When I arrived at the park yesterday afternoon I spotted a suspicious character sat on a bench. He was looking dishevelled, with dark glasses, a big coat and a beanie pulled down almost over his eyes. He was huddled over a coffee and staring off into the distance, with his eyes just occasionally following a child as they ran by. He didn’t appear to be with anyone so the playground seemed like an odd choice for an afternoon brew. As I walked closer I realised that the suspicious character was a friend of mine who is thankfully a father of two older children who (apparently) had run off to play together allowing him some much required ‘staring space’.
There are a whole bunch of things it’s okay to do as a dad – for instance staring into space while drinking a coffee in a children’s playground – which were never okay as a non-Dad. So I thought I would compile a list of a few more reasons it’s great to be a Dad.
- You are expected to dance badly. Before becoming a Dad I was too shy to hit the dance floor; now I dance several times a week in my front room. Usually I groove to something very manly and the dancing often transcends into wrestling (of course). Adlai tells me I’ve got great moves and I’m starting to believe him
- You ‘have’ to go to toyshops. It’s a real bind but we as responsible Dads have to know our Ironman from our Spiderman, our C3PO from our R2D2. Without kids you’re a geek – with kids you’re a hero and the fount of all things worth knowing.
- Saturday mornings are the best time for the cinema. Pre-kids you’re asleep. Post-kids, you’re catching up on movies that came out 18 months ago, but at amazingly good prices.
- It’s completely acceptable to poop whilst another human being is in my bathroom. Let’s face it – this is a reality of fathering toddlers. All privacy is gone…but it’s kind of liberating.
- Most people will understand when you turn up to a party on time and leave at 9pm. Never would have done that before having children, but now we’re paying a teenager for every second we’re out and they have a 10pm curfew. There’s also the assurance that, no matter what time we’re home, our sons will be up at 5:30am. They don’t care that it’s New Year’s Eve – there’s Peppa Pig to be watched at the crack of dawn.
- Yogurt is a fashionable accessory. Quite how my kids know when I have a clean shirt on I don’t know but they are on a constant mission to wipe their yogurt full faces all over me. Clean clothes are are a thing of the past. Before I had kids, if I walked around work with yogurt smeared down my chest, people would have looked down their noses at me. Now they smile knowingly and bring me a cup of coffee, because I’m the poor, harried dad of two young boys.
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