We teach kids to look for a mommy.
I can’t recall the exact wording, hence the lack of quotes, but that is the gist of what I was told while sitting in a beautiful courtyard on a bright clear morning. All I could smell was juniper and ocean.
I was seated at a table layered in fresh, white linen and even fresher coffee stains with two other men that blog in the parenting space. We were attending an exceptional conference aimed at women in that very same online community, and we had been welcomed by everyone with open arms and mini-bar jokes.
Everyone, apparently, except the woman that sat down and asked if we were vendors. It was an honest mistake and I chalked up her assumption to our snappy dress and boyish good looks. Surely dad bloggers couldn’t look this good.
She introduced herself and we followed suit. It turns out that she owns a company you have probably heard of, and they make a product you probably enjoy. She then, for lack of a better segue, started talking about lost kids and how the philosophy of her company is to tell kids to look for a mommy.
“So a lost child in a park should walk right past all of the dads in order to find someone they think to be a mommy?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, and then she started listing all of the reasons that men should not be trusted. She talked about the crimes men commit. The history of violence against children and women. She gave the facts as casually as if she were asking one of us to pass the butter, and we just looked at her with open mouths and disbelief.
One of the men pointed out that women have committed more than their fair share of crimes against children—in fact, the news is currently full of such sad stories.
She balked at the notion.
I explained that the problem with teaching children that men are bad is that some of them might actually believe it—children that have fathers and brothers or those that will someday be men themselves. It was a terrible and ignorant weight to put on a child.
She nodded for a moment and then continued to make her point.
“That’s bullshit,” I said. Loudly. The shock was palatable. “You can’t prolong a potentially dangerous situation for a lost child by filling their heads with paranoid profiling.”
“We,” and I indicated the men at the table, “have been working far too hard for that kind of nonsense.
My kids know to look for an adult should they get lost, and an obvious dad is as good as an obvious mom when it comes to the welfare and safety of my children.”
She said something else after that, but I was too angry to hear her. I just watched her lips move, and behind her the waves as they crashed upon the sunlit sand and rolled back into the ocean, somewhat saltier and slightly more broken.
Day 4: Went to bed late following the birthday party, which was a rousing success. Woke up early smelling like sweat and chocolate. We attended a morning screening of Pixar’s Monsters University and it was good fun. Then the boys did something while Tricia entertained company and I napped for three hours. It’s been a long week.
Day 5: Father’s Day started with fresh laundry (see sponsored post below), and had many stops along the way before settling down on the couch for the third and fourth installments in the Harry Potter movie series. We hope to get the rest in next weekend. The boys, having recently been on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando, now know what fear is, so they should be okay.
Day 6: It is 9:21 in the a.m., and so far no sign of the children. I heard a toilet flush about an hour ago. My coffee is fantastic.
UPDATED: 9:29 a.m., I heard a door open. Breakfast forthcoming.
Please note, despite the use of the word “Roundup” in the title I do not endorse Monsanto or what they are doing to the health of everything.
This post is clearly sponsored by P&G, makers of Tide and Downy.
Father’s Day started like they all do, me sleeping in upstairs and the house below a shouted whisper. Then there were some cards made at school which were freshly dug from the pits of disregarded backpacks. We followed with brunch, a bit of shopping, and then the four of us hit the couch for a movie marathon and some treats, because what is Father’s Day, or a movie marathon for that matter, without treats?
The boys didn’t “get” me anything—meaning all those lists that come around with the latest gadgets for dad never made it in front of their target audience, mostly because their target audience isn’t allowed to surf the Internet without my supervision, and I am okay with that. All I wanted was time together, and we made the most of that.
My wife, however, did do something for me. She did the laundry, and that was as good as any coffee cup wrist massaging app.
You see, I usually do the laundry. Granted, the boys like to help, where like to help means that there are a number of stores next to the laundromat that they like to frequent. The laundry is my job, and my tools are Tide, Downy, and as many quarters as I can carry. Also, coffee.
The first thing I thought of on Father’s Day was that all of my shorts were dirty, and I had a hunch about my underpants, too. I wasn’t looking forward to spending two hours of my Sunday morning loading, washing, drying, and folding. Or doing laundry.
That’s when I saw it. The basket of laundry by the dresser was clean, and there was light shining down upon it. The stains were gone, so Tide was in on it. The clothes were soft, do Downy had been there, too. Together with my wife and a bunch of quarters they had given me a wonderful Father’s Day gift. They got something similar for the boys.
