10 Ways to Get the Kids to Love You: What it’s like to be a stay-at-home dad, Answer 7.

by doodaddy on October 10, 2008

I complain about being too noticed, not noticed enough, and noticed in the wrong way. None of that matters even a little bit, though, because kids — not all kids, but enough — love me.

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:

  1. Dangle children upside down.
  2. Provide salty snacks. Ruin lunches.
  3. Replace words in “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with vaguely naughty but meaningless expressions.
  4. Tell freakishly random, caffeine-induced stories with strong morals.
  5. Hang upside down and lose loose change.
  6. Smuggle in playground contraband (for example, sidewalk chalk).
  7. Find millipedes and worms, share them with children, then let them pretend that they found the critters by themselves.
  8. Extend the 5-second rule to ten or twenty seconds. Or minutes.
  9. Perform dangerous acrobatics with no concern for spine.
  10. 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.)

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tagged as in playground,stay-at-home dad ·

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mocha Dad October 10, 2008 at 8:46 am

I use the same tactics to entertain the kids. That’s why I often receive the "Dad is More Fun Than Mom" prize. Not that it’s a competition.

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Jerri Ann October 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

Look, I’m doing my darnedest to send “daddy” to paint paperbag pumpkins at 1pm but he is not cooperating…or lest I say his boss is not cooperating. Well, no really, it isn’t even that, things just aren’t working out as I had planned ….and with my head on the verge of a migraine, I’m afraid some well planned pumpkin colored paint and 20 loud children along with some vicious momma’s could very well cause me to just tip right on over the edge. That would be 2 of these darn headaches in one week and to think…all over a paper bag pumpkin? Sounds pretty pathetic to me, eh?

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Lynnie October 10, 2008 at 10:58 am

Ha! I like the naughty words one! It’s amazing how much mileage you can get out of a simple word like “bum” when your audience is under 5! Alas, I think it’s a bit harder to be “cool” as they grow older.

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orlund October 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Little kids are fun because it is the simple things that keep them amused on the other hand it seems that they suck the most amount of energy.

Keep having fun!

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creative-type dad October 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm

You could start your own amusement park

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doodaddy October 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm

@Mocha Dad – No, of course it’s not a competition. It can’t be a competition if I hide the scorecard under my pillow and don’t show it to anyone… ever…

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doodaddy October 12, 2008 at 5:24 pm

@Jerri Ann – Yipe. Daddy needs to step up. Or maybe you can hire a new one for the weekend…

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doodaddy October 12, 2008 at 5:24 pm

@orlund – I know what you mean. I could play with Fern for an hour on the same amount of energy it takes to get her socks on when she doesn’t want them…

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doodaddy October 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm

@creative-type dad – Six Geeks Nerdy Mountain? Dorkneyland, perhaps? (That’s Eurodork for you continentals.)

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DadStuff October 12, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Getting a lot of questions wrong that four year olds can answer is also a good way to get on their side.
In my case, it has happen inadvertently before.

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doodaddy October 14, 2008 at 12:09 am

@DadStuff – Ooooh, I forgot that one! I love that one!

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