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Remembering Dads on that most dreaded of holidays, Mother’s Day

Where or where is all the love for fathers on Mother’s Day?

I can’t help but be struck by the disproportionate amount of praise and love being heaped on moms this Mother’s Day.

Frankly, it wears on me. Like a steady, high-pitched whine that never stops the whole day through.

I just don’t understand why we, as a society, forget about the contributions dads make to Mother’s Day.

Do you think those kids pick out that card themselves? No! Dad does!

Well, OK, in my case, the kiddos did pick out the card, but guess who drove them to the store?

And had to read a bunch of cards to them since they’re still illiterate?

And had to put up with their crazy antics in public?

And had to buy a card for his mom to boot?

So much work. So unfair.

Especially with my kiddos.

I tell you, I’m so glad I’m at work five days a week and not having to endure the demon spawn running around the house, yelling and screaming.

But hey, don’t think I don’t put in my fair share of parenting time. I do.

On evenings and those parts of the weekend when the kiddos aren’t at their grandparents.

Why, weeknights alone, I spend an hour or two with them, or keeping an eye on them, or an ear on them, before they go to bed.

It’s impossible to get anything else done. Heck, I can’t even watch the TV since the Missus expects me to entertain the little monsters while she makes and serves dinner.

It really stinks. At this rate, I’ll never find out how Lost ended.

(I’m sure it was an awesome series finale.)

And let’s not forget: I’m the one who has to read them a bedtime story.

That’s hard. They are terrible listeners, with the attention span of gnats.

I get so frustrated.

And then Mother’s Day comes along, and moms get all the praise.

Oh sure, moms are the one who get pregnant and carry the babies to term and go through childbirth and then hold, feed, clothe, hug, kiss, love, reassure, praise, cuddle, and whatnot the kiddos throughout childhood.

But it’s hard for us dads, too.

Pregnancy was no cake walk for me.

Awakened in the middle of the night while the Missus dealt with the wet (and dry) heaves of morning sickness?

Disruptive to my sleep patterns.

Napping fitfully next to the Missus’ hospital bed while she’s in labor for two days?

Really rough. And surprisingly uncomfortable. My back ached for days after.

Being awakened from a dead sleep every time the Missus got up to feed the kiddos in the night or change diapers?

Left me exhausted the following day.

Never getting to sleep in because the kiddos wake up at the crack of dawn, making so much noise they rouse the Missus who, upon rolling out of bed, wakes me in the process?

Unbearably inconvenient.

I could go on, but I think by now you’ve got a clear enough picture of men’s contributions to raising kids.

I tell ya, it hurts me. It hurts me right here, in the heart.

So this Mother’s Day, don’t forget the dads. The poor, lonely, sad, left out dads.

Today, make them feel like it’s Father’s Day.

 
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Posted by on 11 May 2014 in Life, Parenting

 

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The kids are fine. It’s me I’m worried about.

My kids can’t keep a promise.

“I promise I won’t jump on you anymore, Daddy!” they blubber through their timeout induced tears. They seem sincere, so I let them out.

And then, when they’re back in their room after another cackle-filled session of jumping on Daddy, it’s “I armor promise, because it can’t be broken.”

Followed by the “wooden” promise, the “golden” promise, the “blue” promise, and the inevitable “yellow” promise.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, thrice, and beyond, it’s a trip to the emergency room for Daddy.

I have to say, it’s unnerving how the attendants at the ER see my bruises and hear my plaintive cries not to be sent back to that hell hole, and their response is to look darkly at the Missus.

The kiddos, it seems, are above suspicion.

I did a lot of thinking during my last stay at the hospital, and came to the conclusion that I need to teach my kids the value of keeping their promises.

Then I remembered what my dear Mom told me at the end of a particularly tear-filled Mother’s Day.

What Mom told me, what changed my attitude about keeping promises and telling lies, was the story of the Little Bastard Who Cried Wolf.

Mom told me this story so many times, I actually have it memorized, etched into my psyche since I was two. This is the story I told my kiddos, in the hopes of putting them on a new path:

Once upon a time, there was a yelling, screaming, vile bastard of a hellspawn, masquerading as a member of our family. He used to have a room, but was so badly behaved Mommy and Daddy had to put him in a pen in the backyard.

This family lived in a rural area plagued by wolves. Mommy and Daddy warned the tiny monster of a brat that he’d better shut his trap and keep quiet, or the wolves would come and eat him.

The demonic kiddo didn’t believe them. He didn’t think there could possibly be something more evil than him in the world. So in the middle of the night, he’d start screaming, “Help! Help! Wolf!”

Mommy and Daddy eventually made their way out to check, only to find the kiddo sitting on his stump/bed, laughing like a madman. “Woke you up! Made you look! Stupid Mommy and Daddy! Hahahaha!”

Mommy and Daddy, being tired, screamed at the little bastard until he began to cry. Then he solemnly promised he wouldn’t cry wolf again if there wasn’t really a wolf.

This cycle repeated itself several times, with the kiddo laughing his head off, getting yelled at, crying, and promising not to lie again.

Finally, the full moon broke through the clouds. The hateful child noticed, in the bright light, several pairs of glowing eyes at the edge of his pen. Eyes set in shadows which slowly resolved into wolves. Hungry, slavering wolves all staring at him, licking their lips and smacking their chops. He couldn’t tell if the growls were from their throats or their bellies.

“Help! Help! Wolves!” he shouted.

Mommy and Daddy, having stuffed their ears with cotton, slept soundly through his terrified cries. In the morning, they woke up, refreshed, had breakfast, did some housecleaning, ran to the store, and then went to check on their unholy child.

All they found were a few bits and pieces, partially eaten, and three very full, sleeping wolves.

The wolves made great guard dogs, and the family lived happily ever after.

I told my kiddos this story during a tearful timeout triggered by them jumping on me yet again. We’d gotten to the ‘golden promise’ level of their duplicity, and frankly, I’d had just about enough. Certainly more than my doctor would recommend.

“So, do you understand now why it’s important not to break your promises?” I asked.

“Yes,” one said solemnly, sniffling as he eyed and edged towards the bedroom door.

“If we lie, we’ll be killed,” said the other.

“By wolves!” said the first. “Can we go now?”

“Yes,” I said, and they darted from the room, yelling “Help! Wolf!” as they ran down the hall.

I suspected they’d missed the point of the story.

This suspicion was confirmed in the middle of the night, when the kiddos woke us with their screams and pounding on their (locked from the outside) bedroom door. They were howling, “Help! It’s dark! We can’t see and there are wolves! Under our beds! Help!”

The Missus and I looked at each other through bleary eyes, then laughed.

“How can they know there are wolves if it’s too dark to see?” the Missus laughed.

“I know. Those kids must think we’re stupid!” I replied. Then we put in earplugs and went back to sleep.

And now it’s nearly lunch time, and I haven’t heard a sound from the kiddos’ room. I guess one of us should probably check on them.

That’s odd. The dog is still asleep too, and looking distinctly rounder. He’s usually up at first light, demanding to be fed.

Huh.

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The Santa Claus Gang:

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Posted by on 12 May 2013 in Life

 

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