Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The World, She's A Changin'

Though my own brood of chicks are all hatched and gone from the barnyard, it wasn't THAT long ago I was wipin' noses and little butts. But, after overhearing this conversation between two young men while walking to the parking garage after work, it felt a thousand miles of years:

"Oh, man, it's a world of difference between 4 and 8 months. By 8 months they are crawling around, and smiling, and recognizing faces."

"Wow, I never realized it happens that quick!"

"Yeah, and then they start crawling and you wish they wouldn't grow up that fast. Then, comes the potty training. It was easy with Katie... seems like overnight and she was not using diapers."

"I don't think it's as easy with boys..."

"Nah, not as easy, I think. I don't know, of course, but I've read and heard that it is a lot different."
What a difference a couple of generations make. I can't imagine overhearing this conversation 20 years ago.

9 comments:

Trace said...

How wonderful to hear that men were speaking to each other of their children in this way.

joared said...

You're surely right about that conversation. How refreshing to hear men taking such interest in the specifics of child rearing. Didn't hear much of that kinda talk in the 50's.

cassie-b said...

That's kind of nice. I'm thinking that fathers are often much more active in their children's lives than their own fathers were.

And that's good.

Karen said...

It is a different world now, isn't it. I have to grin when I hear stories my husband tells me of conversations with a co-worker who recently adopted 2 Russian toddlers. My husband giving child rearing advise. Too much.

Karen said...

Enjoyed your quote on my comments section. My oldest friendship dates back to elementary school days in Shreveport. She and I both live in Houston now. We have a monthly lunch date to stay in touch and last Saturday was our lunch date for this month. We always talk politics, no surprise to you, I know, and she is voting for Kinky. I was considering it until the debate on tv. I actually didn't feel inspired to vote for any of the four!

Anonymous said...

Fourty-seven years ago, my father-in-law (whom I love dearly) came to visit us. He wanted to care for our elder daughter one day, while I went to work. You can imagine how upset I was upon returning home 9 hours later to find that he had not once changed her diaper in all that time. Fathers and grandfathers are learning. Not a moment too soon!
Cop Car

Luz said...

My dad started by asking the registrar why I needed a first name (he thought Mr & Mrs C had a baby would do), went on to *tie* me to the playpen, fed me sardine sandwiches aged 9 months and figured a slide rule would keep me happy after he dropped my teddy on the tube tracks. Funnily enough I turned out okay but I'm still helluva possessive about teddy bears and men.

paul bowman said...

Feel like I should chirp up & mention that in my little world among young conservative families in small evangelical church circles, twenty years ago, many of those mostly working-class men in twenties & early thirties then establishing families took the same high degree of interest in being present in their kids' lives that you portray here. That may not have been common culture-wide, but it was certainly significant enough an influence in the environment I knew to help shape the family- & child-centered view of manhood my brothers & I came into adulthood with. I can say it seems to have registered in practice, anyway, in the forming of both my brothers' families during the past decade, though that particular church setting is long behind all of us.

Cowtown Pattie said...

After reading these wonderful comments, I wonder if men are always much more involved with child-raising than they want the world to know. That macho thing...

I don't think my Dad changed more than one or two diapers, however. Loved babies, but only when they were sweetly bathed, happily fed and almost asleep.