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“Man rank”

March 28, 2012

My man ranking is at an all time high.

For those that don’t know what a man ranking is allow me to explain.  It’s basically how useful as a stereotypical man you are.  We’re talking lifting heavy things; fixing stuff… you know, the sort of stuff your Dad was (or was supposed to be) good at.

A tool belt

Tools: Grrr... manly

Before all the feminists leap on me I’m aware that women are good at that stuff too — indeed, they’re usually better than me.  Until recently my “man ranking” has been pretty low, bordering on non-existent.  Even my wife (who loves me dearly, bless her) has so little faith in my ‘manliness’ that the minute anything breaks she’s reaching for the Yellow Pages, lest I try my DIY on it.

My DIY usually amounts to “Y I Don’t” — the main reason being, I usually make things worse.

However, with three kids in the house “calling out a man to do it” isn’t as financially viable as it used to be.

Therefore, in recent weeks I have:

  • removed our old integrated dishwasher;
  • installed and plumbed in a new dishwasher;
  • trimmed the skirting board to fit aforementioned new dishwasher;
  • fixed a flooding sink;
  • removed a room full of carpet and (more exhaustingly) heaved said carpet into the loft pretty much single-handed (carpet is heavy!)

Now, that little lot may not sound like much.  In my house, I am now almost akin to the Andy McNabb of DIY.  Adding in that I carted the heavy kitchen appliances into and out of our garage on my tod and I also have the glow of Herculean strength too.  I was practically bellowing “Grrrr… I am man!” come the end of it.

It’s all extremely stereotypical and unnecessary.  However, having kids changes your perspective on a lot of things.  I know see everything I do through the prism of my children’s eyes.  Even the watchful gaze of my wife has a new filter, that of “mother of my children”.

A man looking frustrated

Aaarrggghhh! Maybe if I drill a new hole in the sink...?

I want to protect them all, to provide for them, to shelter them from all that is bad, dark or evil.  I want to make it that, when they turn on the tap water comes out… and preferably not all over their shoes.

Midway through plumbing in the dishwasher, when I just could not a crucial pipe undone (forgetting that for some reason, some plumbing washer turn the ‘wrong’ way) I was almost in tears.

The stark reality of having to “call a man” to come and fix my latest cock-up was drilling into my soul.  Through the prism of my kids’ eyes I saw “This man can do it, because Daddy can’t…” It was almost too much to bear.

When I finally thought to try turning the washer the ‘wrong’ way the eureka moment as it came undone was like a Cup Final goal.

See?  Daddy can do it.  Sometimes.  And for all other times, there’s Mummy.

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