Sample this

Today, someone in my family actually tried to suggest that men do more in their families than women, complain less and accept more accountability for their kids.

I’m willing to consider this. (Cue the Jeopardy theme music while I consider). Okay, I’ve thought about it. Here’s my verdict:  No way, buddy.

Here’s some irrefutable evidence from today alone. (Editor’s note: some most of this is gross.)

This morning, instead of getting ready for work and going in to the office, I collected a stool sample of diarrhea/staetorrhea from my 6-year old daughter to fill the 5 plastic cups provided yesterday by the pediatrician’s office while my husband got ready for work and did go to the office, then showered with said, possibly Giardia-carrying daughter, drove to the local hospital to deliver the samples to the outpatient lab within the one hour mark of collecting it, stopped by her school to drop off the check for a school event on Friday that is due today since she won’t be at school, went to the dry cleaners to drop off the suit and tie my husband stained last week, dropped 20-some thank you notes that I wrote over the weekend into a post office box for our twins’ birthday gifts, then grabbed a coffee at Starbucks.

I was back home by 8:00 a.m. to do some work before taking to preschool the only one of our three kids not currently voiding their bowels as if they’ve undergone colonoscopy prep.

Not a problem for me on this, just a variation on the daily routine, as chaos seems to be the order of the day in our house. I should also note, when it became clear yesterday that one of us would have to stay home from work to do all this and ensure our other two children survived through the day of stomach cramps and potty runs without ending up in the hospital or sending the nanny to the madhouse, there wasn’t even a conversation or question about who would take responsibility for it. Even my husband will back me up on that one.

Now, my husband is quite possibly the best father in the world. He can handle these three tiny creatures better than any other dad I know does theirs from what I can tell, and does indeed sometimes watch all three at once on weekends when I go do frivilous things like get my hair cut and colored or go grocery shopping. He changes all the light bulbs in the house, does garbage duty, has taken kids to birthday parties and tennis, puts them back to bed when they wake at night, and helps them hang holiday decorations. Yet, this very same man, who has never once been to his hearing-impaired daughter’s audioloist appointment had a small temper tantrum when asked if he could take her to an upcoming one that has to occur before our 504 staffing at the end of the month because I will be out of town on business for the date assigned to us. Of course, he will take her, but I had to hear about it first.

About all this, I have no real complaint. In the long run, everything will get done and we’ll march ahead to the next day whatever it brings. I for one am glad I can do all this, and I take some pride in the fact that I can work a relatively high-level, demanding, full-time job at a Fortune 10 company while also collecting stool samples and managing the family’s school and social obligations. I once read an article about a study saying moms are better multi-taskers than men and it pays off for them at work.  I hope any men who read this (if they haven’t clicked off to somewhere else by this point in the blog post) can somehow take comfort in that study as proof that it’s just not inherent to them. I would hate for men to have to take accountability for willfully evading all this stuff.  That would make me so sad for them.

So, the next time you think you want to face off over how women can’t do what needs to be done without complaint or their willingness to embrace responsibility or accountability, I’ve got a little special sample of something I’ll be happy to share with you. Let me just run to the bathroom first….


October 13, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.