Feminist Dad

I’ve learned a few important lessons during my six months of being a dad:

(1) I love traveling. I love baseball games. I love biking. None of those things come close to the magnificence of hanging out with my kids at home.

(2) Rolling Stone said that Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is the greatest song ever. Rolling Stone is a liar. The right answer is “Butterfly Kisses.” You win, Bob Carlisle.

(3) I am a feminist.

I say that with pride.

“Feminism” is a word that may spark many different reactions. I’m an old school gangsta so I like to cut through the nonsense and go straight to the basics. Here’s what my homeboy Webster has to say about the word “feminism”:

“the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”

Well, that was easy.

So why do I call myself a “feminist”?

That’s easy too.

(1) I believe God created men and women as equals. God has the same abundant love and limitless grace for all of us.

(2) Everyone is equal under the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. It is now though, so we should embrace it passionately.

(3) I want my bold, remarkable, brilliant, beautiful, hilarious, and magnificent daughter to get the same opportunities and respect as my spirited, adorable, enormous, goofy, handsome, and gregarious son.

Feminist Dad

I fear that will not be the case.

We live in a world where people asked Amanda if she was going back to work after the kids were born, but no one asked me.

We live in a world where it seems like every single item of baby “girl” clothing is pink or covered with flowers, hearts, or cupcakes.

We live in a world where one of the most popular organizations in America suspends an employee two games for beating up his wife, but another employee four games for taking prescription drugs.

We live in a world where people make jokes and memes about that very issue.

We live in a world where gaggles of men ogle and harass women at bus stops.

We live in a world where nearly all of our political and business leaders are men.

We live in a world where girls are told to be princesses. If my daughter wants to be a princess, we will have the grandest of tea parties and make-believe balls. Cinderella will be jealous. I hope my daughter grows up dreaming about being President or a scientist, but it will be her choice.

We live in a world where women in magazines are photoshopped because apparently just being themselves is not good enough.

We live in a world where I’m told I should dress my daughter “like a girl” when I put both kids in cheesy cartoon costumes for their monthly birthday photo.

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We live in a world where 20% women are raped at some point in their lives.

We live in a world where rape victims are blamed for their “bad” choices.

I don’t want my daughter to live in that world.

I don’t want my wife to live in that world.

I don’t want my son to live in that world.

I don’t want to live in that world.

That’s why I’m a feminist.

Me and My Drool-Covered and Fabulous Daughter:

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Tears, Fears, and Tantrums

Babies.

They can’t talk, they can’t feed themselves, they can’t walk, and they can’t take out the trash (yet).

But babies do have the power to bring a person to his or her knees in tears, whether it is due to a stunning smile or a relentless tantrum.

Hi. There have been a lot of tears in our house this week.

My dear Madison, our fearless leader, our brilliant and beautiful baby girl, our “change my diaper right NOW” diva, has been embracing the “Mad” part of her name over the past week. She had a little attitude during her time in the womb and she’s continued to rock it since the day she was born:

Madison

Madison - II

Madison has been reminding us that she’s in charge lately. So much that we were pretty certain we’d get kicked out of our hotel last week. While Austin’s cries are pitiful, Madison’s cries are, well, full of “spunk.” Lately, when she gets hungry or tired, instead of just eating or falling asleep, she politely lets us, and everyone on our street, know that she runs this town.

This has led us to take some desperate measures, including standing on the side of the highway swinging her car seat and sitting in a pitch black bathroom rocking her for thirty minutes as the bath water runs. Of course, we’ve been playing Katy Perry music A LOT. It’s been intense. It’s been frustrating. It’s been tiring. Those moments create a ton of raw emotion. We’ve felt like we’re doing something wrong, we’ve felt helpless, we’ve worried that she might be sick, and we’ve both needed to take a mental and emotional timeout. But that crying, fussing, drooling, squirming, screaming baby is our glorious, fearless, world-changing daughter. So we do whatever it takes, despite the exhaustion, frustration, and tears.

Madison - 4

While Madison’s “spunky” moments have weighed heaviest on Amanda, that little girl has been causing me all sorts of tears too. These kids bring me so much joy that I’ve cried more over the past three months than my entire life combined (excluding the Patriots’ Super Bowl losses to the Giants). On Saturday, as I was driving home from playing basketball with some dudes from church, I heard this song on the radio called “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman. It’s all about a dad and his daughter and how she grows up so quickly. Of course, the daughter gets married in the end of the song. Of course, it’s super cheesy. Of course, I was crying the entire car ride home.

Because that’s my baby girl. She’s not allowed to grow up. Neither is her brother.

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‘Sup, Girl?!

I’m stoked to be having a little dudette in a few months (and a dude too)!  I recently made a list of instructions telling my son how to be a man.  Well, even though I’m not speaking from experience, here is what I’ll tell my daughter about being a woman:

(1) You will always be daddy’s little princess.

(2) You will be an awesome cook.

(3) You should always act like a lady.

I think that just about covers it.  Class dismissed.

Wait, hold up yo?!

None of that is true!

Here’s what I’ll actually tell Ms. Britney Spears M——– (name changed to protect the employed):

1. Always be yourself.  Don’t let anyone, not even your parents, force you to be someone you’re not.  If you want to be a pink-loving princess, awesome.  We’ll have epic tea parties that will blow your mind.  However, I’m not-so-secretly hoping you’ll be a no-holds-barred scientist and want a microscope for Christmas.  I would say Governor, Senator, or President, but that usually involves being a lawyer.  You shouldn’t do that.  However, it’s up to you.

2. Respect everyone else.  That includes your brother, our dog(s), and, most importantly, our white couch.

3. You don’t have to watch, like, or play sports.  However, you will love the Washington Nationals.

'Sup, Girl

The end.

See you in March, dudette.