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Daddy Love

High five! Fist bump! Blow a kiss!

These are a few of the things DaddyMan has taught Nux Gallica this spring. Before Nux, I thought I loved my husband as much as a wife possibly could. But there is something so magically ovary-tickling about seeing my man cuddle a cute baby. It's like nothing I could have imagined before.

Yes, babies: superior even to puppies as chick magnets. DaddyMan has discovered, to his delight, that on Daddy Duty Days, women flock to him to coo at Nux and even laugh indulgently when Nux reaches into their shirts and tries to get out their boobies. They say having a baby is like having your heart walk around outside your body. True, but it's also like having your id walk around outside and everyone thinks it's adorable.

The work of caring for a baby includes playing at the park, building and smashing block towers, hooting at monkeys at the zoo, laughing at farts, and eating with your hands. It is, in many ways, a perfect job for men.

A little while ago, I posted on our culture's unreasonable expectations of mothers. The flip side of that remnant from the old-fashioned postwar family model is pathetically low expectations of fathers. DaddyMan has experienced the other side of this passive-aggressive coin.

While mothers are often expected to be perfect breadwinners, attachment parents, friends, and lovers all at the same time, men are often believed to be capable of nothing beyond a day at work--if they aren't total deadbeats, which is never surprising. If a man actually has a job and works it, he is believed to be incapable of then making his own sandwich, folding a towel, or changing a diaper--and if he succeeds at any of those things, he deserves a standing ovation.

Sure, this is a throwback to the 1950s housewifely days that were supposed to be awesome for dudes, but DaddyMan finds it a bit insulting and off-putting. It implies that men outside the workplace are comparable to infant chimpanzees. With the breakdown of restrictive gender roles both in the workplace and at home, while we discover that women can kick ass the in the boardroom, we are also discovering the hidden powers of the Stay At Home Dad, the part-time SAHD, and a variety of other DILFy male parental figures, with superpowers akin to those of supermommies.

These superpowers include baby-catching ninja skills induced by the hormonal changes of fatherhood, which I believe I learned from a post by Beta Dad. They also include other skills unattainable by mothers such as the Scratchy Beard Face Tickle and the peeing-on-Cheerios game invaluable to boys' potty training.

DaddyMan spends two days a week alone with Nux full-time, acting as her personal chariot driver (and horse--he escorts her from playground to grocery store in a bike trailer), court jester, chef, food taster, butt wiper, and bodyguard. Two other days a week, he shares the parenting with me, and every single day he, at minimum, makes Nux a healthy breakfast and reads her bedtime stories. But still, he gets palpitations when he sees the billboards lining the shabbier streets in our city asking, "Have you taken time to be a dad today?" I tell DaddyMan those signs aren't designed for him, but they still make him feel like he's being challenged to prove the stereotypes wrong.

DaddyMan also feels a little bit left out by the flashy offerings of popular culture around parenting. Babies 'R Us doesn't carry Fathers' Day gifts or t-shirts for proud dads. The ads at just about any baby department feature mostly mommies. All the hullaballoo about attachment parenting and other hot parenting trends are geared mostly toward mothers.

But I think this is changing. There was that great JCPenney Fathers' Day ad featuring not one but TWO daddies. DaddyMan has spotted many of his Diaper Dude-toting brethren around town, and there are now online forums and TV sitcoms focused on dads raising children. In our circle of friends, SAHDs are still the minority, but now it's a hip gig instead of a shameful one.

And my DaddyMan rocks it! For more excellent dadness, check out

High five! Fist bump! Scratchy tickly kisses!


  1. God bless the DILF's, especially DaddyMan.

    Big kisses from his Region 4 brown wifey.

  2. And DadCentric thanks you back. DILFs rule!

  3. Another great post. DaddyMan is fantastic. As a kid who was raised without a dad, seeing him be so involved in your daughters life is a joy not by virtue of his being a male but because having a dad is just as important as having a mom.

    PS have you read the blog "The Good The Dad and the Baby"? Its a friend of a friend and he is a stay at home dad and he is awesome.


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