Proud to be a papa

Has anybody noticed that fatherhood is suddenly in fashion? The advertising guys surely have. So, corollary to the Metrosexual Man is the Proud Papa syndrome. If I’m not much mistaken Nivea started it with the black-and-white shots of a shirtless hunk with an equally (but for different reasons) luscious baby. Since then there have been a slew of ads featuring fathers with their children…notably Raymonds. But this isn’t a post about advertisements. This is about fathers, new fathers…or maybe I should say the new-age fathers.

Men certainly are being better fathers than their earlier counterparts. I see a lot more men with babies, wheeling prams, clutching frantically to over-exuberant toddlers. I see them in shops, on the roads, in buses and cars. I see them taking their kids to school, the movies, shopping, the playground and home.

One gentleman I know rushes through his day at top speed, juggling an entrepreneurial venture with friends. In between he stops to answer his cellphone and listens with rapt attention to his three-year old announce to him that she is going to feed her best friend with grass tomorrow. “Grass?” he asks incredulously. “Arre, woh mitti mein ugta hain na, woh! (the stuff that grows in mud!)” He gravely discusses the pros and cons of this desicion and hangs up after they’ve reached an agreement.

There is the head of my company who has photographs of a grinning pre-schooler lining his table. The little imp is an exact replica of his father in miniature and only stops darting in and out of mischief to cling to daddy dearest’s leg and order him to give him a ride.

So much has been written about the mother-child relationships. In my not-so-fiery-feminist side of the mind, I visualize a man as the manifestation of strength, the hard, tough kind. A baby or a child on the other hand represents innocence, fragility. A father and his child are truly a picture of tenderness without weakness and strength without harshness.

A child after all is a creation of both sexes, a union of two complements. For the father to be taking pride and joy in the creation in which he has an equal role to play is right and fitting. I actually think men may probably make better parents than women now. At some level while most modern men still conflict with the idea of modern women….this friction isn’t going away anytime soon…..I guess the latent sensitivity and deep emotion that are coming up find a better outlet to their offspring than to their partners.

Such a far cry from fathers who didn’t know what class their kids studied in or didn’t know a diaper from a cloth nappy. Today’s daddy is mixture of Gandalf the Gray (funny and wise), Einstein (always knows the answers!) and The Mask (can turn into anything anytime). Papas who can heal a skinned knee just as quickly as a broken heart, smart dads who know when to intervene and when to let alone, daddies who pepper all their sermons and lessons alike in jokes. No, these are not just those few and random examples of ‘sensitive’ men. I think men really are taking fatherhood a lot more seriously than before. Which is a wonderful thing. I’m so very glad my children and their generation will have two loving parents even if they can’t stand each other. Hopefully we won’t compete over who loves the child more.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on February 13, 2006, in Media Messages, Seriously speaking, Times, they are a-changing, XXFactor series and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. naice… papas always were good… it is because that the mama got all modernized and all, the papa decided to maintain the balance and do some work for her… BALANCE is the keyword i guess… if any couple could find the right balance, they definitely would make great parents…

  2. Agreed. I for one think my Hubby would make a great parent- he’s already used to catering to the whims and fancies of an immature, self centered being. One more shouldn’t faze him. LOL.

  3. There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. ~Author Unknown

    🙂

    http://brainwell.blogspot.com/

  4. Eventhough I have always been mom’s favorite and mom’s my favorite parent, I would like to think my father also cared a lot for me… I do believe that moms are a lot more verbal about this because the previous generation was brought up with the “Men never show emotions” jazz… As men get more verbal about their feelings, it is going to reflect in what they do at home… As pointed out earlier, the moms being more independent in this generation has also influenced the fact that the men r doing more at home… I dont know what kind of parent I would end up being but I am certainly going to be talking a lot more with my kid(s) than my dad talked with me…

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