Parents play different roles in their kids’ lives. I’m not talking about gender stereotyping, but more the way parents consciously or unconsciously adopt different “specialisms” or areas of expertise.
Kids shop around, they know the best place to get what they’re looking for, so one parent ends up doing more hair washing or toenail clipping than the other, one is asked for hot chocolate, the other for toast and cheese. Then there’s the classic”If Mam says no ask Dad” that has been used for generations to pitch parents against each other.
In our house, the kids have their own ideas about who they want to do which thing, based mostly on what’s in it for the child in question, and partly on the mood of the parents at the time. If Mammy is having a “shouty day” Daddy will be required to read the bedtime stories and Mammy will be dismissed (whistling happily to herself while she walks down the stairs). If Daddy is not available he will be absolutely essential to every task.
Some jobs are parent exclusive- whether by choice or circumstance. Pigtails are firmly on my to do list, ear cleaning and teaching how to do standing up wees on Daddy’s. That’s just the way things have worked out.
So today, for the day that’s in it, we’ve been having a chat while Daddy has a little lie in and we’ve made a list of things that the Daddy of this house excels at.
“Daddy does it better”
1. Daddy is undisputed king of the piggybacks and “shoulder rides”.
2. Daddy makes great sandwiches and fried eggs. (I agree)
3. Only Daddy can help do backflips and he’s great at helping us do tricks
4. Daddy is best at making chili con carne (I strongly suspect this one was invented to annoy me, as Daddy makes dinner approximately 1% of the time)
5. Daddy is a great builder. The boys are convinced that he could build ANYTHING.- the reality is that he can fix most things that they break, and they are perplexed if he can’t.
6. Daddy is better at baths – because he does “rocket blastoff” when he’s taking them out which is one of the best games ever invented.
7. Daddy is a gardening star, he has seeds in his shed and is really good at mowing the lawn.
8. Daddy is best at holding small, screaming, colicky babies and rocking or jiggling them til they conk asleep in his chest. (I added this one)
It’s not a comprehensive list, there’s a lot more to this Daddy than sandwiches and shoulder rides. There are no prizes or awards for doing any of these things best, but they all add up to make my kids’ Daddy special, that make him Daddy to them. And they’re celebrating that today, with cards that call him a superhero and chocolate. Sure what else would you do on Father’s Day?
Happy Father’s Day Daddy Bumbles!