The Lottery Dad Prank

My dad reminded me of this today…

Back in the 90’s I recorded the lotto on TV. I wrote down the winning numbers and when my dad asked me to go to the newsagents the following week I duly obliged by picking the previous week’s winning numbers.

When we were all sitting down watching TV, I played the recorded lotto from the week before and my dad lost his sh!t because he thought we’d won. There was yahoo-ing and yeehaa-ing for about 60 seconds until the recording ended and the EastEnders omnibus cut in….he once again lost his sh!t.

Good times. Bad loser

Digital Dad: How I Went From Superhero to Supervillain

It was a tradition in my old place of work (and hopefully still is) that whenever somebody left the company they would be given a large A3 card with a photoshopped image of themselves on the front. The card would be signed by all the staff, and typically the photoshopped image referenced the employee’s personality or the sterling work that they had done during their time in the company.

My card was that of Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal the Superman logo and suit underneath. My face was superimposed on Mr Kent’s body, and the reference I can assure you was not that I was a ‘Superman’ but rather Mr. Geek Chic like Clark himself.

Fast forward 12 months, and my then three year old – Thing 1 – who was (and still is) a Superhero fanatic came across the card as we were clearing out the spare room. He literally froze in astonishment staring at the card while momentarily glancing back and forth between me and my now alter ego Superman. He couldn’t believe it. He genuinely thought that I was once Superman (the man boobs giving away my early retirement) and not one to disappoint I took on this role with aplomb and embellished it for all it was worth.

I told tales of Lex Luthor, detailed my battles with General Zod, explained the menace that was Darkseid and talked about sharing burgers with Spiderman and Batman in Planet Hollywood. He loved it. I loved it. He saw me as Superman – my wife saw me as a SuperPrat but it didn’t matter because Thing 1 was ecstatic and as any parent will know that’s all the matters. No Kryptonite in the world was going to change this.

As time went on and Thing 1 got older, he continued to ask me questions about my cape-flying ways. Every book we read and every toy shop we visited resulted in further recounts of embellished tales of my superhero days. To be honest, I thought that he’d outgrow it and granted I didn’t extinguish the myth but being honest, I loved it.

I loved that he was still so innocent as to think that the Dadbod standing in front of him was once Superman. My wife, the real superhero in the house, could only stand back and dream about having a husband with a six pack and bulging biceps.

Superdad

Yesterday, everything changed however.

Sitting down for dinner, I asked Thing 1 about his day. As usual, he had a great time in school and mentioned that he played superheroes with his friends. But he said that when he told his friend that I was Superman, his friend laughed at him. When asked how this made him feel he said ‘Not good’.

I looked at my Wonder Woman wife, and together our hearts sank. I’d have to tell him. I’d have to shatter my his dreams and I’d have to do it before school the next day. I felt both sadness and joy that this little boy was still so innocent that he believed everything I told him.

So this morning I faced the biggest battle of my Superhero career. I got up early with Thing 1 and as we sat together having breakfast I told him that I wasn’t Superman. I explained about the photoshopped card and that when he first saw it he was too young to understand.

He seemed to take it all in but what came out of his mouth next almost floored me…’So you were never a crime-fighter daddy?’ ‘No son I wasn’t. Does that make you sad?’ He turned away with watery eyes and proceeded to finish his Weetabix– the same Weetabix that I told him helped me with my super powers. I felt awful, and if I’m being honest I was close to tears myself.

We hugged and in fairness to the little guy, he took it in his stride and moved on pretty quickly. We went about building some Lego structures, and I withstood every urge I had to tell him that I was once a Lego character… I’ll tell him another time, I thought.

Thinking back to all the fun we had over the years discussing superhero tales and battles, I don’t think I would have changed anything. Kids are innocent and that’s one of the loveliest things about them. I genuinely felt emotional seeing Thing 1’s face change when he realised that I wasn’t the crime fighter he thought I was, but it was better he found out now than be made fun of about it in school.

This whole episode taught me a very valuable life lesson about how gullible kids are, and I’ll be extra conscious in future about the type of ‘tales’ I tell them. One thing is for sure though, I’m absolutely dreading the day that I have to tell them about the Easter Bunny.

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them

Signing off,

SuperDad

 

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Digital Dad: Is Daddy Pig tarnishing ‘brand Dad’?

So, for the third time in as many bank holiday weekends I found myself at home with my three boys – Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3 – while my wife was away. There was a time when the thought of this would have filled me with dread but as I’ve fine-tuned my parenting skills I tend to look forward to it now (her being away that is!).

