Meet the Nieratkos - Deadbeat Dads Need Love Too
Coming from a fatherless home, I could never imagine a day when I could sympathise with a deadbeat dad and yet here I am, a father myself, and it has become abundantly clear why men walk out on their families. And it has nothing to do with the weight of the responsilbilty of becoming a parent.
No, the root of the problem with dads that step out on their kids is much more obvious than financial fear or developmental immaturity. Perhaps it is because the cause is so plain to see that scientists and social workers the world over have overlooked it all these years. Or perhaps it takes a keen eye like mine, a true humanitarian, who understands the inner workings of man to take note of the glaring fact: Dads get no love.
Yesterday was our first taste of spring--high 50s after a month of low temperatures and high snow drifts. My wife went to the gym and I took the baby and dog for a long walk around the neighborhood. As we made our way through our suburban maze, I was met with strange glares at each turn. I’d wave or smile hello, but on three different instances I was asked, “Where’s mommy at?” By the third time I simply said, “She’s dead,” and that changed the woman’s face from confused to pity.
I continued our stroll all the while wondering, "Is it so odd for a man to push a stroller without a woman in tow?" (Disclaimer: this is not an attempt to paint myself in a better light, like I’m Superdad. This is a matter of putting our society on trial.)
Nearing home I made a right turn onto our street, but Benny The Funny Dog saw a squirrel across the road and darted left. He was attached to the stroller by a large carabiner and almost toppled it over (I, of course, stopped that from happening because I’m Superdad.). After reeling Benny and his leash back in and explaining that he was better than that and he needed to act more sensible and that he wasn’t a puppy anymore, I looked down at the carabiner his leash was looped through and noticed for the first time the words: THE MOMMY HOOK.
Why MOMMY HOOK? It’s just a hook. A dog hook actually, nothing maternal or paternal about it.
That’s when it started to hit me, society has deemed fathers disposable, unnecessary in the process of parenting. I left the baby in the stroller in the middle of the street and told Benny to watch him, then sprinted the last three blocks home and began to tear apart the child’s dressers: pacifiers that say I HEART MOMMY and MOMMY ROCKS, bibs that profess their love for mommy, a frickin’ outfit with FOOTBALLS on it that says MOMMY LOVES ME (WHAT THE F DOES MOMMY KNOW ABOUT FOOTBALL!!). For 30 minutes I searched and found not one article of clothing--not a single accessory--that made a statement about my child’s love for me as a dad. GRANDMA GOT LOVE ON SIX DIFFERENT BIBS!!! I got nothing. The doorbell rang. Some asshole was asking if the dog and baby he found in the middle of the road were mine. I told him to mind his business.
But as he walked off I ran to him and asked, “Do you love your father?” And he said, “Not really. I love my mommy.” This was a middle-aged man using the word MOMMY like he was reading the word off a cute little bib. He has been programmed over his lifetime against his father by baby clothing manufacturers.
I loaded the kid in the car and drove, nay, SPED, to Babies R Us in hopes of proving my theory wrong, praying perhaps to find even one rattle or onesie with the words I LOVE DADDY. But it was not to be. Babies don’t love daddy. They love mommy.
AND THIS IS WHY MEN WALK OUT ON THEIR FAMILIES.
The realisation and constant reminder that the baby loves mommy, not daddy, is heartbreaking. It hurts right here (I’m pointing to my heart) so much that it makes us cry. It’s at that moment that a man’s spirit is broken. He knows he must leave. He must move out of his home and leave his family behind.
And go and move in with his mommy, because he loves her.
(For more stupid go to Chrisnieratko.com)