Entering the Man Free Zone (MFZ) is a daunting experience.
The best analogy I can give you involves a fish.
Picture in your head Nemo. A lovely little fish, swimming through the ocean without a care in the world. Alongside Nemo is a mini Nemo, his offspring.
All of a sudden, in the distance, a noise can be heard. As our fish glide effortlessly closer, the noise becomes louder.
Soon, the din is almost deafening.
Naturally Nemo is inquisitive, wondering what all the commotion is about. And then he sees it with his very own eyes.
A large group of piranhas and their offspring have gathered. They swirl around the ocean with intimidating growls on their face.
Meanwhile, our two hapless, defenceless little fish are literally shitting themselves.
But it’s too late. They are now at the mercy of the piranhas. Their future and safety is uncertain.
Will they make it out alive?
That is exactly what it is like when I turn up with one of the kids at a baby or toddler group. I walk into the room full of mums (which is a strict MFZ) and for a moment, everything stops.
They all stare in unison.
I guess it’s understandable; men don’t often get the opportunity to tread the daunting path of baby groups. We look a bit out of place. Like if you saw a polar bear wandering through the desert.
And no one would blame you for it.
From time to time another dad is present. We instantly give each other ‘the look’. In one glance we are able to convey one very important message;
Recently I took my three year old Daisy to a ballet class. The ballerinas go in and the parents wait outside. On that occasion there were 9 girls all donning the obligatory pink tutu. Alongside them were 8 very proud mums.
The mums were totally friendly and inclusive but the conversation left a bit to be desired.
In the MFZ, the usual convo rotates around three main topics;
- Kids’ routines
- Childbirth & Pregnancy
- Kids’ routines
No, that’s not an error.
During this particular ballet trip, at one stage the conversation moved on to episiotomies.
I smiled and nodded like I knew what was going on whilst subtly glancing down at my iPhone to quickly Google what the heck it meant. That was a shock, let me tell you!
So here’s my advice, from the male perspective;
We understand that the MFZ exists. We have no problem with it whatsoever. We realise that upon entrance the odd stare might head in our direction.
But would it be that hard to talk about something else?
We’d happily settle for a nice chat about the day’s weather…
#lad2dad lesson Never Google episiotomy when the search engine is set to images.