Upon checking my second grader’s book bag yesterday evening, I discovered that we had inadvertently sent the wrong kind of notebooks along with him to school. Gasp! I’ll give you all a minute to get over the shock.
I immediately recognized that this was a mere hiccup I knew would be easily remedied. I decided that I would go and purchase the proper notebooks when I had a minute at work and my son would be able to stride confidently into his classroom the following morning knowing he had procured supplies with the correct line spacing and number of pages.
I purchased the notebooks begrudgingly. I begrudged because the note requesting we provide new notebooks was not addressed to me. It was not even addressed to both my wife and me. And, no, it was not addressed to “Whom it may concern” either. It read, “Mrs. Transformer Generation Dad.”
The note was written to my wife. The assumption being that she is the female parent and must be the one taking care of all the school supplies, home business and womanly duties.
I immediately resented this note.
My wife, I will have you know, is a loving, attentive mother, is quite pretty, very smart and makes more money than I do. She contributes a ton to our family lives. Must she also perform the nightly homework checking ritual just because some assume it is the kind of thing that mothers usually do?
I cry foul. This displays blatant sexism against men present in our school system. Do the mostly female teachers and entirely female mothers out there think that we dads can’t handle the behind the scenes business that it takes to foster a successful student? Because we totally can.
Do they think that we are just there to occasionally pick the kids up from school and look devilishly handsome? Are we just pieces of meat meant not to provide support, guidance and lunch making but just to labor away and provide the funds for tuition, all the while looking devilishly handsome?
Dads everywhere, join me in saying that, while we may be pleasing to the eye and even feel flattered by the occasional whistle, hoot or cheek pinch (you know exactly which cheeks I’m taking about), we are more than this. We are meaningful parents who contribute to our children’s educations. We are men and dads and we will do whatever is necessary to help our kids achieve at the highest level possible in school even as we provide eye candy to the throngs of women surrounding any given grade school. The caveman days are over. Open your eyes, teachers and see us for whom we really are. Sexy, sexy fathers who love our kids and are just as down to earth and humble as we are good looking.
Also, on a complete side note, addressing letters specifically to my wife that I then read and whose instructions I carry out kind of makes me feel like a sissy. It hurts my feelings and I want you to stop.