I’ve got a mission for you this week: get outside while you still can.
Look, I don’t know where you live, but up here in New England it’s starting to get cold. Really cold. There’s no snow on the ground just yet, but it’s certainly chilly enough to warrant a day spent inside. I get that. I really do. However, if you’ve got kids like me, you have got to get them out of the house. Otherwise they’ll act like animals trapped too long at the zoo, pacing back and forth out of sheer stir crazy restlessness. You don’t want that.
So go outside. Every day.
On board yet? Great! Now you just need a plan. You can’t just go outside and let the kids run amok, after all. Kids in control are a very bad thing. So assert yourself like the upstanding patriarch that you are and leave the house prepared. Here are some suggestions for making your outdoor life exciting and manly:
Pretty much my worst nightmare
My nearly 2-year-old daughter often screams “Momma!” when she’s frustrated with me. Whether it be when she’s rummaging through the cabinet’s wobbly stack of Pyrex casserole dishes, discovering the joyous wonder of Monty’s mysterious cat box, or eating 3-month-old dirt-encrusted raisins she found in the couch cushions, once I step in it’s “Momma!” time. It’s frustrating.
After all, I am trying my best.
The first twenty-three months of parenthood have been a bumpy ride, complete with chest-thumping highs and back-breaking lows. Sometimes I feel invincible around the house—a true King of the Castle. It’s here when Audrey actually listens to me, refrains from putting that delicious kitty box candy into her mouth, and rewards me with a hearty hug. At other times, however, I feel as helpless as a newborn babe. I can’t stop her from shaking salt into my work shoes or smearing blackberry slime into the rug fabric. All I can hope for at those times is that her Momma will step through the door like a voluptuous knight in shining armor and rescue me from my bad parenting.
Men are increasingly taking on the parenting duties these days. What once was a role typically associated with women is now being filled with hairy, sleep-deprived, Neanderthals like myself—mostly clueless about what to do, but full of good intentions. Jack Butler is no longer alone. There are lots of us these days. And we need to work together, man-style.
Here, in this blog, I will be tackling two things us dads constantly find ourselves faced with: how to entertain the little crazies and how to keep our confidence from slipping into the void. I’ll provide you with activity suggestions that will keep you, and your children, from going vein-throbbingly insane. I’ll also present you with examples of my own day-to-day successes and failures. They’ll be mostly failures–probably involving poop too no doubt–but those make for the best tales anyway. Right?
So let’s go eat some raw meat, smear on some war paint and show those kids who’s boss! Who’s with me?