su-un-day!”


Sue said...

A sense of humor is one of the most important things in life. Sometimes if you can't laugh about it you will cry.

Jim said...

The dad may have it made. We didn't divide things up either, some things are 'mom' and others are 'pop.' 'Mom' usually did the things I didn't do.
Since I have retired I do more 'housework' and cooking than I used to. Before retiring the garbage, yard, mail, bills, helping with homework, and spanking (not really that one) were up to me by default.
I always had at least my share of doing things with the kids.
This all stems from the way God made it, the 'mom' has babies and cooks and the 'dad' works. Now with the 'mom' working (out of the home) in many families they sit down and divide up the work and the money spending.
.. :-)

Cliff said...

Good writing Janell. You were good even back then.
Yes a good sense of humor are the only personalities I stick with. Those with out it...are hard to deal with..Happy Thanksgiving past.

nora said...

Good stuff as usual! Happy belated Thanksgiving.