All posts tagged: washington square

Working My Gender

Walking to the playground, today, with Little C in the stroller and Big E on his scooter, I noticed an inordinate number of adoring expressions from passing women. I recognize that pursed lip, upside-down smile simultaneously showing sympathy, adoration and appreciation. I know my kids are cute. I also know that most mothers don’t receive that look from other women. It’s because I’m a man. People think it’s sooooo cute when a dude’s got two kids. We’re not supposed to be capable of such feats. So I look like a hero. I know it. I appreciate it. Sometimes I resent it. Nannies, especially, can’t believe my partner and I are raising kids without help (aside from our wonderful, regular babysitters). When I’m on the playground on a Wednesday afternoon and I’m the only man (often the only white person…a funny detail about raising kids in Manhattan), I’ve had many conversations with nannies asking, “Your nanny is off, today?” “Is your wife sick, today?” “Are you the nanny?” Heaven forbid a nearly 40-year-old man take his …

STAY IN THE BLISS

STAY INNOCENT “Take my shirt off! Take my shirt off!” Big E jumped while pleading with me. He wanted to be like the older boys running across the grass as shirtless savages of summer. Normally, he does not let it all hang out. So I took off his shirt, cursing myself for having left the sunscreen at home. It was already 4:30. Post-PTH, hopefully. (*peak tanning hours.) I knew one of the boy’s parents and we’d all met at the park for an early summer picnic. I needed adult contact since my one-year-old was near the peak of his incessant whininess. Upon arrival, the parents offered me a beer. I almost downed it in one sip. Seconds later, I noticed Big E and the older kiddos were missing. I said as much. “Oh, they’re over behind that brick wall playing in the fountain,” the mom said as she handed me a second beer. “They’re fine. Don’t worry.” I’m sorry. What part of that statement should not have made me feel apprehensive? Our kids were out …