Thursday, March 29, 2012

#78: Huge Eyeglasses

Dads are required to be on alert at all times. They need to have an awareness of their surroundings so when their kid starts crying or a couch needs to be napped on they can spring into action. Having good eyesight is important, but as Dads mature their eyesight tends to go with it. That is where glasses come in handy. But these aren’t any normal glasses, these are 80s style goggle glasses.

Dad doesn’t need to be trendy, he needs to be functional. Like a well oiled machine all parts need to be at their optimum performance. He can’t rely on some slim designer glasses that do not provide a full field of view; he needs big lenses so he can spot White New Balances on sale out of the corner of his eye. He needs them so when you go to a dark restaurant he doesn’t have to constantly move the menu back and forth to find the right distance from his eyes to read it. Of course he will still do this while saying, “I have old eyes” or “I used to have great eyesight”. Whatever Dad, do they have ketchup here?

He will almost certainly have attachments as well. Dad is not old enough to have grandpa’s (aka Master Dad) wraparound sunglasses but he isn’t dumb enough to carry an extra pair of shades. Solution: clip-on sunglasses. Now he can shield his eyes from the sun while embarrassing you! He thinks he is so cool because he looks like Principal Ed Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but you think he looks stupid as he constantly flips his clip-ons up and down. Of course they are flipped up when that cute girl from science class walks by and she notices. Dad’s mission of embarrassment is complete. It is what they live for.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#77 Classic Dad: Philip Banks

Mr. Banks has all the striking features of a Dad: a gut that hangs out over his belt, sweaters, a briefcase, and three well-behaved kids. What makes Mr. Banks a classic Dad is that he is able to act as a Dad to even his nephew.

Despite being technically Will’s uncle, Mr. Banks treats Will as his own son. When he’s not caring for Hilary, Carlton, and Ashley, Mr. Banks is containing his anger at Will’s goofy behavior. Those long deathly stares and ability to hit unknown decibels of sound with a single yell is what puts Mr. Banks in a class of his own when it comes to Dads. And when he’s not yelling at Will, he’s busy throwing Jazzy Jeff out of the house…showing true Dad strength. Through it all, Mr. Banks knows in true Dad fashion that Vivian owns the house. Despite being a successful lawyer in Beverly Hills, he knows not to cross mom.

Mr. Banks does have a soft side, making sure Will has a bright future, caring for Geoffrey as one of the family, and protecting the family against anyone that besmirches the Banks name.

So we salute your Mr. Banks, not only for being such a funny “Uncle Phil,” but realizing that being a Dad extends to more than just your biological children. And if a couple of guys who were up to no good, start making trouble in the neighborhood, we hope our mom gets scared and tells us that we going to live with you in Bel-Air.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

#76: The Sandwich

There are the times when Dad grills out and ends up cooking an entire cow. There are the times when Dad makes massive Sunday breakfasts and ends up forcing you to eat a dozen egg omelet. There are the times when Dad makes dinner and makes a four pound pasta masterpiece. So why would it be any different than when Dad makes himself a sandwich?

Dads have a voracious appetite which fuels the engine to get them through work, commuting home, walking around the block, and then coaching your tee ball team. They need lots of food in a short time span. The sandwich is ideal because it is easy to make and can hold a lot of stuff in a small package. Most people are okay with a simple PB&J or turkey sandwich, but when Dad has the time (aka Sunday afternoon) the sandwich construction rivals building the Hoover Dam.

The bread will always be something gross that kids don’t like (i.e. Rye bread) but Dads love. There will be half a dozen meats layered thicker than Dad’s wallet. Ham, turkey, roast beef, corned beef, beluga whale, and kangaroo stacked up with a brick of cheese smothering the flesh. Half a head of lettuce and four tomatoes provide the texture, but Dad really puts them on there because he thinks it makes this monstrosity healthy. The finishing touch is mustard and lots of it. And never just yellow mustard. It has to be some really weird, dark spicy mustard that makes you gag just getting a waft of it. The same goes for sauerkraut. Dads love the taste of mustard and sauerkraut not only because their taste buds are dying and they can’t taste anything, but they provide security that no one will eat their sandwich.No kid likes the taste of mustard and sauerkraut so the sandwich remains untouched, just how Dad likes it.My Dad always used to say things like sauerkraut are an “acquired taste”. I must be getting close to Dadness because I like it now.

