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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rescue Mission

I was picking up M from Kindergarten the other day, with T in tow. We lingered a few minutes so that they could play on the swings and slide while I supervised them and hung out with other parents. It was at this time that T chose to launch a tantrum, the cause of which has long since been erased from any of our memories. In typical fashion, he stomped off to the edge of the playground with a pouty face and then let out a wail.

The moms around me became visibly agitated, and it was maybe 3 seconds before one of them finally couldn't stand it. "Can I try holding him?" she offered, "I really like to hold crying babies."

Well. I took the gesture as an innocent one, but I knew no mother would ever offer this if it were Amy at the playground instead. Can you imagine a mom walking past an unknown child's mother to go pick up and comfort that child (unless perhaps the child's mother was incapitated)? I think not.

I'm sure that mom was only trying to help me out of what she thought was a situation beyond my capability. So I gently responded, "No thanks. I like to hold them too, and this one definitely doesn't want to be held at the moment." I know my T - my extremely reasonable but typical 2-year old son.

In his own time, T got a hug from his very own dad.


Blogger Unknown said...

wow. that's so presumptuous! my husband has also often received the message that he must be somehow incompetent. which is funny because as a preschool teacher he's actually far more competent than i am when our children are having a meltdown. :)

(PS: you typed "incapitated" and i'm pretty sure you meant "incapacitated." i'm only pointing it out because the way it is, it kind of looks like you mean to say that the mother is missing her head. which might be apt, given the circumstances. :)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Thanks Chandelle,

Just for the record, if my head ever does fall off while at the playground I would greatly appreciate any and all assistance for me or my kids!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Jeremy Adam Smith said...

I think your perception of the situation was right on and you're entitled to indignation; she definitely thought you couldn't handle it, but it sounds like you handled her well enough.

I've actually seen this happen to other people, though fortunately no one has ever targeted me for such "help."

5:39 PM  
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12:21 AM  

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