I never quite know what to do on Father’s Day. It’s pretty clear what needs to happen on Mother’s Day. That’s the one where I pretend to be able to cook things and I dress the kids for church, but I’m banned from doing ANYTHING with my girls’ hair. The last time I tried my daughter actually cried when she looked in the mirror. Also, I’m in charge of shushing the kids while the mommy takes a nap. And I have to make sure that the house looks like it wasn’t invaded by a roving mob of toy-obsessed grizzly bears (this is harder than it sounds). There’s also the gift thing. On bad years I’m that guy at the grocery store on Saturday night looking at the 2 cards that are left. (I once considered the “Get Well Soon” card . . . but that may not have gone over well) But most years I do marginally ok in the gift department.
I’m not nearly as good as I should be at gifts for my dad on his day. The first gift I remember giving him was a pencil holder (cuz I guess he had a lot of pencils or something). It was a tomato can – I had rinsed out the big chunks. Then I covered it with a piece of blue construction paper and for some strange reason wrapped the whole thing with a bunch of rubber bands. I tried to write something on it with glue and glitter, but you know that never works. (or maybe it’s just me) Anyway, that year my dad had a sweet place to put his pencils. By now he probably has more pencils, so maybe I should make another one . . .
No doubt that my four kids will deliver similarly useful gifts this year. All of my kids are under the age of 10, so I’m certain to score big in the homemade gift department.
Someone asked me a while back if being a father is what I thought it would be. Prior to actually having the kids, my thought(s) on the subject were limited to this (verbatim):
“Cool, I’ll have someone to play ball with, . . .who I can beat.”
Needless to say I have a few more thoughts on the topic now that I’m a decade into it. Fatherhood is (check out the use of ‘er’ words):
- Stinkier than I expected: If you don’t understand, hang out with a six-month-old for a day. Or hang out in the bedroom of a nine-year-old after he’s had football practice and was too tired to shower.
- Louder than I expected: When do kids develop volume control? Cuz from moment number one they seem determined to make sure you know they’re around. Unless they’re sneaking a chocolate cupcake that was hidden on top of the fridge for tomorrow’s birthday party.
- Messier than I expected: My wife and I once woke from a nap to find our entire first floor covered in glitter. No vacuum will clean all of that up, particularly after the kids tried to clean it up with a wet wash cloth.
- Bizarre-er than I expected: I once found my son eating a stick of butter in the middle of his room. Another son wore his Jedi costume to school for no apparent reason. And although I have less hair than a peach my daughter insists on “brushing” it before I go out with mommy.
- Time-consuming-er than I expected: Bedtime chews up like 3 hours of every night, soccer, baseball, homework, consoling hurt feelings, mediating fights over small toys, cooking meals you know they won’t eat, trying to convince the girls that dead worms don’t make good house pets . . . etc.
- Way better than I ever expected: I get massive hugs just for coming home from work; we have dance parties in the kitchen to avoid doing dishes; a smile from my daughter can make me forget everything that might be wrong; and as great as the other 6 billion or so people out there might be, there’s nobody I’d rather be with than those 4 goofy kids and their mommy.
Henry The Frog is a lucky father of four living in Seattle. He currently plays the piano in primary and works for Microsoft in Finance. A native of Kansas City, he loves the Chiefs and the Jayhawks and misses the thunderstorms. HTF has been making readers laugh through his blog since 2004.