Monday, June 11, 2007

Stupid Things Fathers Do


I've written articles on this before: "Unintentional Learning"; but, darn-it-all, this one simply must see the open light. I was walking down the isle at "Sam's" club the other day and came across a most "sophisticated" four or five year old attempting to negotiate with, who I assume was his mother, for some preferred food item. I thought to myself "now that mother has her hands full!" I decided to take a restroom break so headed in that direction and an "old enough to know better" man slightly ahead of me, called to the boy to "hurry up" and the boy came running. They were heading in the same direction as me. I completed my business and was drying my hands on their "blow dryer" when the youngster came out of the stall and headed for the wash basin. His, "I assume it was his father," helped turn on the water for a brief minute then turned it off, much to the annoyance of the child. The boy said "but I didn't get any of that" (pointing to the soap dispenser).

Now here is the rub. His (again, old enough to know better) dad told him "you don't need any of that, just water is enough." Incredible! As a pediatrician, the adolescent stupidity of the interaction begged for some kind of action. And, as a more-than-enough "older person," who needs to be listened to, I didn't have anything to stop me. So, with more kindness in my voice than it deserved I said "That isn't very nice." I got the attention from the man that I was seeking, and he said "what isn't." Silly me, thinking that meant he was receptive, so I ventured further down the path of his enlightenment, and said "Well, I bet his mother goes to great length to teach him to use soap." The man's eyes seemed to explode with condescending annoyance as he said "I think we'll be able to work it out" and quickstepped the youngster out, trying to dry his hands on his pants.

I'm getting too old for this! I'm convinced that he never even told the boy's mother of the incident; so, she has no comprehension of the idiocy that she has to "undo" in her boy's upbringing. I hope she does figure it out! And, I hope the "brain-cells-are-missing" dad isn't a food handler somewhere.

Just for the record for all you "guy's" out there: dribbling water over your hands after you have handled your "manhood" isn't much better than spitting on them and rubbing them in the dirt. (Yes, I know some of you do that in the woods when you think no one is looking.) It doesn't "drown" syphillis or gonorrhea germs; nor "float off" aids or other viruses. It doesn't even "make a dent" in the thousands of "E Coli" germs which are found in massive numbers all over your... "stuff." BUT, even if you have no regard for your own hygene, why on earth would you teach it to your child?!!!

Mothers, I'm sorry to say that when you stand there perplexed about some things your boy does and wonder "where does he get this stuff," you often don't have to look very far.

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