There are a few places dads should not take their kids.  Bars, construction sights, gun ranges are gimmies.  But I'm talking about sacred places like Home Depot and Auto Zone.  At Home Depot, every aisle is a potential death trap for an untethered child.  While at Auto Zone, standing in the tool aisle provides a hyperactive kid with musical instruments the creators could not have imagined possible.  

Well the other day, I neglected the rules of no children in Auto Zone and took the Triad (Ladybug, Disco, and Celi).  I had finished working on the brakes that morning and needed to get brake fluid, a turn signal bulb, and a star driver to remove the rear light casing.

Before we went inside, I knew the flashing lights and shining tools would set off the chemical in their little brains and make them go crazy with hyperactivity if I didn't lay down the rules.  During their trip inside, they were relatively cooperative (due in part of me offering them a bribe promising them to do something fun afterwards). 

Now when I go into AutoZone, I have an idea of what I'm looking for.  I am not what you called "Mechanically Gifted", but I do have enough skills to make my wife go "Nice Job, Honey."  I purposely get myself greasy just so she thinks I did a lot of work. 

We're getting out of the van, when a car pulls up next to us.  A guy takes his son (roughly the same age as Disco) from the back seat and can't help but notice me with the Triad.  Celi is on my hip and I'm directing Disco to head straight for the curb.  He gives me props for handling three kids while he has a hard enough time with one.  I tell him that I had to offer an incentive prior to going in to make sure they behave.

The short time inside, I was admired for my mad child handling skills three more times. 

Yes!! I may not command respect with my handling of a ratchet, but show up at AutoZone and handle three kids without them pouring antifreeze everywhere and it's all about praising my other "manly" abilities.

I get home and tell this to KC.  Hoping to hear "Nice Job, Honey", she gives me.....

"Only because you're a guy.  If I walked in there they would expect it from me because I'm a woman."

Does she have a point?  I guess I'm guilty of it as well when I see a guy corralling kids up by himself I think to myself, "Heck yeah! Do it Brother!".  But when a woman is doing it, I think it just comes natural.  Do I lean this way because it's been the norm my entire life?

Or is it that people have low expectations of dads because of the negative press they get in the mainstream media?  But could it be because we men of mad child handling skills haven't stepped up to the plate and proven with consistently that we are capable of leaving an AutoZone in pretty much the same condition as when we found it?

What do you think?

Have a great day my friends.