Dad gets to take a break, on Father’s Day. Until the leeches arrive.According to the latest New York Times magazine, which I got to read on Father’s Day because I smartly let my six-year-old stay up til 1 am (meaning she slept in til 10 AM) and my partner was enlisted by our obnoxious neighbors to help install the galvanized metal scrap siding that is helping them build a carport bearing a strong resemblance to a third world shantytown, moms still do two to three times the amount of housework as dads. That sounds about accurate to me. And it goes for parental-appreciation holidays, too.
Take Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Mother’s Day was a whir of me going online to make a donation to a home for teenage moms (in lieu of the gift that no one could get it together to give me anyway; “But you took off for New York with your friend last week. Doesn’t that count as a gift?! Who do you think was watching our kid?!”), making breakfast, entertaining my child, and working on the garden etc. We spent the day outdoors, and eventually it ended in me shouting at around 8:30 PM, “Is anyone planning on making dinner or taking us out for dinner or doing something so we don’t starve to death tonight?!” Of course, living in the Hammer, all the restaurant kitchens were closing at 9:30, so we had to drive to Toronto for a meal that started at approximately 10pm. (“Where are we going next?!” asked The Little Nutball, eager to extend the festivities.)
Contrast that to Father’s Day, which started, inauspiciously enough, with the construction of our neighbor’s shanty (it was supposed to hold two or three cars, but because of a design flaw, it only fits one car, with their household’s two other junkers rusting out front in the street in front of our house) so that we have to seek parking in the back lane way. When we eventually got the man of the house back from our neighbours, there was a Father’s Day gift hunt (which ended a bit prematurely when the Little Nutball yelled “Here it is!” and handed him the gift), and then a fishing trip. I was in charge of buying all the gear and setting it up, spearing worms and leaches onto the hooks, and helping unsnag the fishing line from weeds/the dock/trees. My partner was snoring under a tree, so he missed the hijinks, which included catching and releasing a couple small mouth bass, and The Little Nutball attempting to attach leeches to her feet and even one to her neck.
I find leeches incredibly gross, although I will concede their value to medicine in the form of helping bleed people who’ve had limb reattachment surgery, or other challenges to their circulation. Leeches can help prevent their flesh from developing blood clots. In any case, I chose not to intervene when the Little Nutball tried to attach a leech to her dad’s neck.
All told, a fun day and not a drop of blood was spilled in the end. I think the leeches weren’t hungry. Breaking off pieces of worm and feeding the sunfish under the dock turned out to be more fun than fishing, and, at the stroke of 7 o’clock, a nice dinner was enjoyed by all.