Friday, July 24, 2009

No More Mr. Mom Guy

This post is part of Fatherhood Friday over at Dad's Blogs.

My wife left town yesterday morning to visit some friends in Michigan. The entire week I've been telling clients and co-workers that I will be home on Thursday and Friday being Mr. Mom. I thought it was cute that I was saying that, until I thought about it some more. I mean, it seems innocent enough right? But when you think about it some more, it's really kind of insulting. There's something more to it. Like when you ask a couple if they plan on having kids. The real question you're asking is if they plan on having unprotected sex anytime soon.

So when I said that on the surface cute little saying but really deep down is terribly insulting, this is really what I was saying. First, I'm saying that a Dad can't really watch the kids because he's a Dad and Dad's aren't really built to watch kids. He can't be Mr. Dad. He's got to be Mr. Mom in order to do that. That's stupid, really. Second, what I'm also saying is that it's a Mom's job to be at home with the kids, while the Dad goes out and earns a buck. I've got to be Mr. Mom because it's the Mom whose job it is to watch the kids. That's really stupid, too.

So from this day forward, if I find myself staying at home to watch the kids while the wife is away, I will be playing Mr. Dad. Or maybe I'll skip the whole so cute it's kind of stupid little saying and I'll just say that I'm staying home with the kids while my wife is away on vacation.

Friday, July 17, 2009

11 Year Old Boy + Skulls = Awesome

This link is part of Fatherhood Friday over at Dad Blogs.

I love my son's age. It's an interesting age for a lot of reasons. But the biggest of these is that I know exactly what he's into. It may go down in the books that I will always know what he deems "cool", but I doubt it. Eventually the gap will spread and he and I will be on different pages. But for now, I'm on it. 11 year-olds like death. Yep. Death and destruction. On the surface that sounds dark, but really it's not. Anything with a skull on it is golden to my son. I could put a skull and crossbones on a pink Care Bear and my son would sleep with it every night. That's how it goes.

The other day, I was purchasing a pair of shoes for myself on-line and I thought that I might pick up a pair for my son while I'm at it. I mean, not that I don't love his old shoes that smell like some has been living in his shoes, and that someone died about 100 years ago, and that while that person died, they shat themselves about a dozen or so times. That really has nothing to do with it because I think the senses in my body that would be offended by that foul smell, died a long time ago. So anyway, I'm looking for shoes for my son and within about 10 seconds I find them. There they are. A bright and shiny death beacon on a web page filled with shoes.

Needless to say, I was a hero. And for that day, I was the cool Dad.

Friday, July 10, 2009


There's been a lot of talk recently about Steve McNair and his untimely death. Of course it's been surrounded with controversy due to how he died and why he died. There's also been a lot of talk about his legacy. There are some who want to only remember what he did on the field, and there are others who say "but wait a minute here, what about his off the field performance?"

I'm an avid follower of all things football, due mostly to my deep religious love of Fantasy Football. So not only do I know what's going on with my Chiefs, I also know how many touchdowns Peyton Manning threw last year because I may want to draft him this Fall, even though I hate his guts. No doubt Steve McNair has done some pretty incredible things on the field. And he did a lot of them with hurt legs, cracked ribs and whatnot. But I would be an irresponsible idiot if that's all I chose to focus on. And I would be a bad Dad if I told my son to do the same (he too is a football fan).

I guess what's really rubbing me wrong in all these arguments is how everyone talks about what kind of Father he was to his kids. Was he there for them? How could he do this to his kids? Maybe he was a really good Father? I think what we've lost sight of is the definition of being a good Father. Or at least the definition I live by. To me, being a good Father is also being a good husband. In all these arguments about Steve McNair, there is no talk about his wife. Just about his kids. I guess it's obvious that he was a bad husband due to the circumstances of how he was killed, but I don't think you can be a good Father and a bad husband. It just doesn't work that way. Of course, this argument doesn't include single parents, who are single parents for one reason or another. And by no means am I saying that a single parent can't be a good Mother or Father. I just think that the whole idea of being a good spouse has been lost somewhere. I'm married and I know that being a good Father means not only being good to my children, but being good to my wife as well. To me that's Fatherhood.

There, I've said my peace.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm A Lot Younger Than I Talk

I often forget my age. It's true. I pride myself on my age forgetfulness. It doesn't mean that much to me because I rarely act my age. My kids love it and my wife often says that she has three kids to take care of - me being the third kid. It's a luxury and I'm lucky to have a wife that puts up with it.

But this morning all that went out the window. I traded in my kids shoes for some crusty, old wingtips.

I was finishing up my workout this morning and I was in the locker room of the YMCA. I point out that it's the YMCA, because the clientel there usually skews a lot older - not that there's anything wrong with that. But an older gentleman was in a conversation with another about kids and video games. Specifically a story about a kid who killed his parents because they cut him off of his video games. I have no idea if this story is true or not, but it was interesting enough to me for me to butt myself in and give my two cents. And here they are. I told them that my problem with kids and video games is that it stifles creativity. That it does everything for them. Because of video games, kids don't make anything up anymore. Okay, if I would have left the conversation right there and been on my merry way, that would have been fine. But I didn't. I'm not one for subtlety. I continued about a story where I used to visit my Grandmother in Avoca, Iowa. She lived in a small house on a small little stamp of land. She didn't have TV. She didn't have board games. All I remember her having was a box full of random things. A door knob. And a plug. And a fuse. And a battery. And nuts and bolts. And when I would visit, I would dump that box out and create entire worlds with all that stuff. I made it fun by being creative.

I told that story and suddenly I was the oldest man in the locker room. I was the guy who crawled up hill both ways in seven feet of snow to get to school. As I was telling the story, my inner child was trying to pull all the words back into my mouth as they vomited out of my head. But it was too late. I had won the one-upmanship old guy award and I feel shameful. And what's worse, it's all kind of bullshit. Not the story, but it doesn't necessarily describe me.

Here's the truth.

Truth #1: I played a lot of video games in my childhood. A lot. Channel F (if you know anything about this console, you're obscure as hell). Atari. Coleco. Intellivision. I loved them. All of them. And I'm now a Creative Director in an advertising agency. So one might argue that the video games obviously didn't hurt my creative side. Or maybe it did and I'm still fooling everyone.

Truth #2: I still love video games. I play them often. On my computer. My iPhone. PS3. Wii. You got it, I'll play it.

Truth #3. My son loves video games. But my son also loves soccer. And baseball. And basketball. And riding his scooter. And collecting baseball cards. He plays a lot of video games, but he also does a lot of other things, too.

So why am I writing all this? I guess to confess. To cleanse myself of my old ways which were shamefully on display this morning.