Anything he can do, I can do…

As we inch closer to the day our little person arrives, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it means to be a parent. Specifically, what it means to be a gay parent. Although our kids will have a lot of males in their lives – grandpas, uncles, friends, cousins – they won’t have a dad. So I know as parents we’ll have to be the ‘mum’ and the ‘dad’.
Although I know being a dad isn’t just about doing stuff – I know men and women have the capacity to love their families in equal measure – there’s a lot of stuff dads are socially expected to know about and how to do. I got to thinking recently about all the things dad’s do and how I can ensure our kids don’t miss out on these things. We’re always very equal in our relationship and will be in our parenting, but at the end of the day I like doing yard work and Shan likes to sew. So anyway, this list is the result of all that thinking…
Stuff dad’s do
Me
Grow a beard and a have hairy chest
Can’t do either of these. But my dad never grew a beard and always wore singlets so I don’t even know if he has a hairy chest. And I’m fine.
Mow the lawn
Not only can I mow the lawn, I put our mower together and I know the difference between 2 and 4-stroke petrol. I can also use a ride-on mower if Pink ever needs a stunt double.
Whipper snip
Whipper snipping is easy, but have you ever had to thread the line?! Annoying, but doable.
General yard work
I grew up on 45 acres with 4 sisters and a dad who liked to ensure everyone did their fair share – so yeah, I can look after a yard.
Use power tools
Not only did I do 2 whole years of wood and metal work in high school (grade 8 AND 9), after 12 months of renovating our house I can use a drill, power saw, drop saw and  I have a cupboard full of regular hand tools. I even own a tool box AND a tool belt.
Chop wood
With an axe? A chainsaw? My bare hands? Ok, maybe not with my bare hands but I’m not Xena.
Play sport
I’ve played softball, basketball, soccer, AFL, lawn bowls and ten pin bowling (it is so a sport) competitively. I kayaked 4 times a week for over a year. I can rollerblade, ice skate, ride a skateboard (no tricks though), spin a basketball on my finger, juggle, use a yo-yo, abseil, ride a bike (and do bunny hops, wheelies, and go over wicked high jumps). I can play tennis, squash, touch football, baseball, Frisbee, darts, pool, table tennis.
Rescue people
At 17 I became a qualified IRB (inflatable rescue boat) skipper. I’m not the strongest swimmer in the ocean, but give me a boat and you’re as good as saved. I also know First Aid and how to use an oxygen machine. Oh, and I know several different ways to carry injured people to safety.  Fireman carry anyone?
Watch sport
As well as those sports mentioned above, I know the rules to American football, ice hockey, rugby league, netball and all the Olympic sports.
BBQ
I’m pretty sure being born in Australia gives you an innate ability to BBQ anything. Chicken goes on first, THEN steak, then sausages. Prawns go on last but are much better cold.
Open jars
Pfffft. Please.
Lift heavy things
I’m weirdly strong for a girl and can usually carry all the shopping bags inside in one go.
Speak to mechanics
Our new (for us) car has been back to the mechanic 3 times since we bought it a few months ago. They hate me as much as I hate them. But they’re fixing it and I know they’ll do it right just so I don’t come back. But whatever gets the job done, right?
Know about current events
I don’t read the mainstream news as much anymore because all the bullshit makes me upset and angry. But I do know what’s going on and have pretty solid opinions about politics, human rights and the Kardashians.
Build stuff
Nowadays, I can pretty much build anything you put in front of me – Ikea furniture, shelves and desks from scratch, a giant bowl of nachos etc.
Install stuff
We’ve hung the dryer, installed the rangehood and mounted our TV to the back of a bookcase. Plaster walls? No problem! What you do is…
Build a fire
I was a Cub Scout as a kid (oh yeah, have you figured I was a tomboy yet?). As Scouts we learnt to build a variety of fires to suit the materials on hand. Also, I grew up and a cold area and, as the first child awake every day, I had to start our fire so I could watch Astro Boy at 5am without freezing to death.
Survive in the wild
Take Scouts and add a dad who enjoyed the great outdoors and you have a person who knows outdoorsy stuff. I can fish, build a campfire, pack things away so wild animals don’t get to them. I can walk in the bush with confidence and can tell directions by the sun. And if it came down to it, I can honestly say I would eat a sweet, sweet, juicy human thigh if survival depended on it.
Set up camp
Again, dad took us camping a lot so setting up camp takes 15 minutes tops. On our most recent camping trip we put up a gazebo that stayed up all night in high winds. And I mean high – we were on a mountain!
Read a map
Spin me around and I’ll still know which way is North. My lovely wife, on the other hand, got lost the first time she drove herself to work. Ordinarily this would be understandable, except I had driven her to the same work using the same route for 18 months before.
Tell ‘dad’ jokes
So I don’t know that many ‘dad’ jokes at the moment. But I do think farts are pretty funny.
Tile
As of two weeks ago I can tile and grout. And pretty freakin’ well.
Concrete
As of a week ago I know how to concrete. 5:2. If you know what that means you know how to concrete too.
Wear a tie
During winter, ties make up a large proportion of my winter accessories. I can tie them too, so no fakies required.
Change the oil
Done it once and I could do it again.
Change a tyre
This one time, when I was at uni, my friend and I got back to her car after class and the tyre was flat. She freaked out and started rattling off the names of all the people who might be able to come help – her dad, her uncle, her neighbour. And I was all like, BITCH PLEASE! (seriously, I was 18 and it was the early ‘00’s and we actually spoke like that). So we found the spare, found the jack, found the spanner thing, and we changed the damn tyre. Everything you ever need to know to change a tyre is captured in this clever rhyme – lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.
Play a few chords on the guitar
I can play about a dozen chords – not bad for more than 15 years of on/off tuition.
Drive a manual car
I learnt to drive in a Land Cruiser. It was manual and the size of a small house.
Reverse park
You know how your mum would always get out of the car and let anyone else – father, uncle, stranger – park the car on a crowded street or in the shopping centre? Yeah, no need.
Make weekend breakfast
Breakfast is my specialty. As my wife kindly says, “why go out when you make it so much better?” She knows how to get breakfast made for her everyday, huh? Tricky little bugger.
Make up songs
My dad was the king of made up songs. His famous Marching Belly Button song still gets giggles today, and our McDonald’s song which was this line – ‘hot chips and a lemonade, woah woah woah!’ – repeated over and over, gets stuck in the head of every person I’ve ever sung it to. Since our nephew Noah was a baby, we’ve always sung about what we were doing ie “we’re cleeeeaning the caaaaaaarrrrr”, and now that he’s 3, his mum says she often finds him in his room singing little songs to himself. The “go away monsters” song is a particular favourite.
Birthday smacks
It was always a tradition in my family that on your birthday you got a smack for every year of your life. Dad would so easily forget how many smacks he was up to and have to start over. You’d end up with a red-raw behind but it was hilarious fun for the whole family. I’ve been prepping my hand the last few years with free weights and random horsey’s.
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3 thoughts on “Anything he can do, I can do…

