I approached Devis with Babies about writing a response after the "What Do Boys Want" piece was posted on a dad blog I read. (Yes. There are dad blogs. Yes. We talk about our kids. Maybe just not the same as you guys.) At many people's prompting, I read the Motherlode article about how angry you all are with us too. How we don't do anything. How when we watch the kids we don't do it how you would. How you have all the details in your head. How we don't help you. In response to that I have some simple words: Tell us what you want. What I absolutely cannot stand is the dance of "what is wrong"/"nothing." My wife and I, who I love dearly and who is very hot (and I promised I would write that she did not ask me to say that), do this dance often. We could go on Dancing with the Dysfunctional Stars with it. I understand where it comes from. She doesn't want to "nag". She wants me to "figure out what's wrong on my own." But if we had limited time to figure out these things before Lord help us we have no time now. So here is my Modest Proposal. No I don't think we should eat our kids. I think we should tell each other what we want.
Along those lines, here is my wishlist. Feel free to wrap any of these up in a big red bow for your husbands. We want things too.
1) Dress up. For me. Not always, but once in a while. You know all that effort you used to make? The effort you still make for a party or for the girls? Do it for me too.
2) Don't ask me to do stuff and then get mad when I don't do it exactly how you would. You know the old adage, "if you want something done right, do it yourself?" It's crap. But this one, though less catchy, is true: "If you want something done exactly how you would do it don't ask me to do it." This is mostly true for things involving feeding/bathing/caring for our children. Just because you manage to watch the kids while doing the laundry and making them wear pristine clothes and brushing their hair doesn't mean that when we watch the kids and eat lunch on the floor and don't take baths that it's bad. Obviously it isn't what you would do. But it works doesn't it? We aren't you.
3) Once in a while stroke our egos. Even if you don't want to. Even if it makes you roll your eyes and wonder where feminism went. Trust me, it's not that hard and it keeps us going.
4) Let me win at sports. Just kidding. Except not really: My wife beats me at everything.
5) Try to remember why you married us. We never had candle-lit dinners, looked into each other's eyes, and said things like "I can't wait to co-parent equally with you" or "I know you'll be the kind of guy who will remember to pick up your socks." Sweet nothings aren't really nothing.
6) Be patient with us. Especially if you really know we are trying.
7) If you choose only one of my wishes choose this one: Please please please have sex with us. More. Even more. As much as you can.
One more thing: From what I can tell, most of us men really love you women. Most of us are in awe of what you are able to do. Most of us really want you guys to be happy. In part so that we don't have to be scared of you, it's true, but in part because your happiness is independently important to us. I can't be happy unless my wife is. Seeing her sad is bad enough; seeing her sad because of something I did destroys me. I vowed to make her happy and I intend to keep that vow. I just think I can watch a little football too, forget to do some stuff, and let my kids live in some filth along the way.