Scott Lenz: I'm here to talk to you about playdates, OxyClean, and the latest Cherokee dresses at Target. Am I a stalker? A pervert? No, ma'am ... I am a stay-at-home dad. Just like a stay-at-home mom, only in man form.
I became part of this emerging, yet still vastly misunderstood, paradigm shift in the summer of 2005. Once upon a time, I produced "Biography" for A&E -- cavorting with the likes of Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields, and John Waters. Two things conspired to change that: reality TV and a pregnant nanny. So, for the past four years, I have been marinating chicken and managing hygiene, among many other things.
People often ask me, "What's the difference between a stay-at-home dad and a stay-at-home mom?" Usually, these people are tugging at my shirt and I have to look down to see them. Here's my Top 5:
5. Moms nap ... Dads fall asleep 'til the next morning.
4. Moms shop with their kids and try things on ... Dads buy three sizes, have the kids try them on at home, and bring back the other two -- if they can find the receipt.
3. Moms play "High School Musical" in the car ... Dads play ESPN radio, and no one is allowed to speak.
2. Moms talk on the phone ... Dads e-mail -- if they communicate at all.
1. Moms buy tomatoes ... Dads buy ketchup.
Now, this obviously doesn't cover the whole gamut of differences, nor does it entirely explain the quaint world of the stay-at-home dad, which is fraught with double standards, tenuous respect -- and often unwanted attention. Join me next time and we'll flesh out these concepts -- and please, act interested: my masculinity and self-esteem are at stake.
|Scott Lenz, a former music journalist and television producer, is a stay-at-home dad to his two children, Jaron and Georgia, and a stay-at-home husband to his wife, Suzanne. They all live in Los Angeles.|