Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Enjoy the great outdoors.


It is Sunday. I am exhausted.
Being a dad is tiring. I am longing to do dishes and sit down at the computer to work. The demands of all this fun are getting to me.
The teenagers have slept outside in a tent and the little kids are bitter that they have not been allowed to join them. I forget to sympathize and ask what they want for breakfast. Grilled cheese. Cool, easy. I can do that.
I peek out the window and see all that sun and birdage and green green spring grass. I forget that I am a tired mom trying too hard. We make grilled cheese in an assembly line and take tall glasses of lemonade out into the yard.
It is a beautiful day. The sun just keeps shining. We eat our sandwiches and then crawl into the tent where we polish off the leftover Easter candy together. I eat peanut butter cups and nerds and jelly beans and Hershey's kisses one after the other. I haven't had such a bad taste in my mouth since the memorable hangover days of my college years.
The wind is picking up and I am about to lose my mind if I don't at least clean the sticky puddles off of the living room floor. We put on music and all clean the house together so that I can relax and be a dad again.

Outside again, the tent blows over with Izzy in it and we abandon the idea of the campsite. Instead Fallon and Amanda haul the canoe off of the motor home and drag it into our cow pond. We paddle around the pond while Izzy cries in terror of man eating snapping turtles.
The rain comes and we frolic for a few more minutes before being chased indoors again.
I am enjoying being a dad as only a mom can.

That evening as we watch James Bond and eat cookies for dinner Liam develops a fever. I return to my usual job of soothing and feeding and tucking in bed.
Thank god the first weekend is over. I am not sure I can maintain this. How do dads do this fun thing...Is it my attitude? Am I approaching it like a woman...orchestrating everything...seeing even fun as a chore?

Next week I have a new goal... I will try relaxing while I relax.


Sit outside.

Extra Credit

Stay there and enjoy the sun while ignoring dirty dishes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009



Good Clean Fun


With four children bath time has become a regimented cleaning assembly line and not the waterfest it used to be. The children go in and play for twenty seconds before I descend on them wielding the dreaded pouring cup. First I wash Isabel and she screams bloody murder, then I wash Liam who insists he is never dirty. I haul them out and dry them, brush them, shine them, and send them packing. Then I take a bath with the baby, washing him first and then myself, holding him above water with one hand while I use my other hand to wash and rinse my hair and slather myself with soap. Then I haul both of us out and dry him while I drip. Sometimes if I am very very lucky I get a bath by myself for a few minutes before everyone finds me, or if I can manage to stay awake longer than they do.
But a bath for fun?...not since I was ten and thought plastic mermaids were the height of fun.
So Saturday morning we drink chocolate milk and take a bath and I learn the ropes of playing a waterlogged version of The Clone Wars and jumping Barbies off of the sides of the tub. We giggle and splash, and don't even wash our hair to justify the hot water bill, and the floor becomes a giant puddle, and I don't complain, not once, even later when I walk in it in my socks.
I have so much fun I am inspired to make good on my promise to film low budget youtube (so low you don't want to go there) commercials
using Barbies, for my interior decorating business.
My children are an eager crew and they are really really cheap to hire. Even Fallon and her friend forget they are fifteen and get into it. We dress the Barbies and put them in impossible situations and try to make the lamest most gimmicky videos ever. We are artistic geniuses rivaling Spielberg...and I have learned to appreciate Barbie in a whole new way.


Make something routine fun.

Extra Credit

Incorporate Barbies into it.




Play like you have them.


Friday Liam had a soccer game. What better place than a game to practice being a dad! The sun was out, we were all in crisp new shorts and shoes with our toes hanging out. We ate licorice and cheetos for dinner.
The game starts and the Tigers, (none of which are much over three feet tall) are playing a good game. Liam is sitting out the first quarter which he's cool with because it gives him time to eat more candy. Isabel has abandoned us for the playground and Fallon is buried in a book on the blanket next to me. Oliver is eating grass and pieces of licorice that get dropped. I am a cheering squad of one.
2nd quarter...it's a good game, no one's scored yet...they're all determined. Liam is in. Usually he just runs along behind everybody with his tongue out. If the ball rolls up to his foot and stops he'll kick it. Other wise it's like watching someone jog with a dog.
Something happens this game though, he gets into it...really really into it, and suddenly for the first time the crowd is calling his name. He almost makes the goal four times but the goalie is good. (Who knew midgets could play like that?) and then suddenly as he goes for the ball he gets kicked in the face and goes down. He's crying and he's looking for me.
Now, the dads around me have been watching their sons going down all evening and they yell things like "Way to go son!...You're all right." so as Liam wanders tearfully over to me and reaches up his little arms I just ruffle his hair and inspect the damage. "Whoa buddy that must have hurt...you'll be fine, get back in the game" He turns around and dutifully returns to the field (it worked) and walks right up to the coach who picks him up and soothes him and carries him back to me. The coach is a man...total daddy...but he's cradling my son his big man arms and carrying him back to me.
"He got hurt." he told me like I didn't know. "He took it on the chin." He deposits my son in my arms and I hold him while he cries. The son of the man next to me goes down like the last bowling pin and the man yells "Good job Austin!" hmmm.
The next time Liam gets hurt I just lift him over the fence and hold him until he's ready to get back in the game.
I consider that dadding is more complicated than I thought. Maybe there is more than one type of dad.
Liam has lost his enthusiasm now and he's back to running with his tongue out, and laying down in the middle of the field, and spontaneously hugging the coach in the middle of the game. I am embarrassed. Maybe some things are easier to handle as a mom.
We lose three to zero and go to drown our sorrows in the sandpit. When it's time to go Liam dives into Fallon and splits her lip open in three places. There is blood and teenage anger everywhere. Dripping our way back to the car Isabel falls down a hill and hurts her arms. We are bleeding, and crying, and yelling. Good job family! Way to go! Takin' it like a man!
I decide to stop at Walmart for ice cream to soothe our ragged spirits (and cuts and bruises). Liam wants Mcdonald's and I tell him we can't afford it. He's mad now. We get our ice cream and I let everybody pick out tv dinners. They are thrilled. Frozen food! Cool! Mcdonald's is forgotten.
At home it is nine and we haven't had anything since lunch. I instruct Fallon to stick the dinners in the microwave since I don't think we'll make 30 minutes in the oven. We'll eat in front of the tv and watch the 2nd disc of "Planet Earth".
Liam's frozen dinner is no where to be found. I offer to share, Izzy offers to share. He cries himself to sleep.
I put Isabel to bed and she says she wants to sleep with me. "No honey not tonight." I tell her. She cries herself to sleep.
Fallon skips dinner and goes to bed early with her fat lip.
The baby doesn't care. He crawls around my feet blowing spit bubbles and looking for dropped crumbs.

