Don't Punch Daddy in the Junk & Other Common Daddy Requests.
When I was growing up, I do not recall my dad calling my brother 'buddy' or 'pal' or even 'champ.' He called us by our first names - we weren't his friends, we were his kids. I can't remember a time where I felt the need to karate chop him in the Adam's Apple or my brother kicking him in the junk, nor can I remember yelling any emphatic "Nos" in his face! I can't even stand to think about what would've happened if I did.
Back at the play area, Father #1 sat mindlessly and watched his child play. After looking at his watch he said, "Hey Carson buddy, in about 5 minutes we're going to get moving, mmmmkay, pal?" Carson responded by an open mouth yell of 'NEVERRRRRRR!' Father #1, slightly embarrassed, gave a pathetic giggle and a shrug, and went back to sitting. Several minutes later, he tried again. "Car Car, budddd, it's time to get movin' partner." But Car Car had a surprise for dad as he ran full speed ahead with his hands out, plowing into dad's chest pushing him back a few inches, clearly knocking the wind out of him. "Whooooa champ, that kind of hurt daddy, take it easy would you?" "NO NO NO, WE'RE NOT LEAVINGGGG!" and he took off. (We've all witnessed this child before haven't we..and secretly, aren't we all wishing the parent would scoop him up and throw him over their shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and leave, showing them who is really in charge? But they are like that because they are actually the boss and not the parent, so 9/10 times, that kid is staying until they are good and ready to go!)
I started almost feeling bad for CarCar's dad..but then I didn't. It was time for a good old fashioned ass beating - and dad should've been first in line for it. Just thinking about what my dad would've done had he needed to ask us twice to do something makes me cringe. (As an added side note however, with my children, my father will ask 6 times and pleasantly, happily a 7th - he is not the same man - I guess all bets are off with grandchildren. Sometimes I walk in to find them climbing on his back and pulling his nose up by the nostrils while twisting it at the same time and I'm horrified - but he insists I not intervene because they are having a great time - who IS this man?)
Back to the play area. As I looked around, I noticed another boy, kicking his dad in the shin. "That's one strong kick you got there kiddo! Now let's get your shoes and coat on and head home." He handed the boy his shoes that weren't allowed in the play area and the boy threw them right back at him. "I don't WANT to put my shoes on! I want to stay and play!" "OK let's make a deal, 10 more minutes and then we go home sound good?" and he goes on to high five his son. (Nice job dad! Way to take control of the situation! After taking a shoe to the chest, following a shin kick, you let him con you into 10 more minutes and closed the deal with a high five! Awesome parenting skills!)
Boys...boys..boys. Do you not recall getting beaten by your father when you were a child? Do you not remember the words, "I'll give you something to cry about!" Did you swear you'd never be like your dad and vow to be best buds with your kids? Clearly, threats and beatings were not the answer for you - but do you need to go to the other end of the spectrum and be ridiculed by your own kids? Don't make empty threats! If you say something then mean it. These are kids we're dealing with here. They need structure, they need discipline, and they need you to mean it when you say something. If you let them be the boss, they will have ice cream for breakfast and they will stay up until 11:30. Somebody's got to man up here...and it has to be Pops!
It was time for us to go. I yelled, "Boys, time to get your shoes on and head out!" I noticed the men looked over my way, desperate for guidance on how it's done. My boys headed over, words of discontent just about to slip out of their mouths. I had to act fast, I couldn't let these guys see me sweat. I cut the boys off at the pass and said quietly with my hand slightly covering my mouth, "If we leave nicely I will take you to get ice cream on the way home." 'YEAAAAAAAHHH, LET'S GO HOME,' they yelled. I looked over at the two men sitting in the bench as they stared in awe and gave them a wink. ( I totally had the situation under control, but ok, I cheated this time, just in case it was my turn for a tantrum..look, I never said moms were flawless, though we are pretty damn close!)
Look let's be honest, it's all about bribes, negotiations and deals, but in the end, they have to know who is boss. Time to get the big boy boxers on, stop trying to be their bro, and start being their dad. After all, any man can be a father but it takes one strong dude to be a dad.
Clink! Cheers to parenting..however you do it...it's the toughest job in the world.