Last Sunday afternoon, I discovered we had very little food in the house. Someone had to duck out and replenish the stocks or we might all starve, and when I offered to quickly nip out on my own Hubby wouldn’t have a bar of it. He likened it to picking up the dog poo and said we should all go.
The excursion started well. I enjoyed the feeling of vindication when Hubby told the girls to get off the side of the trolley because their weight made it impossible to manoeuvre. This is a conversation I have at least once a week, and it makes me feel like a killjoy. It does look like fun and I enjoy a rollercoaster as much as anyone, but turning those trolleys is a killer when you add an extra forty kilos to the load. The fact that Hubby (who is strong and always up for a caper) also found it tough buoyed my spirits.
Anyway, Hubby pushed the little guy in the trolley and the two girls eventually started walking happily beside him (each clutching a giant Freddo frog which Hubby had unilaterally decided to bribe them with “just this once”). Helpful.
I was walking a few paces ahead selecting some pasta when I overheard Hubby have a brief exchange with a lady who was walking by. She didn’t realise they were with me, and she was impressed by the notion that Hubby had brought all three of his children shopping on his own. She chuckled that Hubby had his hands full and congratulated him on being such a fantastic Dad.
Now, it is true – Hubby is a wonderful Dad. And how nice of this lady to make such an observation – it always feels lovely when someone tells you you’re doing a good job. Hubby was chuffed. But I spent the rest of the shopping trip feeling a bit pissed off. I have taken all three of our kids to the supermarket about 70 times all up, and not once has anyone complimented me. Admittedly I had never considered using giant Freddos as bribery, but even so…
I was tempted to catch up to the lady in order to tell her that just the night before Hubby had asked me how to use our oven – despite us having lived in our house for six months. Six months! Of course, that would have been unfair – Hubby is travelling a lot and working very hard, so quite rightly I have been doing most of the cooking. It’s just – if anyone deserves to be recognised for a job well done at the supermarket, I think it ought to be me…
We were only halfway around Woolworths when the exchange took place but by the time we reached the checkout I was still complaining about it. Hubby merely smiled and shrugged his shoulders while I seethed about how the world is rife with double standards.
I don’t blame Hubby of course. Or even the woman in the supermarket. I have to admit, if I saw a similar Dad with kids in tow I might well think the same thing. But why should Dads get all the congratulatory pats on the back by random strangers for everyday child rearing tasks? I’m not saying Dads don’t deserve it. I’m just saying Mums could sometimes do with pats on the back from random strangers too (and less advice, but that’s another matter)…
Sadly, I’m not sure this is going to happen anytime soon. So in the future I have decided to deploy my imagination J.D. style (see Scrubs). Next time, it will go something like this:
Supermarket stranger praises Hubby on his child wrangling abilities, and then turns to me and says: “And how about you? Gosh – you must have your hands full too! Well done! And by the way…
- Congratulations on being Santa. Your husband may eat the biscuits and drink the beer, but we all know who agonises over which presents to buy, goes out to buy them, assembles them, and wraps them (even if this is done at midnight on the 24th). Well done you!
- A man may have invented the polio vaccine, but polio would still be rife if we left it to the men to ensure their kids got vaccinated. Congratulations for organising every single immunisation appointment for your children. Not to mention getting all three of them added to your Medicare and MBF cards, and registering them with the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. [Hubby: “The what??”]
- Great job ensuring your children have birthday presents to hand over when they rock up to a birthday party. Every time. That takes planning. Speaking of which, congratulations for organising everyone’s birthday celebration every year. And for not complaining when nobody remembers to make you a cake.
- Well done on ensuring your children have underpants, pyjamas, singlets, decent shoes, a dentist, at least three different types of vegetables every night, soap free bath wash for sensitive skin, snacks every time you leave the house, water bottles, and sunscreen.
- I love the way you read with such great expression. No-one reads “Going on a Bear Hunt” quite like you do.
- You know what? You’re a great Mum!!”
“Why thanks!” I shall respond. “That’s so nice to hear!” And then the supermarket lady will turn into a giant Freddo frog…
What would the supermarket lady say to you?