Yes, I could easily go down the route of writing about the trials and tribulations of my four days with my boys but I’ve done that before so instead I’m going to focus on the reaction that I – and I’m sure many dads like me – receive when one hears that I’m minding the kids for a number of days. There’s usually a snigger, a laugh, a pat on the back or a mock prayer to wish me well.

These, of course, are all in jest and if you know me or follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I like a laugh

BUT I can’t help thinking that in a society where typically stay-at-home parents tend to be mums, is there a deep-rooted feeling that dads aren’t ‘really’ capable of looking after their kids as well as mums?

Dad with Kids

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home dad. It’s just not for me. A few months back I saluted the stay-at-home/single parentbecause more often than not it’s a thankless, stressful job, so I absolutely take my digital hat off to anybody that does fulfill that role whether by choice or circumstance.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be able to do it though. Or that I wouldn’t be bloody good at it either. I would. And I say that not with arrogance but with utter confidence.

Gone for the most part are what I call the ‘Shirley Valentine’ days where the ‘man’ goes out to work and comes home to a glistening house, a steak meal and a few cans in the fridge.

Granted, some people still live this way and if it works for everybody involved then fair play. I’m not one to judge. It’s just not how I and Mrs. DD live. As both working parents we tend to come home and divide up the tasks (cooking, feeding, washing, wiping, playing, homework, laundry etc) as evenly as we can…..granted I’m more the wiper than the chef.

I just think in this day and age, dads probably still aren’t given the credit that they deserve when it comes to raising their kids. Or rather, people don’t have the belief that dads can do a great job (or as good a job as mum) raising their kids.

Certainly, cartoons like Peppa Pig, where Daddy Pig is the stereotypical family buffoon or likewise Homer Simpson or Fred Flintstone, don’t exactly help matters.

And before anyone mentions it, I’m aware that I usually take the tongue-in-cheek approach when writing about parenting but I can assure you that I do this consciously because, well, that’s my personality and I only ever write about things that I’ve experienced/observed as a dad hence I like to think I know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I’m sure I could go on and on about this but I’m more interested in getting your thoughts on it. So, if I’ve managed to hold your attention thus far, let me know how you think dads/men are perceived in the parenting sphere regardless of whether you’re a brilliant mum or a brilliant dad.

Thanks

DD

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My Homemade Haircut Disaster

Thing 2 will be four in October and to look at him you’d think he came off the set of Point Break (think Bodhi). He has a blond curly mop of unkempt hair – unlike me but very much like our postman – that can at times obscure his vision but damn he’s a cutie.

Lately, however, we began to feel like the lack of grooming might be cruel as the constant brushing of his fringe away from his eyes made him look like he was constantly saluting us. I would always salute back.

I had planned to take him to my barber aka. the ten minute €10 haircut which has served me well for many a year – “short back and sides and leave the Jedward fringe please”. Our five-year-old now goes there too and like me, he’s in and out in a jiffy.

Thing 2, however, is a different beast. He’s more stubborn. He’s crankier. He’s more of a live wire. He’s Bodhi, a law into himself. As he gets older I’m hopeful sure he’ll mellow but to bring him to the barber would be a stretch too far for this cowardly dad…I just didn’t need the hassle or the stress.

Home Haircut

I had promised my darling wife that I wouldn’t give him a home cut but while the cat’s away, or rather at a yoga class, I decided to get the scissors out and strategically sheer him.

I had only ever done a home cut once before and although Thing 1 did end up looking like a Benedictine Monk I was convinced that I could do a better job with a lighter wavier head of hair. I was wrong.

A few snips here and a few snips there and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. In between chats about Paw Patrol and Mike the Knight we also played ‘I Spy’ until my ‘I Spy’ challenge resulted in Thing 2 shouting “the floor” and rapidly moving his head downwards.

Now while he got the answer right (“I Spy with my little eye something we stand on”) he also managed to lose half his fringe…the vertical half. I gasped. Half a floppy fringe and half a spiky scalpy fringe…no comb-over in the world was going to fix this atrocity. Bodhi was now long gone. What sat in front of me could only be described as a cross between Donald Trump and Flock of Seagulls.

As my adrenaline kicked in and Trump Seagull stared up at me I started to panic. Fine, the hair would grow back but my wife was going to be home soon so I was unclear what was in store for me.

It took a few days before we could make proper eye contact with Trump Seagull without cringing (thank god I collect trucker caps) and another few days for me to acknowledge that my sheering days were over.