We all got dressed in our Sunday best shorts and flip-flops, put on our sunglasses, and hit the day smelling of a soft ocean mist. That was Tide and Downy again. They’re givers.
I already know what I’m getting my wife next Mother’s Day.
This coming weekend Tide and Downy are making it possible for my family and a group of friends to have some messy fun in the sun. We are going to have a Tide Party, because, duh, Tide. Yes, I’m that clever. We have some incredible tide pools by our house and we are going to spend an afternoon playing in them. There will be sandcastles, exploring, a picnic, some laughter, and a lot of cleaning up to do. I’ll handle that, and Tide and Downy will help (literally, I expect some pretty muddy clothes by the time our day it done). It promises to be an awesome time.
Just because Father’s Day is over doesn’t mean P&G are forgetting about dads until next June. Dads are active all year, and their stories need to be told! Help Tide and Downy celebrate your dad’s way of parenting by telling a story about dad on Twitter using the hashtag #DadsWay. Whether dad showed strength like Tide or gentleness like Downy their story is worth sharing. Added bonus for strength and gentleness, like Tide with Downy!
And that’s not all! For every tweet sent using the hashtag #DadsWay through June 23, Tide and Downy will donate $1 to the National Fatherhood Initiative. There will also be a Dad’s Way (#dadsway) Twitter Party Thursday, June 20, at 8 p.m. EDT. I’ll be there, and I will smell fantastic.
Ten packed a wallop of melancholy. It turns out that Atticus was as sad about taking one more step into the big unknown as we were watching him go. All we wanted was for things to stay small and huggable. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently so, and with that we have accepted our fates and looked into the big, bright future. There is adventure there, and it is his for the taking.
Happy birthday, Atticus. Make all the wishes you can carry.
This post is sponsored by Procter & Gamble.
Procter & Gamble have long been known as the Proud Sponsor of Moms, and that is great. Moms definitely deserve the thanks and recognition. But what about the dads? Dads do stuff. Never fear, it turns out P&G are also recognizing and celebrating everything dads do for their families, which is nice.
As societal gender roles continue to be redefined, fathers are playing an equally integral role in parenting their children, and not just to score an awesome tie for Father’s Day! In fact, through a recent parenting survey of 2,000 parents (half mothers, half fathers) P&G discovered some fascinating insights on what it means to be a modern dad.
First, what is a modern dad?
of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past: the pace of modern life | modern U.S. history.
• characterized by or using the most up-to-date techniques, ideas, or equipment: they do not have modern weapons.
• [ attrib. ] denoting the form of a language that is currently used, as opposed to any earlier form: modern German.
• [ attrib. ] denoting a current or recent style or trend in art, architecture, or other cultural activity marked by a significant departure from traditional styles and values: Matisse’s contribution to modern art.
one’s father: his dad was with him | what are you making, Dad?
I know that the idea of an active and present dad, a man that lives in the now and uses up-to-date ideas in terms of how he relates to his family and the world is pretty much the norm for most of us, but there is still a lot of work to be done before the media starts portraying fathers more like the guys we all know and less like the guy we all laugh at. P&G wants to be a part of that change, and that is a message that I am proud to support by living it every day. Also, writing this post.
As for the recent survey by P&G, here are their findings in infographic form:
I think the survey results speak for themselves, but I speak for me and… yeah, I pretty much fall into line with the majority of those surveyed. We split the chores—for instance I do most of the laundry and my wife washes most of the dishes. However, the kids do most of the vacuuming, which apparently wasn’t an option. We monitor the online presence of our children. We struggle, daily, with our work/life balance. We like green cake.
And that’s not all! Now the modern dad in your life can be immortalized in an illustration. FOREVER!
P&G’s Thank you, Mom campaign is celebrating dads and everything they do for their families! Check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s happening! Thank you, Mom wants you to fill in the blank and share what makes the dad in your life (No shame in nominating yourself—your kid isn’t allowed on social media yet, remember?) the #WorldsGreatest ____________________.
It’s like Mad Libs, but for Mad Skills.
P&G will be select some of their favorite responses and create custom illustrations to help honor Dads. Share them with your social network, i.e., friends!
Here are a couple of examples:
There are a lot more on their Pinterest page! Check them out and help P&G say Thank you, Dad!
- This month, Tide and Downy are celebrating the unique way that each dad does things
- Everyone has a story about what makes their dad uniquely him. Tell us your story using the hashtag #DadsWay on Twitter
- For every tweet sent out with #DadsWay, Tide and Downy will donate $1 to the National Fatherhood Initiative