Thursday, April 26, 2012

#83: Take Your Kid to Work Day

**I kind of forgot today was my turn to write for all our eager subscribers but today's special work holiday provided more than enough fodder to discuss.**

Dads have two seperate lives. There is their Dad life at home, and their life at work. Most try to keep them separate but there is that one special day of the year where the boundary becomes blurred and kids see what Dad does for a living (hint: it is usually really boring) and Dad's co-workers get to see a bit of his home life. That special day is Take Your Kid to Work Day (TYKtWD for those who love acronyms).

TYKtWD is an amazing day in the office because the mood is always lighter and the cafeteria serves chicken fingers and mac & cheese. No one gets yelled at because there is a five year old always within earshot and no one with a soul wants to rip into a Dad when his son is sitting there with his coloring book. You can almost do no wrong on this holiday.

Dads on this day are conflicted: they have to get this report done but they also have to make sure their kid is having a good time. It is almost impossible to do both because once Dad buckles down with excel little Tommy gets that blank stare on his face. The same one I have when I am in just about every meeting. Dad uses that special tone in his voice to see if Tommy is having a good time, and hand holding to the conference room is a requisite. Conference calls are always great because you can tell who is a Dad and who isn't. Non-Dads are matter-of-fact, down to business. Dads are always covering the phone to instruct his kid what not to do. "Don't put that pencil in your nose!" "Go apologize to Stacy for hitting her with that paper airplane!" "No you cannot photocopy your butt!" Makes for great entertainment in an otherwise dull budget meeting.

It is also great because the Dads share a genuine interest in the kids other than his own. Today in a meeting one Dad asked the kids in the room what they thought of the proposal we were talking about. None of the kids had any idea what we were discussing (it's not like I did either) but it was cool to see how Dads interact when not surrounded by their peers. Dads rule.

I apologize if this was not that funny and a little insightful but it makes you think about those around you who are Dads. They may seem like idiots with their heads up their butts, but at least the vast majority of them are actually people. Except for that one dude in finance who you swear is a robot. He must go under his desk at night and power down until 9AM the next morning.

TYKtWD is one day we at That's So Dad look forward to doing when we are Dads. It's an excuse to dress your kid up and show them off. Long live Dads.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#82: Classic Dad: Bob Saget

Yes, Full House is still known as the show that introduced us to Mary-Kate and Ashley. But those two girls wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for Danny Tanner leading the way. You can’t get more Dad than being a single Dad raising three girls in DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle. He cared for those girls more than life itself, always offering Dad wisdom and wrapping up each episode with a Dad hug. But like a true Dad, he knew he couldn’t raise his kids alone, so he brought in Uncle Jesse and childhood friend Joey to help. 3 semi-Dads working to embarrass you on a weekly basis through failed birthday parties, videotaping your recitals, wearing costumes, and a general Dadness of thinking you’re hip when you’re really not.

Danny’s biggest Dad feature is his obsession with cleaning. When not Waking Up, San Francisco, or raising his three girls and kicking Kimmy Gibbler through the back door, you can find Danny scrubbing and cleaning with yellow gloves in hand. A true Dad knows germs are just a cough away from infection for his children.

Bob Saget continued his Dad-ness by making every household in America laugh in hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos. Take a seat Tom Bergeron because Bob Saget is the king at Home Videos. What kid wasn’t wishing their failure would lead to a chance at the $100,000 grand prize? Bob Saget made it seem like anyone could win, and all families had that special something with his voice-overs of grandma dancing or your pet parakeet.

Bob Saget today may be known for his crude humor and playing himself on Entourage, but he is also continuing his Dad nature by playing narrator Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother. In the classic Dad role of telling stories to your kids, Bob Saget has thrived off telling a story that has lasted 7 seasons and counting.

So from all of us here at TSD, we salute you Bob…and your never ending Dadness.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

#80: Baseball Scorecards

***Since Spring is in full swing with rapidly changing weather, shorts one day and parkas the next and the sound of birds chirping, it only makes sense to discuss the hallmark of the season: Baseball. Over the next few months where we forget about the horrid winter and remember why we decided to live in the Midwest we will be periodically discussing the Dadness that is baseball.***

It is finally here! Opening Day! As Dad and son go through the turnstiles for another season of Major League Baseball, the smell of brats and Old Style cheap beer wafting through the bleachers brings back a sense of familiarity. The duo makes their way to their seats and they may be up in the nosebleeds but son has his trusty mitt in tow, reading to catch a foul ball. A fresh ballcap adorn the son’s head, while Dad still wears his same hat from yesteryear. A fresh program in each of their hands, son goes straight to the player pictures to see his favorites, while Dad does something different. Dad? What are you doing? Dad is going through the roster, jotting down jersey numbers and last names, making notes and muttering about the lineup. He is doing the ultimate Dad thing at a baseball game: he is filling out the scorecard.

Baseball games can hit a lull in the middle innings. The excitement of the start is done and the late inning thrills aren’t there yet. Dad keeps his focus by drafting a summary of every pitch and play, the baserunner’s journeys to home, the double plays all while being able to guzzle a few beers and down nacho’s before his heartburn rears its ugly head. Dad knows all the notations from ground rule double to balk to the rare unassisted triple play (just in case it happens). He is eager to teach his son, but all the kid wants to do is see some homers and eat a gallon of cotton candy. “My Dad taught me how to do this when I was your age” he says. His son doesn’t even take notes in school, why do it at a baseball game? Do people even read the scorecards after the fact? I think not, that’s why there is ESPN.

Scorecards are an ancient and dying phenomena, populated by Dads and old ladies who were alive the last time the Cubs won it all and remember when Bob Uecker was some young whippersnapper with the Milwaukee Braves and Cy Young was a pitcher, not an award. Dads carry on the art of the scorecard, while they scan every pitch through their flip up sunglasses. Every tic mark is followed by a remark about the umpire’s eyesight or the pitcher using vaseline to get a few inches on his curve ball. It allows Dad to focus on the game because let’s face it, without the score card Dad would have been out cold in the fourth inning after he devoured that third hot dog.

Here is to a long summer of home runs, diving catches, ivy walls, Seventh Inning Stretches and sunburns sitting in the bleachers. At least my counterpart here at That’s So Dad was smart enough to be a Giants fan while I am stuck with the Cubbies. It is going to happen someday…

Thursday, April 5, 2012

#79 Balding

So legend has it that you will bald if there is a history of balding on your maternal side of the family. So basically if your mom’s dad was bald, you’ll be bad. But let’s be real…once you become a Dad, you start balding. Some attribute it to old age, some attribute it to stress. Let’s be real, balding comes from Dad-ness.

Dads know how to rock a balding head. They are believers of the toupee, champions of the comb over, and enforcers of the hat. But don’t let that fool you, Dads are proud of their baldness. They see it as a blessing and a curse.

Although you and mom make fun of Dad for putting sunscreen on his bald spot when at the park, Dad knows that a peeling scalp is the worst burn you can get. Dad sees his bald spot as a sign of wisdom, a goodluck spot to rub before work presentations, and a beauty mark. It shows experience and a distinguished person. To you, it’s the opportunity to buy him Rogaine and other gag presents for his birthday.

You know that one friend that everyone mistakens for a 40 year old? Chances are it’s because he is bald. To Dad, that friend makes him feel young. “See, I’m hip! Your friend is bald, just like me! It’s a catchy hair-do” as he points to famous bald celebs like Pitbull and Bruce Willis.

So be kind to Dad as his bald spot grows to a bald head. Because although the hair on his head is lessening, the hair in his ears and nose will grow longer.