Bad Dad Month continues on GeekDad. I’m not yet ready to trot out all of my parenting-related crimes and misdemeanors; there’ll be time enough for that over the next few weeks and, frankly, I’d like to see how bad the other guys have been before I put my foot in it…
In the meantime, though, I thought I’d share this timely bit of CBC -that’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for those of you down South- programming my wife and I just finished catching up on via iTunes. A reality show called the Week the Women Went (based on a BBC show of the same name), it’s set in a small Alberta town near the oil patch, and follows the lives of a group of men when the women in their households are sent away on a week long vacation, leaving the men in charge of the kids. I recently lived through a similar experience, but I’m a reasonably involved parent and do the majority of the cooking, as well as knowing my way around the washing machine and vacuum cleaner. So I was happy when Jody arrived back home, but the house was never really in danger of burning down. It’s challenging having to look after 3 young kids on your own while juggling a job, and sure you have to cut corners sometimes, but these Alberta dads have some extreme cases among them. Many work in the oil fields and are away from home for weeks at a time, so there is a significant amount of culture shock and cringe-worthy hilarity/bad dad moments can and do ensue…
Among the hi-lights (at least from the perspective of this post):
• bringing the young kids along to rope, brand, de-horn and castrate 600 head of cattle, including cooking up and serving the “prairie oysters“.
• Once his girlfriend leaves, Tyler pulls out the clippers and gives both of her kids a Mohawk hair cut.
• one nail gun blast through the fore arm -fortunately it isn’t a kid who gets shot, but does lead to a baby-sitting scramble.
• one BB gun shooting -it’s one of the “Mohawked” kids pulling the trigger on Tyler, their mom’s boyfriend. Probably in revenge for the hair cut.
• difficulty getting the kids to bed is resolved by letting them stay up as late as they want, with unlimited access to cola and chocolate bars. Presumably, this strategy will eventually tire the kids out.
• leaving twins asleep in their crib in one house with a jury-rigged walkie talkie baby monitor in order to play poker in an adjoining house.
• my favorite ingenuity/really bad idea moment when a group of guys get together and decide to bathe their kids en masse by drenching them with dish soap, and letting them all jump on a trampoline while spraying them with a hose.
For those naysayers who would suggest the Production company put the guys up to this trampoline stunt for comedic effect, I ask you, what room full of gray-suited CBC lawyers is going to sign off on actually suggesting these guys do something like that, and then allow them to go through with it?
Sadly, the Week the Women Went doesn’t appear to be available via the US iTunes store and it doesn’t look like it’s on DVD as yet (apparently no YouTube clips either); but, CBC has made all episodes available online. Assuming they haven’t locked out International visitors, or you’re from Canada, you should be able to watch the complete series online for free. Baring that, no doubt someone has made the shows available as a download on the Interwebs.
As a disclaimer, I’m not a fan of reality TV, and this show does get a little heavy on the flashbacks and fascination with town gossip, but it’s still not too bad as these things go.
Here’s a little photo montage showing the progression of the infamous trampoline scene.
And for those of you who can hit the CBC web site videos (they may not work outside of Canada), here’s a link to the episode– the mayhem kicks in at about the 6-minute mark.