I’ve been thinking a lot about double standards recently. It stems from the way F-I-L has been treated since M-I-L died: hosting many visitors – most of whom were M-I-L’s friends or on her side of the family who pop in to see how he’s doing usually proffering gifts of homemade scones, bread and soup on an almost weekly basis. If a man is suddenly widowed, everyone rallies around in this manner assuming, I think, that because he’s male, he’s incapable of looking after himself when in fact, in later years at least, F-I-L was the principle cook in the household and even referred to washing up as his ‘therapy’. I reckon that if F-I-L had been the one who passed away and M-I-L had been left alone, she wouldn’t have been brought wholesome, nourishing dishes and certainly not at this point, some six months after the wretched event.
Double standards are anther big cross on my Baby Con list. Who doesn’t love seeing a man, preferably handsome but not necessarily so, cradling a baby? Hell, Pirelli made a fortune out of such an image. However, no one ever swoons at the sight of a young mum with a bambino, probably because they are usually struggling, frazzled and red-faced, to load a pushchair onto a bus or coaxing a tantrumming toddler from the floor in the middle aisle of Tesco.
Likewise, women are usually the ones who give up work to stay at home with the rugrats and are therefore the primary caregivers as well as having to dole out reprimands, punishments and think up interesting and educational methods to keep their kid from getting sucked into the CeeBeeBees wormhole. By the time jolly old Daddy gets home from work with a pocketful of previously banned sweeties, the kid’s sick to death of boring, sensible old Mummy and can revel in being boisterously thrown in the air by jubilant Daddy who is always in a good mood and never has to be bad cop. As an aside, if I ever get to be bad cop in the future, I would be astonished – I can’t even admonish the whippet without feeling terribly guilty but then, I’m doubtful that our kids would be quite as cute as he is which might make things easier.
In other news, I made chilli with jacket potatoes on Sunday. It seems I quite enjoy cooking as long as I’m left completely on my own, with a glass of wine to hand and Desert Island Discs on in the background. Just shoot me if I ever mention buying a pinny or a rolling pin because then things will have gone way too far for my liking. The chilli was okay but didn’t have sufficient kick however it’s good to know that my cooking repertoire is expanding (although this is not such a massive stretch when it previously comprised chips, eggs and peas and different things on toast). All of my new recipes do incorporate Quorn mince though so although it’s a start, they’re not very innovative. Still, Mr P appreciates being cooked for on occasion.
To go back to my previous point, our deal is that Mr P does all the cooking and in return, I do all the cleaning. This has been the set up since we first moved in together eleven years ago and yet, he didn’t do the pots (i.e. load the dishwasher) after I’d prepared dinner. Double standards again, you see.