OK dad, you can’t step on the floor because it is lava but it is OK to step on the rug because it is magic and you can throw pillows on the ground and walk on them. Also, you are the trapper…..wait, no. I am the trapper and you are the tickler but you can’t tickle me if I have you trapped. Ok, so I will hide this plastic Easter egg and you close your eyes and count to 1 million. Then you have to find the egg but keep your eyes closed and I will tell you if you are hot or cold. AND NO LEG TICKLING! Also, you can’t tickle my armpits. Only my tummy and I get to keep this pillow shield in front of me. Wait hold on (runs to room and returns with crayons and paper) first though, we need to make our badges.
If you are a parent this might sound familiar. If you aren’t, think back really hard and you might remember playing this type of game when you were little. I smiled last night as my oldest daughter took the rule making to the next level and almost got downright bossy about it. I remembered being a kid expertly stacking smiles on top of joy on top of anticipation as I prepared for my next adventure. Planning, setup, and rule making / explaining, often holding more fun than the game itself.
Floors made of lava and alligators are totally sweet.
Thanks for the Effort Dad
I can’t seem to turn around these days without hearing the latest feats of some crazed over-achieving supermom talking about carpool and soccer practice and the seven layer rainbow cupcakes they made last night for their kid’s entire school. You know the ones, can’t have a 2 minute conversation without mentioning Pinterest and the 1001 things they can’t wait to do with mason jars. I suspect that we are subjected to each detail of their crafting triumphs but always spared the detail of their failed attempts.
While I may not have a 12 course gourmet meal bubbling away in a crock pot at home, dads are out there trying to make an effort too. Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.
A couple of weeks ago in an effort to create some dad magic of my own. I bought my daughter a banana split. To go. I imagine there are moms that just read that and shuddered. You should have seen my wife’s face as we walked back to the car where she and our napping little one waited. Look, it came in a plastic thing and you should have seen my daughter light up when I said yes to her request. Sometimes I am so blinded by the glory of the moment I fail to consider the details. Halfway home the treat had been passed to mom and my daughter was complaining about how sticky she was. By the time we got home there was a river of ice cream in my wife’s lap and every time the car turned it seemed like another levee broke and the mess amplified. There were a couple of tears, a yell or two, finally some laughter and embarrassment. In fact, upon arriving home, there was such a mess that clothes were removed in the garage and the once glorious treat that had been reduced to a sticky mess machine was tossed in the trash. Seats were wiped down and chins and elbows cleaned off and then we had a Popsicle from the freezer. Finally a recipe that didn’t come from Pinterest, too bad it turned out to be a recipe for disaster.
I am not saying that all of my efforts turn out this poorly. I consider myself a bit of a veteran dad now and I don’t even wince at the twelve dollar popcorn they sell at the circus. But man is it fun seeing new dads swallow that reality for the first time. I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars but I am pretty OK with how it turned out and not even afraid to share the story.
So remember all you dads out there, sometimes the glory is worth getting blinded for and we appreciate the effort. Also, here is a little free tip. If you ever decide to surprise your kids and tell them you are taking them to Disney on Ice, you better get that “on ice” part out pretty quick. That was totally weak.
(Note: After writing this and looking around the web for pictures, Pinterest had banana splits in mason jars, so much for it being a joke. Unreal)