Just recently I was abandoned (I use that term loosely) with my own kids! Now some Dads when they are left to battle their own children often tell their friends they can't do anything because they have to stick around and "babysit"........ ummmmmm........ first of all, it's called parenting, and apparently I'm responsible to do it as well. Recently my wife had shorter winter holidays than my two kids, aged 6 and 3, so while they enjoyed an extra week of time off from daycare and school I enjoyed......... my kids kicking my ass for a week.
1. You know how your wife constantly complains how the kids are messy, yet there is never a mess? Turns out she cleans all flippin day!!! Right!!!??? Kids just manage to grab stuff and make a massive mess, like really fast. For example, lets color, like honestly, this has to be the easiest way to entertain your kids........... Quick question, why do we have 7000 markers, crayons, pencil crayons? Why do half the markers not have lids? Where in the shit did all this paper come from? Coloring is now out! However, by the time I clean up the 4000 square foot art studio we somehow have hidden in 1 magical cupboard with no end, the kids have already managed to take all the blankets off each bed and build a fort, take every toy ever created and managed to play with all of them (and somehow realize that their Barbie princess doesn't have the right sceptor to go with the specific Barbie, and that is a problem). You literally just try to contain play area by play area so you have enough time to clean before you hit the next mess. Oh fellas btw, she also cleans up after us it turns out.
2. "Go Ask Your Mother" has Some Implications. Let's face it, we all want to be the cool dad, we want to be the dad that throws their kids around and laughs and plays till the day ends. We also hate to discipline our own kids, I used to think "ask your mother" was a cliche........ it is not, it is a tool in the dads weapon chest, reserved to divert any responsibility and keep a dads youthful en devour to stay cool and relevant as long as possible with their kids. Without the motherly diversion however I was lost. A solution has been found however, a secret when left alone with your own children to your own devices. Here are my workarounds:
- Pretend to sleep- just close your eyes and start snoring, the most important thing to them is to gain your attention first! If they don't have your attention they have nothing to complain about right!? note: get ready to be constantly slapped to wake up
- Pretend to be deaf- act like you seriously lost your hearing and its not working anymore, to add to the effect just mouth the words you are trying to say and don't make a sound, I don't know why it works but it does.
- Stay motionless- just like a T-Rex your kids often times won't see you if you stay still, they will use you as a jungle gym until the magic wears off
- Hide-and-seek, the "I'll Hide" expansion pack- that's right dads, you know that wicked spot you have always saved, you know, the one behind the laundry basket in the back of your closet, awesome hey! Also hide behind doors, they always walk right past and you can sneak out behind them and lay down in their bed until they get closer.
3. iPad's ARE babysitters! I don't care what you say!!! So my kids are on an iPad and watching some kid unwrap toys or open kinder eggs, or watching some weird dude dressed up chasing kids on a playground or whatever. Does that make me a bad parent? Hell NO! It allows me to keep what little sanity I have left to basically do a restart, scrub the Play-Doh out of the couch, try to make them some food and have an audible cue as to their exact position. So if you feel like watching your kids pull each other's hair and fight while you quickly see who double tapped your Instagram picture, go hard, but God gave us an iPad and I'll use it as I see fit.
4. Whatever Your Kids Tell You They Want To Eat, It's Bullshit! I have made this mistake before, I have let my kids pick out their menu items which in-turn picks out what I am eating, because they don't eat it! I have tried the bribe method as well, "eat all your supper and you will get a treat after!" They will simply out-wait my patience and I eventually just give in to the treat. I have figured out how to fix this problem though! I let them dish themselves up, I make sure they sit at the table with no iPad's of course, and I smash their faces into the food! Here is the key, have them both sitting on the same side so they don't see the technique coming, when they least suspect it, put your hands on the back of their heads and WHAMMY, good-bye yummy chicken stir fry.
note: it is evident that I do not smash my kids faces into their plates, although all parents have had the idea run through their head, it is also evident that this is an ongoing battle with your children, I wish everyone luck.
5. Bribe Them, Like All the Time! Please note that this only works if you have someone else that you can blame. Make fake promises, like a lot, in my case because it was a week, I was able to promise all kinds of crazy shit mom was going to get them or do which takes the heat off me. For example when they are like "Daddy we are super hungry" I reply with, "well if you guys don't eat anything today Mom will take you to Disneyland when she gets home".
6. Bedtime is NOT the Time to Wind Them Up! I don't know what it is but right before you have to get the kids to bed you really wanna put in that cool dad time. Chase them around, laugh, tickle and all that good stuff. Well typically after, I'm good and sweaty and out of breath from getting the house all wound up I am now stuck trying to calm them down. The best way to describe this type of scenario is like this, imagine you are a writer and your hand is itchy, now instead of scratching your hand you cut it off to stop the itching, this is the equivalent to getting your kids wound up before bed, it makes no sense. They are jumping all over the place like wild animals and I'm going "OK time to shut your eyes and fall asleep like they do in the movies", as I close the door just in time a toy slams against it I say to myself, "wtf was I thinking there". Wonder why they are tired and grouchy in the morning dads? It's likely your fault.
When my wife was away doesn't even pertain to just kids, turns out I'm a horrible cook, laundry is never really done, floors get dirty so fast, the vacuum in fact is in the closet, we are out of groceries, I think the cat is dead, where are my keys and a whole bunch of other fallacies occur when left alone. I am a 32 year old senior citizen! So this article goes out to all the amazing mothers and mothers-to-be, single and married, divorced and widowed, without our adoring ladies I salute you by never, ever leaving a toilet seat up ever again!