I’m mature enough to acknowledge that this popularity has absolutely nothing to do with me. I brainwash the kids into thinking I’m cool, and here’s how. I frequently:
- Dangle children upside down.
- Provide salty snacks. Ruin lunches.
- Replace words in “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with vaguely naughty but meaningless expressions.
- Tell freakishly random, caffeine-induced stories with strong morals.
- Hang upside down and lose loose change.
- Smuggle in playground contraband (for example, sidewalk chalk).
- Find millipedes and worms, share them with children, then let them pretend that they found the critters by themselves.
- Extend the 5-second rule to ten or twenty seconds. Or minutes.
- Perform dangerous acrobatics with no concern for spine.
- Paint my toenails, then wear sandals.
Sure, I’m cheap. I pander to four-year olds’ tastes with my goofball gimmicks. But I don’t care: one nice thing about being the dad on the playground is that some kids really like dads for that sort of thing.
(Don’t worry, moms — I know they love you for everything else, and probably most everything important, too.)