|Image Courtesy of The Simpsons|
Ladies, we all know that you don't really understand the inner workings of a man's mind. Frankly, we count on it. And, well, if "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," (The Usual Suspects, 1995) than the smartest thing a husband (and more importantly, a first-time father) ever did was to play dumb... about everything.
You see, we're (men, collectively) actually not as dumb as we look (except maybe during intercourse). We play dumb to serve our own cause- self-preservation. Because, at the end of the day, all a man really wants is to keep the peace so his wife goes to bed happy (and early) so he can stay up late to watch porn... err, sports. We just don't care for drama. So when we drive you home from the hospital, after having a baby, we make a conscious decision... to play dumb.
Why? So we don't have to deal with your insecurities. As dads, WE KNOW we don't know a thing about parenting. We're just smart enough not to point out the obvious- NEITHER DO YOU!!!
|"Shhh. Don't Tell Mommy."|
Out of fairness, we try to treat all your friends with the same respect. Because, frankly, the only thing more fragile than the ego of a new mom is the ego of an experienced one. And, while telling Sally down the street that "What to Expect When You're Expecting" contradicts every single piece of advice that comes out of her mouth might be fun, having her world implode would just leave a big mess for HER husband to clean up, and that wouldn’t be nice. So, we play dumb.
Sure, we read the same books you do (when you’re not looking) and we slyly bookmark the best parenting websites on our computers, but we don’t want to tell you this because it will just make you feel bad. After all, your mom spent your entire pregnancy telling you how useless your dad was during the whole process, so why would we want to destroy such a brilliant brainwashing attempt on her part? After all, if you actually thought we could handle the baby on our own, you’d be out golfing and we’d be stuck at home with the kids. But we can. We just don’t want to steal your thunder.
You think we’re dumb. So we let you think we’re dumb. You sit trying haplessly to get the baby to suckle from your breast; we learn proper latching techniques on YouTube. You sterilize every single bottle to kill all the germs; we do a half-assed job of washing the same bottles because we did the research and you were only supposed to do that for the first FEW MONTHS! But we know our place, and its right by your side making you feel like you’re the best mother in the world. So, the next time you want to chastise your “better half” for his inability to pour exactly 4 ounces of liquid in to a cup, you may just want to stop and think to yourself “is he f—king with me?” because, odds are, he is, just to entertain himself.
How dumb are first time dads? Dumb enough to tell you our secrets, but smart enough to be there with a helping hand whenever the “wiser” parent falters. All we know is that we know nothing, and we’re okay with that.
It’s a dad thing.
The Times They Are A-Changin'
(Eddie Vedder Performing a Bob Dylan Classic)