Dad Glenn has found that the bar for him being considered a “great dad” is set pretty low. Here is a snapshot of his parenting. Is it greatness or just being a dad?
My name is Glenn, a husband and parent. At 39 years old, married for over 11 years I feel I have a pretty good grasp on the world around me. That is until I read an article about how the bar for being a great dad is set very low, comically low. Dads often getting random complements for taking the kids to the park, changing a diaper or simple task of not burning down the house when mom is away. I get it all the time when I take William, my 9 year old son, and Cordy, my two year old daughter, to the grocery store without Jen, my lovely wife. Women, especially moms, smiling and telling me how lucky my wife must be. Why do I always get the smiles and pats one the back? Is what I am doing something amazing? Maybe I just happen to be free that day when this chore needed doing.
I feel, therefore, compelled to share this course of events from the other day. Was I a great dad or did I do something every parent does every night and in reality as parents we are equals?
To start with Jen, was out of town on business and I was on my own, nothing new but don’t want her thrown under the bus for not helping. Although the funny phone call with her did break up the crazy that night,which turned out to be a ton of help for my sanity.
Here we go.
So my normally 40 minute trip home from work, took me over two hours putting my evening of to a great start. Thankfully, I picked up smoked salmon at lunch so at least I had something to feed Cordy to keep her from completely losing her mind in the car. As a bonus there was a half a juice box in the car from the day before so she had something that looks like a snack before we got to William’s school. I’m stressing already as I got Cordy at 5:45 and had to get William by 6. I was tweaking a bit extra with the traffic, the “snow storm”, catching almost every red light, and Cordy dropping the Kindle every six seconds because her lap is tiny. I finally got to William twenty minutes late but thankfully not the last kid to be picked up. As we were heading home stress levels began dropping as William was excited to explain to me why he had no homework because of the new math lessons they had started that day. Cordy had us both laughing as she was mad because she wanted to know “Where did the moon go?”
I got home to a driveway to shovel, dinner to make, and the poor doggie that needed to go out. William was helpful with his sister, to a point, as she kept escaping to play in the snow, no shoes, no jacket. But she did have a shovel so I guess it wasn’t all bad. Although, grabbing her to get her back in the house was like chasing a scared cat on fire. I come inside after a quick shovel of the drive to find William and Cordy fighting over a cookie right next to the whole box of cookies because neither one of them would just take another freaking cookie. I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner and got, “Ice Cream!” from Cordy and “Mac and Cheese” from William. Mac and Cheese it is.
I start making dinner only to find that we couldn’t find mac and cheese so I had to come up with a quick homemade version. William, however, finds the last box 10 minutes after I started making the home made version. As he handed me the box I looked at him and asked if he was looking for it with his butt in which he replies laughing, “No dad my eyes.” William helps me unload the dishwasher as Cordy runs naked into the kitchen announcing she is poopie. Then shakes her hand at me and says “it’s okay going potty” which was code for I’m going to pee on the floor. Moving on to that mess William points out the pasta is boiling over and at the same time explains he can’t reach to put this plate away. With that under control I go back to finish the mac and cheese. Cordy now moves her stool to the fridge and opens it wanting an apple, then cereal, then a smoothie, then a juice box, then nuggets, more salmon…it was like a hundred things. I turn to Cordy and ask “Does this kitchen look like a buffet?” She pauses and says, “I don’t know.” I have to admit it was cute and made me smile. Dinner is finally done after about 20 minutes, it’s now 745.
“Dad can I eat by the computer?” “That’s fine William.” “Don’t worry daddy.” as Cordy runs to get a towel and places it over the fresh beer I opened that she kicked over. I help clean that up as I bring Cordy’s mini buffet in for her to eat. I go and get a fresh beer, Jen calls.
I talk to her for about ten minutes and William is freaking out about a Minecraft update not working and needs help. I hang up with Jen to help William and step in one of Cordy’s 5 dinner plates with her once again telling me not to worry and grabs another towel. I fix William’s issue and Cordy starts freaking out because William was watching the Kindle over her shoulder and that is a huge no no with her I guess. I clean up dinner and prep the kids for school the next day and finally sit to watch some TV. Which was the wrong thing to do cause that is when the dog wants to go out and bark at the snow spiders. It’s now 8:30. “William 30 minutes then bed.” At this point Cordy and I are playing in her kitchen and she is making me dinner, which was very yummy, and she felt I needed 12934 servings.
William shuts down the PC and chats with me for about 15 minutes about the new updates and how they fixed some issues and thanked me for the LAN cable which helped stop the game from lagging. I let him know what his next day was going to look like and he turned to me and said “Cool Dad, Love you, See you tomorrow.” Cordy follows William with both Kindles and says, “See you soon.” and heads upstairs. Don’t be too impressed with Cordy she was back down stairs 15 minutes later. She played in her kitchen some more and I chilled watching TV finally taking a sip of my now warm beer.
Jen came home shortly after. Cordy was all excited to see mom with loud screeches and hugs. Jen and I chatted about the rest of her day and mine. We watched some TV and headed to bed.
So my question is when you read this did you think, “Man, Glenn a great dad.” Or did you laugh and think, “Sounds like my house.” I am curious. And if it was Jen doing the exact same thing would your thoughts about this be different?
My point behind this was showing people that I didn’t do anything great or grand I just took care of my kids and tried to keep the house from burning to the ground. I did what all parents do and feel that we need to start thinking different about parents and parenting.
You aren’t better than me because you’re a mom and I’m not some super dad because I can do what a mom does.
Photo: Flickr/Christy Hulsey