S kipping a few necessary steps, I have already envisioned how I hope to raise my children.
Yes, I have no girlfriend, no immediate spousal prospect and thus no immediate mother-of-my-children prospect, yet I still know what I want to do when someone decides that I’m not only good enough for a second date, but for a second kid.
I would like to be a stay-at-home dad. So that I am not mistaken as one without ambition or drive, please know that I would not stay at home for life, but certainly for a few years before my kids went to school.
I couldn’t do it full time, because I would like to have a career and would want, if nothing else, to have two incomes supporting my family. However, while my children were too young for preschool, nothing would make me happier than to hang out with them all day.
Of course, there is more entailed in staying at home than watching cartoons and eating Gerber. I recognize that there will be tantrums, fights, crying, insubordination and the like.
However, I spent three years counseling nine-and ten-year-olds at summer camp, so I have some experience with kids and am undeterred by the prospect of cleaning up an entire meal thrown onto the floor in a moment of infant humor.
Additionally, I would enjoy the housework. As those with whom I have lived over the years can attest, I try to keep a clean home. Plus, I adore doing laundry, am an expert clothing folder (references from the Gap available on demand) and already pay the bills in my apartment.
Really, I only need to expand the roster of meals that I am capable of preparing and I will be all set. My wife would come home to a clean home and wholesome meal every night.
“Martha Stewart ain’t got shit on me!” as Alonzo from “Training Day” might say.
The days that I spent at home with my children would be straight bangin’. Typically, we’d get up, play with our toys, read the newspaper, read some books, go for walks, head over to the museum, peep the latest rap videos, take naps, run errands and, of course, spend time watching “SportsCenter” and basketball.
On our good days, my kids and I would do all this while wearing coordinated headbands, jumpsuits and Jordans.
Other times, we would perhaps dress for our outings as sophisticates, rocking our formal wear and commanding respect as a result.
(Quick sidebar: Never underestimate how significantly one can influence the opinions of others simply by dressing up. Be it at the airport or the supermarket, the gentleman is always treated with class.)
While some of these particulars may vary, one can certainly ascertain the general routine that the children of Chez Litman and I will be following.
Aside from reinforcing the importance of good manners and other basics, there won’t be too many rules, either. I turned out fine staying up late, watching a lot of “Voltron” and eating a healthy amount of Oreos.
The little Litmans must simply be open-minded and adopt the Knicks and Michigan as their teams for life. After that, I will be accepting suggestions.
Complicating this vision for the future, though, is that few people, let alone women, are socialized to accept the aforementioned plan as an appropriate schematic for a male’s life.
While ideas concerning gender equity pervade our culture, and rightfully so, it seems that the notion of male domesticity has not yet achieved the commensurate palatability of other practices that challenge the traditional gender status quo.
In fact, I know few males who harbor similar aspirations and seemingly too many females who – despite the advanced degrees that they will receive – still feel obligated to make time to raise a family.
Ironically, while trying to ensure to women equal rights and access to opportunities, this nation partially forgot about men.
I absolutely recognize that we are still an advantaged social group, so I implore readers to stop entertaining notions that I am advocating special treatment for men or marginalizing the very real obstacles that women still exclusively encounter.
However, if fair is fair, then there are some glaring inconsistencies.
For instance, male sports writers can’t go into women’s locker rooms, yet female reporters can enter the men’s; women have traditionally not been drafted for military service while men have; an abominable, money-losing farce (the WNBA) has continued to hemorrhage the NBA’s money for six seasons while an analogously terrible idea (the XFL) was canned after one season in the red.
(Please note: If women want to play professional basketball, so be it. I support that right. Yet, simply taken as a business venture, the WNBA has not made cents, er, sense. And then there is the problem that the below-the-rim, low-scoring, mechanical product being sold just stinks. A friend of mine who played high school ball abhors the summer league and she won’t watch it, so my feelings are not merely male, misogynistic invective.)
There are, of course, reasons for the circumstances just cited.
Perhaps if females were not consistently glorified by men as sex objects, it would not cause a stir for a man to enter a locker room full of naked women.
Also, were women not traditionally pigeonholed into the homemaker niche, maybe their participation in national defense would be more readily accepted. And female entr