The Super Dad Syndrome
Occasionally, Rachel will go out of town and leave me in charge of Mollie Ann and Emma. This past weekend was one of those times. Food? Lunchable- No problem. Entertainment? RedBox- I got this. Clothes? She left them out. Hair? Hair? Hair!
Okay, while I’m pretty much fine doing everything else, I admit that I send my kids around with jacked up hair when Rachel is gone. I am somewhat metro, but I do not have an ounce of hairstylists' ability in my body.
I have said it many times but I will repeat it here for the record, if God forbid Rachel and I were to get a divorce, there is no question that our kids should be in her physical custody. Our kids just need their momma’s touch. This is highly evident in my inability to fix their hair. Emma’s is easier, but God gave Mollie some funky cowlicks and I just don’t get it.
In the world of divorce, there is a phenomenon that lawyers know well. I lovingly refer to it as the Super-Dad Syndrome or SDS. I say lovingly because under any other circumstances, it is a very good thing. SDS is when a marriage is coming to an end and overnight an otherwise disinterested dad starts his campaign for Father of the Year. All of a sudden in an act of desperation he wants to coordinate carpool, he shows up at school to eat lunch with the kids, he takes an interest in their activities and he even helps out with homework. He may even do a nice thing or two for his soon-to-be-ex-wife. He may send her flowers or agree to go to counseling. He may encourage her to take a girl’s night out or visit “momma and them” without the kids. In short, he becomes the type of father and husband he was always supposed to be. So what do you do if your husband has SDS? Do you fight it?
My advice is no. I say if your man has SDS, you enjoy it. See if it lasts. Hell, if it does, you may reconsider the divorce altogether. If he is just putting on a show for you or his lawyer or some judge, he will not be able to keep it up. Let’s face it, in general guys grew up playing with guns and cars and action figures. Girls played with kitchen sets and dolls. That’s just the way we are wired. Look, I have helped many men in legitimate custody disputes, and I believe that in many circumstances, a father is the best choice to be the custodial parent. I also think that shared legal and physical custody can work for some families. But in Mississippi, in most cases, even though you will not find it spelled out in the law, the mother has a slight edge in a custody case. Especially if you have girls like me. If I was going through a divorce and came down with a case of SDS, all Rachel would have to do is have me fix the girls’ hair.
Q: Mr. Robertson, did you fix Mollie and Emma’s hair this morning?
Q: Do you recognize the images in this photo that Rachel took of them a few minutes later?
A: Yes. That’s their hair.
Q: And you responsible for fixing their hair?
A: Yes, I was.
By Counsel for Mrs. Robertson: I have no further questions of this witness.
Craig Robertson is a divorce attorney practicing throughout Mississippi.