In Defense of Dads


I’m guilty of many many things. I’m guilty of watching and enjoying horrible TV. I’m guilty of throwing away things that people (read: Anson and Roan) are not done with yet, just to de-clutter my home. I’m guilty of writing stupid things sometimes. I’m guilty of saying stupid things many times. And I am guilty of joining the stereotypical chorus of women who complain about their husbands.

What do we complain about? Stupid things, usually. The difference in philosophies on child safety. Differences regarding nutrition. Differences in hygiene. Differences in self-care. Just really…differences. But what is it about these righteous, head-shaking, tongue-clucking affirmations that make us moms feel like we’re not only doing things better, we in fact are doing them right? I mean, would our children survive if left to their father’s devices? Sure. Would they thrive? I will risk being thrown out of the Mother’s Clan of the Supremely Righteous Way of Doing Everything Right While Our Husbands Can Barely Tie a Child’s Shoe, and say yeh, I think they would.

Dads I know: I would like to encourage you to continue raising your children in the way that comes intuitively to you. While this drives me absolutely crazy in my own life, I also think it’s an important thing to not squash. Sure, many of you completely ignore the safety warnings that seem as obvious as the laws of gravity to us mums, but you also create a lovely balance of freedom and fun that I am chagrined to say is probably just as important as wearing a helmet. Without the influence of their Dad, my kids would not know the joy of a 7-11 slushie, the thrill of balancing on the railing separating dry land from the Hudson River, how to commit horrifying acts against enemies in a completely age-inappropriate video game, or the decadence of sleeping in the clothes they wore all day, with teeth un-brushed, hands un-washed, and face still speckled with NYC’s finest dirt.

In other words, without their pop, my kids would not be having the childhoods that happy stories are written about. They would probably be a little more frightened of this world, and not trust their instincts as much. They probably wouldn’t be as inclined to pick up cheese-its off the pavement in the park and pop them into their mouths, but we can kind of call that vaccination-in-training, yeh? Sort of. This is what I tell myself.

And another thing: Dads? I know that fashion is important to you. And as such, I have found your Messiah. Here’s entry one for “Fashion Week for Suburban Dads“, a five-part series written by Style Maven Dan Zevin. I know this guy, and I’m here to affirm that not only does he write about fashion, he lives this (you’ve got to read all five entries. There’s a salacious peek-a-boo piece I do believe your wives will go ga ga for):

We got a pocket party goin'on

Today is the first day of Fashion Week, and what style-conscious dad wouldn’t want to kick things off by rocking a roomy pair of cargo pants? Speaking as a guy who owns 28 pairs, (that’s a grand total of 168 pockets), I can’t say enough about how much simpler life became once I started wearing a filing system on my legs. And talk about versatility! When the kids were babies, I’d keep the backup diapers in my right thigh pocket, the ready-made Similac bottles in my left, the wipes in my left hip pocket, and a baggie full of nipples in my right (rubber, not real–they were for the formula, weirdo). But remember, fashionista fathers: Once the kids get older, your pocket needs will change. That is why today, you’ll find this dashing dad strutting his stuff with an entire bag of goldfish crackers comfortably concealed on my right thigh. On my left, I will be boasting a Trader Joe’s juice box or two, which I will pair with an I-Phone stocked with Cookie Doodle and Angry Birds apps in my left waist pocket, accessorized by a pocket-sized bribe of some kind in my right. I used to keep Fruit Roll-ups in that one to get them to do whatever I said, but they wised up over the years and realized how much that stuff sucks. Now I never leave home without a cargo pants pocketful of “fun size” candy left over from Halloween. I hand it out like dog treats to move the kids from the playground into the minivan, and from the living room into the bath. You know something? To celebrate fashion week, I think I just might toss a stale KitKat straight into the water tonight and let them jump right in and fetch it! And once they’re bathed and sound asleep in bed, I think I just might change out of these cargo pants and seduce my wife by slipping into something more comfortable. Something such as…

Click here to end the agony of this cliffhanger…

6 thoughts on “In Defense of Dads

  1. I don’t know if I can give an “Amen” to letting the dads off the hook. You’ve caught me on the backend of a weekend where the dad let our son eat a bunch of toothpaste. Not that he was encouraging him, but he also wasn’t stopping him. I don’t get it. But then maybe that’s the point? Ok, I’ll try to go easier on him. And the cargo pants? My husband is definitely “in fashion” for sure. He doesn’t have the knee brace yet. I guess he can’t be on trend all the time. LOL!

  2. Oh, my husband is WAY more cautions than I am. “Stop, slow down, don’t run on concrete!” I just let them go. Does that mean I wear the pants in the family? Well, maybe I do.

  3. Huzzah for our champion! It’s about time we had a mother stand up for us. Now, off to the park to collect Cheese-It’s for dinner.

  4. Dads are lovely; pants are ugly. Give him a manbag for all his cargo and a sweet pair of form-fitting denims, and you’ll have a hot hauler, fer sure.

    BTW, doesn’t matter who’s the “dad” in the family, but calm, cool and confident does nothing but do kids good. Esp. in our world where worrying can become a full-time job if we’re not careful.

  5. That blog is hilarious! Yes – Dads rock, they help us strike a balance, no matter who is the more cautious one.

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