I really don’t think we give dads enough credit for parenting prowess.
Of course I’m talking generalities here, but just look at all those comedy films about inept fathers tragically left to watch the kids… all by themselves. The poor fools always end up fumbling the job, pouring waffle batter into the toaster oven while an ominous mountain of bubbles creep out of the laundry room.
And I’ll admit to occasionally gritting my teeth when catching my husband John swinging our kids around by their ankles. Watch her HEAD, I silently scream while every muscle in my body clenches. Do you have ANY IDEA how long it took me to MAKE THAT?
Except the kids are in hysterics and he hasn’t brained them once. Children are full of all these weird qualities, like boundless energy and endless optimism, and probably need to be occasionally swung around the room at breakneck speed. Maybe dads are just reckless enough to make it happen.
But a questionable regard for safety isn’t the only great thing dads bring to the table, they can also cut straight through all the Attachment Parenting BS with truly impressive Alpha displays.
For example, now that our kids are almost 3 and 5, I’ve decided it’s high time they start cleaning up after themselves. I’m tired of exploding Legos and My Little Ponies covering every inch of our house.
However, this has been a painful, months-long struggle, each victory measured in inches like the battles of WWI. Between consistent instruction, patient explanations and occasional timeouts, I’ve managed to move the kids from screaming “NO!” while running in sideways floor circles, to spending an hour logrolling across the carpet to spit single Legos back into their boxes, to finally cleaning up their messes after only being reminded several times.
And then this weekend, I watched John using the oddest approach to enlist our kids into cleaning the house…
It went like this:
John grabs our 4-year-old daughter Brontë, handing her a garbage bag then taking her outside to point out all the pink dog-bed fluff-balls that our lunatic dog had been shredding across the yard
John: Alright kid, your job is PICKING UP ALL OF THESE FAIRY FARTS!
Brontë: But I don’t… I’m scared to…
John: YOU’RE PART OF THIS FAMILY AND OUR FAMILY ISN’T SCARED OF ANYTHING. ESPECIALLY FAIRY FARTS.
Brontë: Well, I don’t wanna…
John: Quit being such a PRINCESS, because being a princess only makes MORE FAIRIES COME FART IN OUR YARD.
Brontë: I’ve got…
John: LESS TALK, MORE FAIRY FARTS.
And what do you know, but it worked. She started laughing uncontrollably while gathering pink fluff-balls.
So there’s something to be said for unconventional dad methods. Our house is now completely fairy-fart free.