10 Awesome Things About Being a Dad That Nobody Tells You
April 29, 2016
- You can buy and eat children’s food without judgement. Somewhere in your 20’s you stop eating whole pizzas, fruit rollups and breakfast for dinner. Society has convinced us that we should instead eat “Superfoods” like Kale and Acai Berries (how do you even pronounce “Acai”???). But when you have a little person in your home, it’s like the junk food prodigal son has returned. You relive your former glory days with cheese sticks, goldfish crackers, GoGurt, character themed fruit snacks and more! Whenever you shop, you can rationalize any sugary self-indulgence by saying to yourself or the checkout lady, “It’s for my kid.”
- You can indoctrinate your kid into things you still love. For me, that’s Star Wars. My daughter gets excited to see my Stormtrooper T-Shirt. She’ll yell “Yoda!” across a store when she sees a toy, and she actually kisses a decal of Darth Vader on my MacBook. Because she wants to be like Daddy, we can sit together and watch the Clone Wars on Netflix and it’s no longer a grown man watching cartoons… it’s a father spending quality time with his little girl!
- Toys. Seriously, toys are cool. Maybe we stop buying them when we’re single and broke. Maybe because there aren’t plastic lightsabers in the IKEA store display we decide to put away those things we used to love. Maybe we’re just tired and busy and don’t have the energy to play after a hard day at work. But when you have a kid, play is their work and they love their job! Granted you have to buy age appropriate toys, and stuff they like too, but there is plenty of crossover between what you loved as a kid and what they’re discovering that they love too. And I’ll proudly admit, there’s no better feeling than when my little girl grabs the leg of my pants and says, “Play!” as both a question and a direction.
- Teaching your kids about cool things. Yah, you have to teach them the alphabet and how to use the potty. There are certain cultural things like “please” and “thank you” which we all sort of expect you’ll have to teach them too. But there are things you notice about the world that are just awesome. Taking a few minutes to lay in the grass and stare at the stars together and wonder about how big the universe is or appreciating an especially loud fart and a laugh that follows. These moments are beautiful.
- Seeing your kids do better than you. I’m a neurotic man. I’m a picky eater. I especially hate onions. (Why do I write for a blog with onions in the title???). Watching my kid eat her broccoli before her meat? That’s a parenting win. Watching her try new things without hesitation because she hasn’t learned to be picky? Win. Watching her eat foods that I have to pretend to eat because they turn my stomach and prime me for puking (like onions?)…. well, that would be a win if they didn’t make her breath smell so repugnant. We’ll call that a win anyway, for her…
- Your kids want to be just like you. My daughter is 20 months old. Just the other day my wife and I were driving with our little girl in the back. As we were talking we heard her little voice demand, “Play a Beatles song!” How awesome is it that you have someone who wants to listen to the music you like and do the things that you do? There isn’t anything better for your ego!
- Always a good excuse to leave somewhere. Is your kid with you? “Uh oh, someone is getting cranky, we need to go (take a nap, eat, go to bed, change a diaper).” You’re never without a good socially acceptable reason to leave some thing you don’t want to do. After all, you’re doing everyone else a favor by not subjecting them to the noise or smell of whatever excuse you use. And unlike “I’m tired” which is always a copout, “My kid pooped” is objective and offensive enough that you don’t have to rationalize beyond the headline before you grab the diaper bag and make a mad dash home.
- Nostalgia. I mentioned toys and foods, but books and movies are awesome too. When is it okay for a 32 year old man to read “If you give a mouse a cookie” or watch “The Little Mermaid”? When his little girl is on his lap. I do tend to ruin it for her a little bit when I sing along. Stop judging me.
- Being the hero. I was laying down for a nap with my little girl when she said, “Monsters, scary!” She developed a little aversion to the idea of monsters after we showed her the movie “Frozen” and she saw a large ice monster. I proudly declared, “You’re safe, Daddy is scarier.” This logic was acceptable and my daughter cuddled close. Nothing makes you feel like a taller man than protecting your little princess.
- Having a little buddy. Playing together, showing off to them, eating together. Every activity you do your little half clone watches you and wants to be just like you. My little girl tries to take bites of food at the same time as I do so we’re doing it together. If I make a goofy face, she does too. If I say something, she repeats it (even when driving… which hasn’t always been good.). On your worst days, nothing makes you feel better than a hug and kiss from your crotch fruit. They may try your nerves to no end sometimes, but they also have the ability to make you feel a joy you didn’t know you could feel just by saying, “I love you.”. Try to enjoy those moments, they’ll often follow that by peeing on you or crying because you told them not to eat their boogers.