I would like to raise a toast this Father’s Day to all the dads that aren’t complete fools. And, thank goodness, 100% of the dads I know are amazing, capable, intelligent human beings. Regardless of what most comedies and diaper commercials will tell you, most of the dads I know do NOT do the following:
- fumble around like Mr. Bean when trying to change a diaper
- prefer to watch sports over having planned quality time with family
- have a hard time keeping children alive while their partner runs a quick errand
- struggle to handle basic tasks if they don’t involve sports or video games
- have only critical and caustic remarks toward children and sarcastic tones toward partner
- accidentally put the pre-made lasagna in the dog food bowl and then have absolutely nothing to feed the family (turns to camera, shrugs hopelessly)
And yet, over and over again, we see this stereotype depicted in comedic storylines. Here are some fine examples: Phil Dunfey, Hank Hill, Ray Barone, Uncle Phil, Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson, Cliff Huxtable, Al Bundy and that winner father in the commercial who has sole charge of his OWN baby for an hour and he ends up solving every one of his problems with GLAD Press and Seal. (Way to go dad! You kept that baby alive while your partner ran to Walgreens to get a silent moment and a pack of gum. Give this man a trophy!)
No, I would have to say that most men don’t bumble. Most men do wonderfully well in their father role. In fact, this is an abbreviated list of what I witness dads doing. These are the men I know. These capable dads:
- identify Disney princesses by name
- change diapers like a total boss, without being asked
- work hard, come home and play harder
- stay at home
- miss their kids
- make incredible meals, often without the microwave
- are humble enough to improve their parenting skills when necessary
- clean up vomit – of the kid, dog and mom variety
- tell incredible, funny, graceful, silly stories
- teach optimism
- paint nails, connect train tracks and give mer-man rides at the pool
- are positive and encouraging during “witching hour”
- provide solid, steady-ness during emergencies
- love on their kids friends, who may not have a father at home
- understand that fathering isn’t babysitting
- check and re-check carseats
- say “I love you” and give kisses
- discipline with patience and grace
The dads I know don’t bumble.
The dads I know aren’t fools.
The dads I know are 100% magnificent.
Cheers to all of you dads who continue to smash the stereotype. We love you and cherish you!