World of Happy Stereotypes

I recently bought Willow a book that I could read to her just before bedtime. It's a great little book, if a little too close to the edge of hippy dippy peace and love for my liking. It is called 'the little penguin' (sic.) and is about a penguin who is scared of going into the water. It is one of a series that are apparently based on a T.V. series called 'World of Happy' and this book is all about being brave.

It really is a wonderful story with good morals and has lots of penguins in it (one of the selling points). There is however one part of it that bugs me. The father penguin is clearly the disciplinarian and is a tad gruff to the little penguin about its fear of the water, but that is all fine, what bothers me is the fact that World of Happy seem to imply that all fathers like nothing more than cocking a leg and 'floating an air biscuit' - to use a favourite phrase*.

Don't believe me?

(sorry about the quality, had to take a photo as my scanner is buried under baby things)

Kelloggs are at it too ... kind of. I have in front of me a box of their cereal which are offering the chance to win a year of family fun. In order to win said fun you must go to a website called 'whatson4mum'. I thought dads were the source of fun? Although in fairness it was my wife that bought the box of cereal for herself so the targeting advertising must work**.

There is also the curious case of the internet forums for 'parents'. A few days ago during the 'morning shift' with Willow I was reading through some parenting forums and came across one or two threads that I felt I could reply to. I posted my replies and forgot about them until the next day. Morning shift again. Having Willow fed, changed, settled, a full cup of hot coffee (it being hot is a rare thing lately), and 5 minutes to spare I had a look to see if there were any new and interesting threads. There were and so I replied and went in search of my other posts. No answers. Okay; I thought, no problem, people have new babies and kids and take time replying. Next day was the same. No posts after mine anywhere. Call me paranoid but I started to get the feeling that people were avoiding my posts. I  checked today and there is still no replies on all but one of them. Are mothers scared of dads posting on their forums? I hope not.

To finish off this odd collection of thoughts (if you think this is bad you should hear what goes on inside my head!) I'd like to share with you something my amazing and wonderful wife, Emma, said. Whilst looking on some dad forums the following conversation took place;

Wife - What's that site you're on?
Me - It's a website for dads.
Wife - Is it good?
Me - Yes, a bit quiet but a nice change from all those motherly ones.
Wife - Hmm, Yeah I really don't like those ones. Do you think they'd let me join the dad website as a mum so I don't have to put up with all those bloody annoying women?

I love my wife.

*My wife has just informed me, after reading this, that I am just like the father penguin with regard to my gaseous outflow.
** She also informed me that the Kelloggs cereal was bought because she likes sugary kids food and not for the competition.

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