Dad Olympics... Who's In?

Dad Olympics... Who's In?

So I was thinking that a "Dad Olympics" might be fun. The events could include:
  • Tying a tie
    • Or a bowtie, yikes!
  • Fixing a broken toy
    • Not just a +LEGO item, but their favorite toy.
  • Finding +ESPN on ANY cable provider
    • +NCAA Football and +NFL games run on different networks. Can you beat the kickoff whistle or will you be watching replays?
  • How much concrete/lumber/or nails do you need for a project?
    • Math... grrr. Well, this playground ain't gonna build itself. Thanks a lot +Home Depot.
  • Selecting the best lure/bait for a particular fish given atmospheric conditions and water temperature.
    • If you read +Bassmaster magazine this should be no problem.
  • Selecting the best golf club for a given hole provided yardage and green-speed... Then make the putt.
    • This is the most difficult and could be a gold-medal event.
  • First-Aid. You don't have to be the +American Red Cross but, come on, you're the dad!
    • Removing a bee's stinger and finding where you, or mommy, put the cleaning wipes and band-aids.
    • An alternate event for this could be finding a straw and "sucking it up!".
    • Yet another event could be first-aid for your daughter. How to keep from sobbing yourself when your little girl is hurt and crying uncontrollably.

It sounds kind of silly, maybe even fun, but what are you passing on to your children? "Typically" dads are the masculine, grass-cutting, oil-changers of the family. Are you teaching your children? Even if you don't have any boys and a house-full of four daughters (I know a guy like that) do they know how they should be cared for or to care for themselves? It may sound a bit chauvinistic but it's my opinion and I'm entitled to it. I know of driving-age girls that don't know what to do when their car dies on the interstate. It's a scary experience so what are you teaching them? Boys, too, but typically girls are a bit more sensitive about being stranded.

My sons wear zip-up ties for now and often see me tying a bow-tie on with ease. I shave with a straight razor and sometimes I share the soapy-froth of my badger-haired applicator brush and "shave" my boys' face (sans razor). I regularly include, or exclude for safety reasons, every member of the family when it's time to build something. If nothing else, the children stand a safe distance away from the table saw while I cut a new bird house; each child wearing his and her-own safety glasses and ear protection. My oldest two love golf and are so much better than me at it that I don't take but one of them with me at a time. At least it gives me a chance. With four children we've had plenty of experience to treat a myriad of injuries from a broken leg on a trampoline (pretty incredible), to splitting heads open because she wanted to see if she could see with her eyes closed (it made more sense to her), and plenty of bumps and bruises that they give one another. Side note... one of my favorite sites, from which the image at right came from, is +Art of Manliness. I encourage you to check it out.

I'm not saying that I'm gold-medal material but I'd certainly be making a run for the podium! Unfortunately, our children are always learning which means that all the times we make snide comments about a neighbor, speak poorly about our spouse under our breath or to their face, and exhibit generally "bad" behavior, our children soak up every moment of it. Remember, their ears haven't been damaged by loud music and industrial noise yet and they hear every word we say... sometimes what we think, too. 

Oh! That reminded me of something funny my wife said last night. 
"Andy Warhol poops on a canvas and we call it art."
"If you poop in your pants it's called a fart."
I corrected her and reminded her it's called a "shart". After a quick Wiki... well, do your own fact-checking.

Fortunately the kids were already in bed asleep so we enjoyed that moment almost to tears in laughter. But there again, it was a "safe zone" in which we could talk to one another like adults and share a crude moment without the chastisement of our children's eyes. Even they have gotten to the point where they are beginning to correct one another and us when they see or hear something inappropriate. Good on them!

This should all be Fatherhood-101 stuff but how do other dynamics affect it? What about single-parent families that don't have a feminine counterpart to provide the protagonist/antagonist? What about military families that may act as single-parent units for many months out of the year? How does death or long-term illness affect the sender-receiver relationship? I'll tell you, only because it's a shorter topic, that military life is a very tumultuous experience for a child and the younger they are the worse it is. The physical and emotional attachments are harder to solidify and nearly impossible depending on the sex of the child and emotional state of the returning member. The long-term effects can be explained like this: Look at any imaginable outcome and take a magnifying glass to it. It doesn't "fix itself" and you can't ignore the problem. This is where organizations, like the +National Fatherhood Initiative that has a host of resources for first-time and veteran dads, are a god-send.

I know it's not +FATHERS DAY but enjoy the free advice. There's plenty more where that came from! You don't get a second chance at this folks. Do it right and Never Quit!

#fatherhood #manliness #fatherhood101 #dad #beingadad #dadolympics


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