  1. I had such a good time reading all your comments on things that Dads do. Isn’t it funny that pretty much anything you can think of that a “Dad” can do a woman or mum can do it too.

    For as long as I can remember more than anyting I have wanted to be a mum someday. When I relised I was gay my initial thought was how am I going to have a family of my own now? Because as a child brought up in the 90’s the “Normal” family consisted of a mum and dad in a lovely house with a dog and a Cat. But as I became more comfortable with my sexuality and learnt more about what it is to be gay/lesbain, I realised that a family isn’t just a Mum and a Dad in a House. It can be any combintion of people who love and care for each other. When I finally do start my own family all I want for my children is Love, just like your amazing family!!! 🙂

    From discussing with my girlfriend future plans for a family, some questions have come up:

    Who’s last name will the children have? When you and Shan got married did you take one name?

    Who will be the “father” aka sperm? We have discussed using a gay best friend of mine. However, my girlfriend feels that if he is the father then it will feel to her like him and I are the parents more than her and I. I really don’t want that to happen. So we will most likely go with a sperm doner. What did you guys do?

    Lastly what do you call yourself? Cause it would be confusing if your child is calling MUM!!! Which one do they mean?

    Like

    • Funny hey? My dad has always liked car racing, camping, shopping and home decorating. My mum was a sailing champion. So gender roles weren’t super important in our house – luckily!

      You can totally have an awesome family! And gay families are the best anyway 😉 I kid… But seriously.

      So to answer your questions.. Actually to answer I will do a while blog about it, ok? They’re good questions!

      Like

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