I’ve been writing about the YMCA and how you can use the Y and other rec programs to help strengthen the family unit. But I’m gettin’ kinda tired of writing about the Y, considering I do it every day at work. So, I decided to jot down a few things that I think are essential to being a good dad. Here it goes…
1) Know your sizes. Dads who know their kids sizes can totally hang with the mommy playgroup. Generally, the sizes go like this: Newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months (not to be confused with 2T), 2T, 3T, etc., etc. Of course, you are usually dressing your kid in the next size up. If your kid is freakishly big or freakishly small, then you need to adjust accordingly. If you need a cheat sheet, you can find all you need to know here. BTW, you should also know your kids shoe size and diaper size. I’ll make you hunt for that one. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that way.
2) Change a diaper like a NASCAR Pit Crew. You can’t even brag about being an equal parent to your spouse if you can’t get down and dirty and change a diaper. Any place. Any time. They even make manly looking diaper bags so you can hold onto your masculinity while holding your kids feet in the air on a park bench at the local play ground. When it comes to stocking your bag, don’t forget toys, lots of wipes, a couple of empty bottles, some zip-loc bags and an extra onesie or change of clothes. Oh, and since you’re a man you have to go with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
3) Know your kid’s doctor and teacher. I hate hearing information second hand. And I don’t want my wife to be the one solely responsible for important things like yearly checkups and teacher-parent conferences. When you became a dad you signed up for all of it. Don’t delegate this stuff to your spouse. Your opinion counts. And I guarantee your kids are watching too.
4) Always tell the truth. Speaking of your kids watching, they are listening too. When you tell the guy at the movie theater that your kid is 12 when he’s really 13 so you can save a couple of bucks on a ticket. Teaching your kid how to lie isn’t being a good dad.
5) Have a signature dish (or two). Now, the great thing about being a man (and what sucks about being a woman, I suppose) is that men get a lot more credit than they deserve for doing every day stuff. We didn’t make the rules, however, so you might as well flaunt them. What can I say, chicks dig guys who cook. When I tell women that I cook half the meals in my household, they get a glazed look in their eye like they want to take me home and watch me massage chicken breasts. If you can learn to make a handful of dishes, you will teach your kids that domesticity isn’t just for the ladies anymore.
6) Tackle the kids (maybe not literally). I’m still amazed at the amount of fathers out there that don’t feel comfortable doing stuff 0ne-on-one or one-on-howevermanykidsyougot. Not you, of course, but there are dads out there that just don’t do things with their kids alone outside of the home. They are missing out, I tell you. The bonding time without a maternal unit nearby is awesome and really gives you a sense of ownership on this whole parenting thing. Besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You could lose one? Well, yes. But in some cases you can gain one too. Not that I recommend that. It will probably cause trouble.
Well, I had originally planned on 10 items but I’m tired. And good Dads need to get their sleep when they can. Maybe you can help me finish the list. What are your ideas on how to be a good dad?