Granddad’s Gone

Granddad’s Gone

No more Bella spoiling. But his present arrived today: a box of wooden refrigerator magnets, 52 of them, a full set of capital and lower case letters in bright red, yellow, green and blue. Isabella was enchanted and stood there in full coat and hat, forgetting that she was ready to go outside. (That’s a big deal!)

One funny granddad story:
The other day my dad took Bella to the elementary school playground a few blocks from our house during school hours. After they’d been there for a while, a teacher came out and said she was bringing out her class, implying they’d have to leave. Poor Bella screamed and screamed all the way home. She was sobbing so hard that even after I’d nursed her to sleep (she was also way overdue for a nap) she was still breathing those little gasping breaths. Poor granddad.

I’ll try to post some of the adorable pictures he took of her soon.

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • You have a lot of interesting thoughts here, and so does Radical Catholic Mom, but I�m still no closer to understanding this whole submission thing. It sounds like what it boils down to is that spouses should love and serve one another, and also that every family is different, so the division of labor will be different in every family depending on the circumstances and the personalities of the spouses. I agree with that, but I don�t see how that�s any different from the secular view.

    Also, talk about this issue almost always involves stereotypes about men and women. I am not a feminist and I do not believe that men and women are interchangeable, but there *are* a lot of gender stereotypes out there, and sometimes it�s hard to differentiate between the stereotypes and genuine differences. I have to disagree that there�s �a truth behind the stereotype of the forgetful husband and the nagging wife� � at least in my marriage. In my marriage, it�s the opposite � I�m the dreamy, forgetful one, and my husband is the practical, down-to-earth one. He is far more likely than I am to notice something that needs to be done. I�m also terrible at multitasking. On the other hand, I�m the more emotional one and he�s more logical.

  • Sarahndipity,
    I’ll agree that the difference is primarily in the spiritual reality and not necessarily observable in the specific actions of the spouses.

    Also, while stereotypes are problematic because no stereotype fits all individuals in a class, at the same time stereotypes exist, and persist, because there is some truth to them. Most people can think of individuals who fit any given stereotype.

    I agree that it’s hard to differentiate between stereotypes and genuine differences and that makes any discussion of differences between men and women a potential minefield. Also it’s useful to note in any such discussion that we can really only talk about trends: men tend to be more this way, women tend to be more that.

    But I think it is also sometimes useful to wade in and try to discuss those differences. I know that when I do manage to get a finger on a difference between men and women, it frequently helps me in my relationship with my husband.

    And just because your marriage doesn’t reflect the truth behind a particular stereotype, doesn’t necessarily negate that truth. I used that example of the forgetful husband because so often Dom fits it. I do my best to avoid becoming the nagging wife; but it is sometimes a struggle for me.

    I use the example of multitasking because it’s been a huge difference I notice in our approaches to childcare. I can write blog entries and chat on im and watch the baby and think about dinner all at the same time. When Dom used to work from home it was very disruptive to him if I asked him to mind Isabella while I ran to the store or did a load of laundry. He simply could not both focus on his work and give an exploratory child the attention she needed to keep her out of harm’s way.

    I also observed the same to be true of another male friend of mine who tried to do a stint as a stay at home dad to their two boys for some time. He was so frazzled by the end of the day and never got any work done until after the kids were in bed.

    It’s true not all women are great multi-taskers; but in my experience most women are more capable than most men at juggling more than one task at a time or at least are more able to be aware of what a small child is doing while also accomplishing another task.

  • I agree that stereotypes have *some* truth to them, because otherwise they wouldn’t exist. Maybe we’re just weird, I dunno. smile

    Greg Popcak on the Heart, Mind and Strength blog once said that the only real difference between men and women is that men have a male body and women have a female body. So, for example, while both sexes can be nurturing, they are nurturing in different ways � only a woman can breastfeed, and only a man can tickle a baby with his beard. At first I thought, that�s it? It�s just our bodies? But when you consider that our bodies include our brains, it makes more sense. I�m pretty sure it�s been scientifically proven that there�s a �male brain� and a �female brain,� which causes, for example, men to have better spatial skills and women to have better verbal skills. But of course there is also wide variation among individuals.

    He has also said that real differences between men and women are meant to make men and women work together better *because* of those differences, not in spite of them. He debunks a lot of the �men are from Mars, women are from Venus� stuff. Anyway, it�s interesting to think about.

  • “the only real difference between men and women is that men have a male body and women have a female body”

    I have to disagree with that. The Church teaches that the differences between men and women are more than merely physical, they are ontological. That is, masculinity and femininity are part of our very being. Not only our bodies but our souls are male and female. So it was from the beginning: Male and female created he them. And we will always be male and female even after death.

    Of course there are differences between individuals. I am sure there are some women, a very few, who are better football players or fighter pilots that 90% of the men in America; but to say that is not to deny that in general men are better at being fighter pilots and football players.

    Individuals will always vary; but men and women in general have different orientations. (And while we’re on the subject of differences, a good article from a psychological angle, not a Catholic one, was “Is There Anything Good about Men?”. I think Jen at et tu linked to it a while back.)

    Bring a baby into a crowded room with equal numbers of men and women and watch how many women gather, cooing around the baby and how many men. Or count heads of the number of men vs women who work at daycare centers.

    It’s not that men can’t be nurturing, especially to their own children; but that women are ontologically oriented toward nurturing in a way that men aren’t. Of course there are some women who hate children and some men who dote on them. But if you do see a man paying especially attention to someone else’s child, I’ll bet you he’s a dad or else a relative. Men just don’t tend to be as focused on small children as women are.

    But the Catholic understanding is that these differences are more than just an evolutionary quirk: they were designed by God. I agree with Dr. Popcak in that at least. Men and women are different and those differences are complimentary. They work together as if they were meant to because they were meant to. Studies have shown that children need both a mother and a father for optimum development, that the way each naturally interacts with the child helps to develop different capabilities.

    For me the obvious answer to the problem of why our differences then seem to work against each other instead of cooperating is that it’s yet another result of the Fall.