“What exactly do you think you’re doing?” I ask my son at the dinner table. Normally, when such a powerful fatherhood statement like that comes out of my mouth, he’ll freeze. But not today. Today, my boy has decided that it’s time to become a man. He grips the slice of pizza tighter. “Mine,” he says. Such a simple statement but it is as loaded as that slice. He knows this. That’s not something you say to your father and expect to NOT to mow the yard. He doesn’t hand over the beautiful hunk of meat lovers pizza. Instead, he puts it on his plate. It lands with a challenge. “You want to … [Read more...]
“That ball was out of bounds!” I tell my wife sitting next to me on the metal bleachers. My butt hurts, but it’s the price I gladly pay. Did my wife roll her eyes? I think she did. That’s OK, I don’t expect her to get it. Not like me. She isn’t a parent-athlete.
Being a parent-athlete is tough. I go to every practice, sit on those hard metal bleachers and drink copious amounts of Diet Coke from a giant bucket I got from the hardware store. That’s true commitment, and I get it if the rest of the world doesn’t understand. It’s a hard life, but one that has chosen … [Read more...]
The show's over; time for everyone to go home. My last kid has started school. I am no longer an at-home dad. Now I suppose I’m just unemployed. That’s fantastic for the ego. I mean, really great. It’s always nice to see yourself taken down a peg or 50. Over the last month, I’ve gotten the question, “What are you going to do now with all your free time?” What free time, I’ve got lists a mile long! Time is accounted for, and it demands to be paid, credit not accepted. So what do I do now? Well, basically I sit in the house and wonder why Oprah has abandoned me. I mean, not to be a dick … [Read more...]
"No," I say. "He's not ready." At the bus stop, my wife shakes her head and sighs. She is disagreeing with me and showing her exasperation. She's a great multitasker. My fifth grader, Wyatt, and my youngest son, Oliver, adjust their backpacks. "It's my call," I say. "He's ready," she counters. "I'm Dad. I've been here since the beginning. I was the one that quit my job to stay home with the kids. It's my call." That should count for something. That should give me the absolute final decision about whether my son is ready for kindergarten or not. I say he's not. My wife … [Read more...]
At the start of Beauty and the Beast, maybe 15 minutes in, Princess Belle is dancing in a meadow. She breaks out into song, like you do. What I see, as a father, is not the story of a woman who falls in love with an abuser. Well, I do see that. But what I see as a suburban father (and homeowner) is a field full of weeds. Oh, I'm sure others may call them "wildflowers" or "set design." However, to the highly trained suburban dad, I call them "shit that ruins my yard." Princess Belle needs to lay down some weed and feed. A whole crap ton, actually. She would probably be better suited to just … [Read more...]