Before I was betrothed to Zach, I used to look for a certain “something” in potential suitors: a nice smile, kind eyes, and I’ve always loved a man in a watch.
What? It’s my fantasy, lay off.
If you had told me 10 years ago that a man rocking a wedding band, totting two kids down the cereal aisle would catch my eye, I would have cackled in your face then accused you of being drunk.
Today, though, a baby-wearing Daddy with some pearly whites and shiny Rolex? Yes, please.
I’m not the only one who notices the hands-on Dads out there, and I’m certainly not the first to droll over them. My husband has experienced his share of stares and sly smiles, and there are women who seriously follow him around like a bloodhound picking up a scent any time he’s out and about with our kids.
A funny thing happens when my husband takes our kids anywhere by himself: he turns into a celebrity. Throngs of women, ages 25 – 80, flock to him, offering their assistance and admiration. We’ve yet to decide if they’re hitting on him or simply perceiving him as a bumbling idiot dad just trying to do his best.
Case in point: Zach and the kids go to the grocery store. One kid’s outfit is mismatched, shoes on the wrong feet, leftover peanut butter adorning her hair. The other kid, having recently discovered the unbridled freedom of independently clothing one’s self, is rocking backwards seersucker shorts and a Sponge Bob sweatshirt, chin smeared with breakfast remnants.
They’re on him in seconds.
A woman from the bakery leaves her cake icing station to offer the kids cookies. A lovely lady from the deli magically appears with fistfuls of cheese. Random shoppers insist they help Zach cross items off of his list, as though drawing a line through the word bread is a task either entirely too daunting or incredibly beneath him.
Check-out is a sight to behold: despite opting for the self-check-out lane, clerks make a beeline to him, demanding they bag his groceries. I wonder if the sight of an overflowing cart shaped like a children’s toy car complete with steering wheels and seat belts elicits a response like this:
Code red! Single dad, two kids, full cart! Must. Avert. Catastrophe! GO! GO! GO!
or like this:
Well, hellooooo there, baby daddy! If he shops without his wife, what else does he do without his wife?! Must. Make. Eye contact.
Had I been the one to take the kids into public looking so unkempt, I would have been deemed a terrible mother. A “she better get it together” poster child. But the husband? When wielding a few grocery bags and a couple of adorable dirtballs, he becomes the fantasy of women everywhere.
It’s not just the grocery store, either. Any time the man does what a Dad does and parents his children, a halo appears above his head and fluorescent light bulbs blink out the message, “LADIES! WE’VE GOT A LIVE ONE!”
Once on vacation, Zach braved the boardwalk alone with the kids. When he returned a few hours later, he was poppin’ his collar like Jessica Biel had just asked for his digits:
“Every woman wants me. A baby in my arms is a bullseye on my crotch.”
Yes, he really did say that.
He was feeling pretty fly for a white guy, and I can’t say I blame him. He hadn’t seen that much action since college.
The thing is, Zach is a capable father who rarely looks frazzled or anxious when with the kids. And he is with the kids a lot because, you know, they’re his. Is that why he’s revered as such a tasty piece of eye candy? Is a father who actually fathers an aphrodisiac for most women?
Or maybe the deli lady just wanted to ensure our kids their daily allowance of calcium, though no one ever seeks us out to share cheese when I’m steering that god-foresaken car cart. Come to think of it, no one has ever given me bedroom eyes while I wrangle a 2 and 3-year-old down a sun-soaked boardwalk either. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Or maybe Zach is just doing something very right.
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