|DX, here pictured as a paperweight, is half my responsibility...on paper.|
Over the past couple of months, I've figured something out...early parenthood is not always an equal division of labor and input. Of course, this is the ideal that is strived toward, a genuinely even contribution to the full-time maintenance and upkeep of a child...but as we know, few things are ideal in life. Logistics, which is fancy talk for "the manner in which the shit just works", often dictate our methods as much as what might be viewed as an even distribution of duties.
I've discovered this in the last couple of months in my new role of vice parent (an office I believe I have named, but not necessarily innovated) to the cute little monkey pictured above, my own baby DX. You see, raising a kid is quite a bit like governing a country. It's a tragically underpaid job (even Big Boss Barry only makes what the last guy on an NBA bench does for his slightly more important work), you'll definitely have to keep your economy stable, and there is usually one person running the show more than any other. That person is not me...but I am a very capable understudy. (Ask the Indianapolis Colts how important having one of those is.)
When he was first born, I reasonably assumed I was in for a perfectly equal share of baby-related duties as a result. What I did not immediately consider is that logistics dictate that he lives with his mommy most of the time, and thus the majority of these tasks fell to her. (You'd be surprised how easy it is to like a baby you only have to change what averages out to about 2.7 times a day over the average week.) The little guy is cutest when he's not trying to coat me with the contents of his digestive system, and although his projectiles can be impressive at times, he can't hit me from her house.
Of course, I have my duties as well...they're a lot like the office title implies. I do most of the PR work (lol), make the appearances she doesn't feel like making (like apprearing at the store, appearing to carry heavy items--including him--or even just appearing across the room to retrieve some babyphenalia or other) and also relieve her of her duties when she's incapacitated...or just a little tired. Mostly though, I just Pippen it up, contributing a lot, but just staying out of the way when the situation is beyond my skills.
The arrangement does have its drawbacks. For one, he remembered her face first and just started consistently recognizing me a couple weeks ago...which I understand, how many vice anythings can you even name? It's also kind of weird to have people kind of talk around me to her where he's concerned like I don't even work there, but I suppose that just goes with the territory as well. (Might have something to do with the slightly controversial book I'm writing on the experience too...but I think they're just mad I found a voice it's okay to scream with.)
What's really strange for me is my relationship with our allies, DX's set of grandparents. They, in conjunction with his mommy, appear to function completely independent of my input...things change behind closed doors with secret communications I'm not privy to, and things like what happened on Friday (when I thought I had him here at home for the night, then had him suddenly confiscated by my own mommy around 3 in the afternoon and returned to his mommy's house on Sunday night) go down. I guess that's just parental politics at play, though.
All in all, I'm warming up to my new position. The best (wo)man for the main job has it, and I'm happier about my supporting role than I would be actually having to pay child support, which is nice. While it may not be perfection of form yet, it's certainly perfection of function at the time. Hey, the shit just works. Maybe one day soon, I'll make a run for the big chair. For now though, like a true politician, I'm going to support the hell out of the person in charge, concentrate on my current office, gain some experience...then step in and step up in a few months when the hard part is over. (Let's see who teaches you to throw a football and pee like a boy, squirt.)