Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 06.15.04
Stanstead, Quebec


Working Dads 'do' list

STANSTEAD, QC | Are you a stay-at-home dad? Do you pride yourself in flouting traditional gender roles by being the primary caregiver and household manager? At the same time, do you wish you had taken a few Home-Ec classes so you would know the difference between basting a turkey and basting a hemline? Did you get in trouble for dribbling turkey fat all over your wife's new dress? If you're a Homer living in a Marge world, we at the Institute for Dads Intent on Order and Tidy Surrounding (IDIOTS) can help you. Simply use this handy guide to get you through your day:

  • Getting kids to school. Have you made sure they have lunches? Brushed their teeth? Are wearing clothes suitable for the weather? Are wearing clothes?

  • Tips for washing clothes: Sorting colours is for saps. Those "fill" lines on the detergent scoops are a conspiracy by the soap companies to make you use more product. Hanging laundry on the clothesline can seem manly if you do it with Zeppelin blaring on the stereo. Clean clothes are just as accessible in laundry baskets as in drawers. Plus, "Find My Undies" is a fun game the whole family can play!

  • Feeding the baby. Have you provided a balanced meal? Reminded yourself that Doritos is not a food group? Let your toddler feed herself Kraft Dinner in the living room? Forgotten the last time you did that? Discovered a way to brush Kraft Dinner out of cat fur?

  • Remember the IDIOTS motto: "Surprise her with a nice clean oven/And tonight you're sure to get some lovin'!" That diaper's not going to change itself, you know! Much can be accomplished during your child's nap time, including a nap for you!

    Your working friends do not need emailed updates of your plans to take the baby to the beach on warm sunny afternoons. No beer before 5 p.m.! And none of that "It's 5 o'clock somewhere in the world" garbage!

    Homework: Have you checked all notes home from school? Do you need to retain the services of a lawyer? Do you believe your child when he says he has no homework? Are you a moron? If male friends drop by, never ever yell at your kids, "Hey, I just swept that floor!"

  • How to prepare supper: 3 p.m.: Open fridge door. Stare at contents. Wonder what you can make with wilted celery, left-over breakfast sausage, and hoisin sauce. 3:05 p.m.: Close fridge door and sigh. 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Repeat steps 1 and 2. 4:42 p.m.: Ask kids what they want for supper. Ignore pleas for Subway, Burger King, and "not spaghetti again." 4:45 p.m.: Make spaghetti again. 4:47 p.m.: Give in to kids' complaints that they're "starving." Wilted celery all around! 4:52 p.m.: Isn't it 5 o'clock yet? 5:15 p.m.: Chop up left-over breakfast sausage and stir into canned tomato sauce. "Sauce tomate à la bologna." 5:40 p.m.: Sit down to eat. 5:48 p.m.: Throw out most food on kids' plates after they say they're "not hungry."

  • It's more efficient to pick up around the house throughout the day, clearing clutter when you see it. However, it's far more motivating to do so all at once, racing through the house when you see your wife coming up the street.
At the end of the day, always ask yourself: Did I bring baby home from the beach?