"Oh. You're out with two kids by yourself? You must be very brave!"
"Ah - wife is at work? You're stuck babysitting the kids, eh?"
"Where's your wife? At work? Wow - I don't know if I'd take two kids out by myself..."
I hear that quite often. Most recently today when I took my two kids, ages 3 and 5, downtown to the Pittsburgh Regatta. My wife had to work, like she does most weekends, so I grabbed a backpack, tossed in some water bottles and some snacks. Grabbed the kids and we headed down to Point State Park. Just the three of us. From some of the comments I got, you'd think I was undertaking one of the most dangerous journeys known to man.
I'm not sure if this is due to the incredibly rude and unruly kids out there (usually do to a lack of parenting) or if it's due to the wussification of the father figure in our culture - likely some of both - but I'm tired of hearing it. Being a father is more than just being a sperm donor. It's more than just bringing home a paycheck. It's more than just yelling at the kids when they interrupt SportsCenter. Being a father is an honor, a privilege, and most of all a responsibility and it can actually be fun, not just a chore.
Kids need strong role models in life and that's one of the main responsibilities of being a father - setting a good example. If you're too weak to handle taking two kids out in public by yourself, they'll recognize how it are and certainly learn to both exploit it and think less of you for it. If your kids are too wild and crazy to be out in public without you AND your wife, then you're not doing a good job raising them.
Dads - get off your asses, get your kids out for some bonding time, and stop using your wives as crutches to limp through your kids' lives.
Moms - stop letting your husbands just come along for the ride.
And all you judgemental types - stop assuming that, just because kids and fathers on tv are morons, my kids and I are too...