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!”