Friday, October 12, 2007

Parenting is not babysitting



Last break, I was sitting in a coffee shop, rocking LLLL’s stroller and sipping at a flat white. A woman with a not-quite-toddler came up to me and asked, “So, baby sitting today?”

No.

Babysitting is looking after somebody else’s child. Looking after one’s own child is called parenting. Or in my case, fathering. The number of people who refer to a dad looking after a baby as babysitting is actually a bit surprising. And annoying.

Babysitters get free pizza, pocket money, and access to movies that their folks don’t let them watch at home. It is a commercial transaction. Parents don’t get paid- we do it all for love. A dad doing his parental duty should not be such a rare sight that people assume he’s getting some transactional reward out of it. It’s just something we do.

If someone asks me again, I might just say I’m a kidnapper. They’d probably be less surprised.

p.s. Littlest Loveliest Lab Lemming is half a year old!

5 comments:

Schlupp said...

Happy Half-Birthday!

Kim said...

*standing ovation*

Happy half-birthday, and what a cute kid!

The Author said...

Brilliantly said. Little LLLL is adorable too! Happy half-birthday - the rest of her first year will bring amazing changes as she gets super mobile and talkative.

Cassandra Rae said...

LLLL is precious...Happy Half Year!

Kudos to you for leading the way to changing the way we look at fatherhood. You're an inspiration! And funny too :~)

What an awesome combo for your LLLL

Ben said...

Well said.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet LLLL last weekend - she looked straight at me and immediately gave me the perfect loveliest little smile. (And then spent the next 5 minutes frowning at my camera...)