My claims that it would have been easier if we had had a girl because it would be a simpler straighter cut (I was talking pure sh**e), fell on deaf ears.

To non-parents, this may not sound like a big ordeal and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t. The thing about cutting your child’s hair is the first unbearable ‘half fringed’ glimpse of them as a non-baby. We had waited 3 years and now he was a no longer our helpless little dude.

He has been shorn – had you seen him you might even say ‘branded’ – he is more grown up, more expressive, still cute but less cuddly. He is more Wall Street than Sesame Street.

I haven’t touched a pair of scissors since but we do have another son so third time lucky, who knows? In the meantime however the full salute has been reduced to a half salute and I continue to pray for the welcome return of Bodhi.

DD


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Digital Dad: Things I learned As A Parent Last Week

From Russian roulette to Santa bribes, here are 27 things that I learned as a parent over the past few weeks…

1.It only took two phone calls to Santa this morning to get the boys ready for school. Result.

2. Everywhere is a potential bed if you try hard enough.

3. Nobody is better at Hide-and-Seek than my wife when she hands me the kids after I walk in the door from work.

4. YAAAAY bath time.

  • 10 mins of tactical negotiations to get the kids into the bath.
  • 5 mins of screaming about how hot the water is (it’s not).
  • 1 min of fighting about which end of the bath my 4yo & 6yo want
  • 3 mins of screaming about getting shampoo in their eyes (I didn’t )
  • 5 mins of laughing as all 3 do farts in the bath- 2 mins of panic while we realise that Thing 3 (our toddler) ‘sharted’ not farted
  • 2 mins of ‘full monty’ dancing
  • 3 mins of post evacuation chasing of Thing 1 & Thing 2 in order to get them dry and dressed.

Parenting (with clean kids). So much fun.

5. My toddler should write a book called “Why one sock is better than two”.

6. My 4yo should write a book called “Why I never wait for the sun to come up”.

7. My 6yo should write a book called “Why I want to be a Lego Master Builder”.

8. *from upstairs to downstairs*

4yo: “DAAAAD. I got poo in my hair”

Me: “That’s not possible. Go to sleep”

Turns out it is possible. #ByeByePillow

9. “Noooo I want to do it, I want to do it. I said I WANTED TO DO IT” – my 4yo’s nightmare last night, presumably about traffic light buttons.

10. If you’re ever concerned about your kid’s hearing, just open a bag of crisps from another room.

11. it’s always fun to find a mushed up banana stuffed between your ‘no longer new’ couch.

12. Conjunctivitis.com – now there’s a site for sore eyes. #DadJoke

13. Parenting Russian Roulette – Undressing a standing toddler and removing the nappy not knowing if anything will fall out or slide down. I lost

14. Asking your kids to clean up their toys while you hold a large black bin liner is EXTREMELY effective. Try it.

15. It’s slowly dawning on me that the only way I’m going to ever use a gym is if I go to prison.

16. DING DONG.

Sales Caller: “Oh…..Hello there. Is your Mummy or Daddy there?”

4yo: “No”…while slowly closing door.

Sales Caller: *puzzled look*

Me: *feeling proud (as I hide) that he executed it perfectly*

#WitchingHour #GoAway #WorstTimeToCall

17. I can’t believe I was naive enough to think “a soft play centre will never see a cent of my money”

18. School photos; because who needs money to buy groceries this week.

19. My kids have reached that stage where they blame their farts on their mum now. Is it bad that I’m somewhat proud that they’ve reached this milestone?

20. Last Saturday my 4yo son took off his shoes, top and jeans and stood in a display shower in Homebase while waving at customers.

21. Meanwhile, my 6yo dressed up in full Nerf ‘combat’ gear yesterday just to kill a bug. I swear I could hear the bug p***ing himself…laughing.

22. If you’re bored, a fun thing to do is tell your kids that it’s time for bed, and repeat it again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and….you get the picture

23. “Ugh. I’m not eating that, it’s yucky” he says about tiny bruise on banana.

The same can’t be said for a stringy snot however (as I type ‘n’ wretch)

#OurFourYearOld

24. Cleaning your house is pointless if your children are going to continue living there.

25. I thought I was a normal person until my 4yo son asked me if “I’d eat a bowl of dog poo for 3 million euro pound money”

26. Never ever lose instructions for a newly bought Lego spaceship. #SundayRuined

27. I’m thinking of setting up a ‘Nap Club’. It’ll be kinda like a book club just without the books or the talking.

Let me know if you’re interested – SIGN UP HERE

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Best,

DD


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