I eat my Hungry Man dinner alone at ten thirty.

Being a dad sucks.


After the children have gone to sleep, practice throwing yourself on the ground, kicking yourself in the face, and going to bed hungry and alone.

Extra Credit

While doing these things yell encouragement to yourself like "Way to go!" "You're alright!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009




First Day on the Dad job

My son Liam comes home from school very excited. "Hey mom..I mean Dad" he says to me.
"Hey little dude." I say back. He drops his backpack and eyes me with suspicion. "Why did you say that?"
"It's what Dad's say." I tell him.
"Stop it!" Isabel (3 years old) shouts. "You are not my Dad you are my mom! Can we have ice cream for dinner?"

They have figured me out.
My teenager Fallon (15) rolls her eyes but she perks up a bit when I get out the ice cream.
We play Wii and eat ice cream for dinner and cereal for dessert. We don't brush our teeth. Liam teaches us how to burp. We go to sleep in our t-shirts long after midnight.

I have talked to my children about more than homework and finishing everything on their plate. We laughed together. Even Fallon, who forgot to be above it all.
As he falls asleep Liam tells me I am the best dad in the world. :)
I really believe I can do this.



Extra Credit

Really burp and don't just make the fake burp sound in the back of your throat.



Prepping for D-day


The children are suspicious. I announced my intentions several days ago to a bit of bewilderment. My five year old son wanted to know if they have to call me dad. (I tell them they can) My three year old daughter wants to know who will wipe her. My teenager wants to know if I intend to embarrass her in front of her friends. The baby does not care. I have to make a dad exception for him because he is nursing.


Anticipate their questions and have convincing answers.

Extra Credit

Look them straight in the eye as you explain your plan. Don't crack. Make it sound fun and not weird at all.



Know what you are up against.

There are ten million single mothers in the United States.
There are more than 75 million children.


I have four children 1..2...3...4. There is one of me. 1.


Count your children.

Count yourself.

Extra Credit

If you only have 1 child it does not mean the playing field is level.

Math problem for extra credit. Each child equals the strength of ten mothers. Multiply number of children by 10.

Homeschool for Dad's to be

This guide will be presented in the form of several lesson plans with an objective, an example (I'll be your guinea pig), and homework. Cool.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I am boring

I am tired of being a mom all the time. Moms are boring. Dad's have all the fun.
I used to be a lot of fun. I had food fights with my children while making cookies, I ran through the sprinklers, I jumped on the bed and ate raw cookie dough. I sat on the roof and drank hot chocolate and watched the stars with the kids. I invented a holiday if one wasn't happening when I wanted.
But then something happened.
All those years of being Responsible, of getting the chores done, and changing diapers, and paying bills, and reminding my husband to pick up his socks, and making nutritious meals, and in between trying to squeeze in my own interests...well they all descended on me at once. I Responsibled myself right out of the fun zone.

The other day my children looked at me and said "Mom you're boring." Just like that. My response was to lecture them about my responsibilities and how hard I worked to take care of them. "I'm doing the job of both parents." I told them.
And that of course is when I realized that I wasn't. I am only doing the job of mom. And children need both.

They need someone to make sure that they eat right, do their homework, have good table manners, and get to be don time. But they also need someone to have fun with, someone they can say anything to without getting corrected. Someone they can just Be with.

So I have launched Project Weekend Dad. Starting Friday after school I will no longer be plain old Mom.
I will be something new and different and exciting...I will be Dad!!!
Wish me luck.

10 signs you are a boring mom

Going to the bathroom by yourself is a vacation.
2. You hide in the closet to eat cookies.
3. You have never heard of W.O.W.
4. You spend your weekends doing peace talks.
You have germX in your purse
6. You say "I told you so" even though you swore you never would
7. If you roll on the ground or spit you are given a prescription.
8. You think girls dress like sluts and boys dress like slobs these days.
9. You have a calendar/whiteboard/bullentin board to organize your family.
10.Your children think you are boring.

10 signs that you are a dad

You think nutritious is eating something straight out of the package.
2. You share your cookies.
3. You can change clothes, work, and eat dinner in front of the tv.
4. You don't believe you have to brush your teeth before bed.
5. You not only know what W.O.W is, you have an online account.
6. You use words like dude without cringing.
7. You like fart jokes.
8. You say "because I told you so" and get results.
9. If you roll on the ground or spit you are considered cool.
Your children think you are exciting.