Thank you all for your well wishes during my wife's surgery/recovery. Everything went according to plan, and in order for me to take good care of her while she is getting better, I have arranged for a few guest blog posts from some of my dad blogger friends. Today's post comes from Richard E. Monroe who blogs at The ButterBottom Blog. I wanted to say that this story is almost completely true except the parts that aren't, and thanks to Richard for capturing the magic of this conversation.
One thing I always have trouble with is positive stereotypes. Not necessarily coming up with them, but more "When is it appropriate to use them?" For example, one of my old friends from New York is one Mr. Jerry Chan. As his name belies, he is of Chinese decent. Furthermore, Jerry is excellent in math, and he was trained on the violin as a child. So, he fits a few of the Chinese stereotypes out there, but as far as I can tell, these two stereotypes are positive. So if I were to say, “Oh my friend Jerry? Yeah, he's your typical Chinese guy.” is that a bad thing? I never do, but I struggle with knowing if it's bad to say such things.
Somehow, through my strange and twisted logic, this leads me to The Real Matt Daddy, who is not Chinese (I honestly can’t speak to his math skills or his prodigious talents on the violin).
Although he and I have never met in person, I can with 100% accuracy say, he's stark raving mad. And how can I be so sure? Let's just say, “I know the type." For our dear friend Mr. Matt is a stay-at-home dad, which by definition makes you insane. The insanity doesn't happen immediately, it creeps up on you and before you know it, it’s too late.
Like many of us, Matt used to have a nice career, working long hours and he looked very respectable as he headed out the door each day.
But after just nearly a year at home with his baby, he suddenly looks like this:
But the real giveaway to his descent into madness came over a seemingly normal Twitter exchange. Well, it would seem normal to most, but for anyone who has small children or who used to have small children, the clues were everywhere.
He briefly mentioned he was shopping for something that would be a “diamond in the rough." I thought, normal expression, but also a reference to Disney's Aladdin. I responded and he immediately shot back “It’s a whole new world." Another common expression, and yet, another Disney song. But what was scary was that this was Twitter, so he was responding without even thinking about it. He wasn't sitting around trying to be clever; this is just how the poor guy’s brain is wired right now.
I asked if he knew he was quoting Disney, and he seemed to do a virtual shrug and tweeted, “I’m just feeling the love tonight." This was getting ridiculous.
Finally, I said, “You are either insane, or a new father, or both, but you are throwing Disney out at an astonishing rate of speed, and it is starting to freak me out."
And of course, his last rebuttal came flying back at me as if I were the crazy one, “Hakuna Matata."
So when The Real Matt Daddy asked for a little help while his wife had surgery. I had to say yes. If anyone could use some down time it's this Disney nutcase daddy.
The ButterBottom Blog is Richard E. Monroe's attempt to capture the humor, stress and general absurdities of life as a stay-at-home dad. After years of working on Wall St. and babysitting big egos, the family moved to sunny central Virginia and he now babysits smaller people with even bigger egos.