After sandwich consumption which is accompanied by potato chips, milk, and a massive pickle, Dad will saunter over to his chair and “rest his eyes”. Slipping off into a deep nap with snoring that will crack the house’s concrete foundation, we realize that being a Dad is a hard job. Eating is something Dad takes very seriously.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

#75: Dad-isms

Ever wonder how Dad knows the answers to everything in life? Dad has an explanation for all questions and sometimes you wonder how. Half the time you don’t even understand his explanations. Then you realize, because Dad doesn’t really answer the question. Dads may have life advice and know everything, but they have their go-to sayings that play like a broken record. Note the conversation below that may occur after your sporting event/competition:

“Dang kid, you really played out there with a chip on your shoulder. You really went for broke.”

“Thanks Dad…I just wish we had won."

“You guys were close but no cigar. But ya know, actions speak louder than words. And the fact that you guys gave that team everything but the kitchen sink really shows your character.”

“Thanks Dad…it was a bit frustrating.”

“Excuse my French but yes they were a little better. Teams like that are a dime a dozen. You guys were stuck between a rock and a hard place in that game, but you didn’t cry over spilt milk.”

“Okay Dad…whatever you say…”

“Moral of the story is you can’t win ‘em all so don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Okay these are technically idioms, but let’s be honest, they’re Dad-isms. And for some reason, they make you feel better. If you read these statements literally, they makes no sense. But thanks to Dad, you know exactly what was meant. You’ve heard all these sayings before and they’re now almost second nature. You’ve heard them from colleagues, friends, classmates, coworkers. But chances are that Dad said ‘em first and they’ll forever be Dad-isms in your mind.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

#74: Roughhousing

Dads have to have a high level of energy to keep up with their kids, especially toddlers. Toddlers are super-human in that they are really just a concentrated ball of caffeine, 5 hour energy, and puppies. They NEVER get tired, especially when it is bed time. What is a Dad to do in order to play with his kids, but also tire them out?? ROUGH HOUSING is the way to go.

Rough Housing (RH, RHing, etc.) for those who have been living under a rock is a term for when a Dad and his kid (usually son) wrestle around and laugh and giggle with the end result the kid pinning his Dad and “winning”. We all know that Dad strength is not used here because the kid would suffer serious injuries. However, it can be carefully channeled to create maximum resistance and therefore maximum tiredness in the kid which is the primary objective of RHing.

The arena for RHing is quite crude, but gets the job done. Simply rearranging the living room to provide ample wrestling space on the carpet is all that is needed. This is not Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Dad is not fighting Master Blaster, but it is pretty close. Dad needs to be wary of sharp corners and the hard wood floor. The only thing worse than a hyper kid is a hyper crying kid. And above all else avoid the urn holding Gram Gram’s ashes, which would be a doozy to explain to mom.

RHing usually does not last longer than 10-15 minutes. Either Dad runs out of breath and begs for mercy, the son gets worn out and somehow “beats” Dad when he is exhausted (aka Dad wants to stop), mom yells at them to stop shaking the house, or something breaks. The last two are the most frequent as they gladiators tend to get carried away and knock over something expensive, which is followed by silence and then mom yelling. Her yelling means one thing, RHing is over…for now.

Some people think RHing may be a little violent, dangerous, and/or unhealthy for a young child as it promotes fighting. But it is important to know that it is a time honored tradition between father and son much like Dad teaching his kid to shave or Dad getting kicked out of his son’s soccer game. It is invaluable to the Dad experience. And it gets the kid tired before bed, and that is the most important part.