Every new mom yearns for the moment of peace that a quick trip to the coffee shop or a grocery store run can offer. But those first trips out alone also leave us wondering―Can the same man who can’t do a load of whites without turning them into pink tie dye really be entrusted with taking care of a miniature human?! Can I trust my husband alone with the baby?
I’ve often wondered if my husband has had similar thoughts about me after watching me pull away with my cell phone on the car hood. So I occasionally feel the need to reassure both of us that I have yet to drive off with either of the kids on the car, off the car, or left behind in any way.
Okay, I never claimed to be perfect. But I figure if two kids can survive under my watch, they can survive under Captain Dad’s command, too. So Daddy has his own way of doing things. Dad’s parenting techniques aren’t wrong, they’re just different.
Based on my own experiences, I’ve compiled a short list of the chaos you may encounter after a stretch of quality dad time.
What in the world is going on with junior’s diaper?
Don’t be surprised when you come home from your girls’ night out and your little lady is bustin’ rhymes like Kris Kross with her diaper on backwards. You can thank the Pampers gods that most of those newfangled diaper doodads work almost as good on backwards as they do the right way.
As for your baby girl breakin’ it down Daddy Mac style, I’m sorry to break it to you, but that is irreversible damage.
What’s cookin’, good lookin’?
Something is smoking in the kitchen but dinner was hours ago. The first place I usually check is in the oven, because a plastic bouncy ball has been pre-heated in our oven on more than one occasion.
If the oven and the stove are clear, check the appliances. One time while I was away, my husband attempted to puree coffee beans in the off-brand version of the Baby Bullet, and the motor blew up.
I’ve learned to just consider some things casualties of circumstance. To establish some damage control, before you leave make sure all smoke detectors are installed and have working batteries. Also, leave something quick and easy for dinner: Leaving your baby daddy a microwaveable dinner while you’re away will reduce the risk of a kitchen fire by more than 95%.
Is that an educational television program?
You left a tower of Disney movies on the entertainment center, but instead came home to daddy and kiddos cuddled on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, watching the end of Stepbrothers. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if the kids didn’t spend the next two days at school singing the chorus to Boats and Hoes.
What happened to good, old-fashioned nursery rhymes?
You usually sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” to get the chronically challenged up and dancing, but after some quality dad time, Junior is now doing his own rendition to Gangnum Style. And he knows all the moves.
Let’s look on the bright side―he’s learning a foreign language and expanding his cultural views, daddy style.
What’s for dinner, dad?
You left your husband with tofu burgers and baked organic zucchini fries for the kids’ dinner. Somehow, they wound up with a marshmallow fluff sandwich and an endless supply of chocolate milk, also known in our house as ‘kiddie crack.’
He may have even gotten away with it, except it’s nearly midnight and they’re running around the house foaming at the mouth like a couple of rabid animals. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but the marshmallow and chocolate mustache is also a pretty solid clue, my dearest Watson.
Who needs a coloring book when you have each other?
I’ve always encouraged my youngins to expand their creative minds. Coloring books and crayons, watercolor, fingerpaints, Magnadoodle, Cheerios, and glue; we’ve used pretty much any medium that is kid-safe and somewhat easy to clean. However, I have recently discovered that my kids have a daddy who thinks outside the lines and encourages them to color on themselves with marker.
When I came home from my girls’ night out, my husband and son were watching cartoons on the couch. I had to look twice. My son’s left leg was a stunning shade of navy blue from the knee down and my husband had a six-pack drawn on his abdomen.
Just because dads do things a little differently doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong. It just means it might take a little longer to clean up. I know that my kids will grow up knowing that their daddy is the coolest daddy on the block (where we live, he’s probably the only daddy on the block).
Their methods may be a bit bizarre, but daddies offer a practical perspective of the world that becomes an essential part of child development. Who else is going to teach the kids how to put a playground bully in an arm bar?