Following rapidly on the heels of my competitive mother post, I had my first ever view of competitive fathering over the weekend.
The Boy doesn't know that many people with children, and nobody with a baby the same age as Eve. However, at the weekend we went to spend an afternoon with my very good friend P, her little boy (who is 11 days younger than Eve) and her partner, S.
P and I didn't know each other very well before we were pregnant, but have become firm friends since. It was P who I got stranded, and rescued, with when we were both 4 months pregnant and out in a canoe. We are both pretty relaxed about our little ones and often turn to each other for a bit of reassurance that things are OK.
However, the Boys (hers and mine) had never met before.
Initially there was a bit of males circling each other as they tried to suss each other out. P and I watched on, bemused, as both Boys clutched their respective babies and tried to outdo each other in terms of doing things with them. The Boy fed Eve, S played with his baby. S showed that his baby could catch a ball and kick it (sort of), the Boy showed that Eve could stand (with a lot of help). S showed how his baby could put his feet in his mouth, the Boy encouraged Eve to chat to us all. S sat with his baby on the side of the pool, the Boy made sure Eve went paddling (and got her bum wet).
P and I watched this delightful show of male posturing with babies, bemused, and knocked back a couple of glasses of wine.
As we left, S was trying to teach his baby to stand and once we got home the Boy started trying to get Eve to play with her feet.
Competitive fathers. Possibly the only thing worse than competitive mothers.
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