Saturday, January 12, 2008

Help Wanted

A dad came to the library with his two young children to take out some books. His preschooler walked beside him as he held his toddler on one hip and brought his books to the circulation desk. After checking out his handful of books and putting them in his tote bag, he asked a staff member if he could have some help.

"With what, sir?" she asked.

"Help out to my car," he responded.

The staff member apologized and explained that we were currently short-staffed and there wasn't anyone available to assist him. After he left, she burst into laughter. "He only had two kids, the books were in a shoulder bag - what's the problem?"

I answered, "He suffers from disabilities, both mental and physical. It started about four years ago and has become significantly worse in the last two years." My colleague immediately stopped laughing and a stricken look came over her face.

"You know him? Oh, I'm so sorry! What's wrong with him?" she enquired.

"No, I don't know him," I responded, "I just know that he is afflicted with UFS."

"UFS?" she pondered.

"Useless Father Syndrome," I replied.


SeaSpray said...

LOL! That's funny and I suspect contagious given how many fathers become afflicted with it at various times.

One day I went to pick a friend up and saw that her husband was sitting in the lawn chair in a fenced in back yard.

She told me that when Mike watches the kids...that is what he does...he ONLY watches the kids. Haha! Can you imagine if we women only watched the kids. :)

Welcome to the blogging world. You have a nice blog and have enjoyed reading it. I checked out your 1st post 1st. i think it's neat to see where people start at and then to see how they evolve. :)

Canadian Girl said...

Thanks for commenting, Seaspray. Men and women do seem to differ in their abilities to multitask, don't they?

Thankfully only a small percentage of fathers develop UFS. UMS exists, too, but it seems to be rather rare.

The Anonymous Therapist said...

hahahaha...awesome. I see UFS every single day at work but I've never been able to put my finger on how to describe it. Thanks for making me laugh.

Canadian Girl said...

Welcome, Anonymous Therapist, and thanks for commenting. When you start looking for it, UFS seems to be everywhere!

emergencyem said...

Haha, very nice!

Canadian Girl said...

Glad you liked it, Emergencyem. Thanks for coming by to visit!

Matt G said...

A good friend of mine, whom I think of as a little sister, married a good looking man who happened to be the father of her fetus. Upon meeting him, I instantly approved. Good sense of humor, firm handshake and a direct look in the eye. This man would make a fine husband, I declared, for my April.

Two years later: she was working and attending school, doing all the work around the house. He was a stay-at-home dad. Hey, I've no problem with Stay At Home Daddies. I know some good ones. But he put some very strong restrictions on what she could do, how she could do it, etc. He also became a very judgemental fundamentalist in his religion (the brand really doesn't matter, does it?).

She got her nursing degree. She found a job up in Montanna. I haven't heard from her in a while. I recently ran into her little brother (when did he grow up to be such a fine young man?), who works lots of overtime for a mutual friend cabinent maker. Her little brother knows a thing or two about work, and lots of it.

"How is your sister?" I asked.

"Well, I suppose she's doing well," he responded ruefully. "She works full time as an RN at the hospital, and to make the bills, took a second job at a nursing home, but her husband can't be depended to take care of the kids during the day, because every morning he's got a hangover from being out drinking all night."

"What's Tad doing for a living?" I asked. (That's right. I named him. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

April's brother winced. "He's still 'taking care of the kids.' I think that excuse isn't going to carry much water this fall, when the youngest goes to school, too. She still has to do all the housework, by the way."

I stroked my chin (damn PD policy won't let me wear a beard), and said "Maybe you and I need to take a weekend drive up to Montana, and whip his ass."

"I am SO there," he said.

Canadian Girl said...

Thanks for dropping in, Matt. Wow, April isn't having an easy time of it, working two jobs to support her "husband" (it's in quotation marks because I'm using that term very loosely). Nothing wrong with a stay-at-home dad who does the household things necessary to make everything run smoothly but Tad sounds like a real piece of work, sitting on his can while his wife in reality has three jobs - two paying and a third running the household.

If you and April's brother make that trip to Montana, I hope you make Tad scream like a little girl, loud enough that I can hear him from where I am north of the Montana border!