The unmanliest thing I’ve done as a stay-at-home dad

Since I’ve become a parent, I’ve done some things I wouldn’t brag about to my bros. I know the name of every Yo Gabba Gabba! character.  I squeal when my son sticks his finger in my belly button. I once went to the mall just to get a limited-edition Yankee Candle, and I bought the matching Illuma-Lid to go with it. That last one I can’t even blame on my kid.

But now my son is getting over a sinus infection, and this forced me to do something unthinkably girly.

The Champ doesn't want to blow his nose.

As a stay-at-home dad, I’m the last person who should be throwing out generalizations based on gender stereotypes. But here goes: If a woman is wearing pants with pockets, she’s got a wadded-up tissue in there.

I can’t blame women for this behavior. Those tissues come in handy all the time. Moreover, you’ve got to get some use out of the otherwise vestigial pockets on women’s jeans. Fashion designers make those pockets purely decorative so they can sell more handbags. My pockets hold a wallet, phone, keys and some change. It really isn’t fair.

With this cold, every time my son sneezes he shoots a snot rocket like Tom Brady at the end of a moment of silence. The difference is that Champy’s hands and face get covered in goob, and if I don’t have a Kleenex handy it’s all going on my sleeve.

That reminds me: I need to change my shirt.

So a couple of times, I’ve stashed a road tissue in the pocket of my Levi’s. Gingerly pulling that Kleenex from my pocket and delicately unwadding it, I can’t help but feel like less of a man.

Plenty of otherwise rugged old dudes carry handkerchiefs. Maybe I could switch to that. Maybe I could redeem my manliness by wrestling a bear or something. I welcome your suggestions.

Update: The Champ and I just got back from a walk. Amid my rush to get shoes, socks, jackets and hats, I forget to pocket a Kleenex on the way out the door. Far from the house, Champ sneezes out a snot floe twice the size of his previous record. My polyester track jacket is unsuitable for nose wiping, so I go hand-to-jeans.

I’ve lost a few pounds now that I don’t sit at a computer all day, but the butt of my jeans is still a considerably large surface. It takes a lot of snot to cover the whole thing, and Champy delivered.

I’m not sure a single tissue would have saved me today. I could have used one of those portable packs or maybe the Boogie Wipes Krista mentioned. And now I’m left questioning whether it’s manlier to pocket a tissue or to walk around with a sticky, glistening snot butt. I’ll have to ask Tom Brady.

4 thoughts on “The unmanliest thing I’ve done as a stay-at-home dad”

  1. Before our latest, i used to laugh at the idea of Boogie Wipes. Why would anyone buy saline moistened tissues? What is wrong with a regular tissues. I am now a believer, and we have multiple packages and the industrial size canister. Best snot removers I have found; and they avoid kleenex chafing issues.

  2. So what you’re telling us is that your Little Lad is more manly than you because he just let’s it fly. When I run in the summer in Arizona, I carry or wear a neckerchief that I can get wet and wipe my face.
    And in case kerchief’s are new to you, here’s a very manly image and instructions on how to tie one:
    Or better yet, try this action. Of course color and shape of pocket squares in the back pocket can have different meanings. I think this one is the universal sign for, ‘Don’t mess with me. My kid’s got a cold!”

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