Things Every Father Should Know (the lesser list)

Quote of the Day     “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.”     Ephesians 6:4

TB was reminded yesterday by one of you loyal readers that a “lesser list” has not been posted in some time. I was also told about the good knowledge passed on from my Father’s Day lesser list and how it has improved his life. I therefore resolved to add to the “lesser list” library with a post that I hope can help just one current or aspiring father be the best they can be.  These are things every father should know:

  1. How to sleep on a postage stamp sized area of your bed (thank you SC for passing info to me years ago.  It has served me well).
  2. How to sneak in to your own house so you can get a little Xbox or Laptop time away from the little terror light of your life.  This means a smooth lock mechanism, non-squeaky shoes, quickness and a pre-planned route. And keep your head down. Eye contact loses all.
  3. How to always be sure plenty of food guaranteed to be welcome to your little gourmand’s palate is in the house when you are charged with solo duty at dinner time.  At my house, this means cereal, crackers, cheese and ice cream, otherwise known as a vegetarian meal featuring dairy, protein, calcium, and whole grains.
  4. That you must sing, but not necessarily those fruity sounding children’s tunes. Buffett tunes can be soothing at bedtime (I use Come Monday), Little River Band’s “Time for a cool change” will get you through a hostile diaper change, John Lennon’s “all we are saying, is give peas a chance” will often work at meal time, and Van Halen’s “Jump” will get your toddler hopping all over the room and expending precious energy, thereby allowing you to move on to Buffett earlier and maybe have time to watch The Daily Show before bed.  
  5. Give in to any and all demands made of you so you can at all cost hold open Saturdays for watching football.  Use this: “Babe, you know I don’t go out, I don’t watch TV, I’ll take you anywhere you want to go on Fridays and the rest of the year, all I ask is for these twelve Saturdays.”  Of course, if you are among the .000000001 percent of the population on the “free pass” system, this isn’t necessary, is it MD?  
  6. Get plenty of potassium and stretch. A Dad must be limber enough to pass cereal, cookies and crackers to the back seat, holding his palm up in a cupped position, while maintaining a safe lookout and keeping a speeding vehicle between the lines. This involves the difficult twisting of muscles heretofore only twisted in unsuccessful wrestling matches before age 10 with your older brother or neighborhood toughs.
  7. Always jump at the opportunity to change a wet diaper. And know the schedule.
  8. When called upon to read aloud the same twelve word, five page book twenty-seven times consecutively, mix up your voices, add words, change words, turn it upside down–anything to preserve your sanity. Once lost, it cannot be regained, and contrary to popular opinion, you don’t either retain sanity or lose it all at once. No, my friend, it slips away one reading at a time.
  9. You are no longer tough enough, wealthy enough or man enough to ignore a good coupon.
  10. Forget this cliche–“Father knows best.”
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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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8 Responses to Things Every Father Should Know (the lesser list)

  1. supercynic says:

    A very wise and astute list. Just some off the cuff additions:

    1. There will come a time while a child is young when the child can, in the middle of the night, sit up in his/her cradle, but can’t lie back down. This period lasts for about a week. So, for 7 nights you’ll get up bleary-eyed to lay your child back down. Or maybe my child was just a complete spaz.

    2. Before children know how to talk, you can curse all you want around them. You cannot know the day at which your cursing should stop. The time at which your child will mimic you is always one day before you realize you should cease speaking freely in front of the child.

    3. Logic is not needed in parenting. Indeed, it’s an impediment. Here’s a typical conversation with my 6-year old: “Daddy, I want to go to [her friend’s house].” “No, honey, you can’t. You spent all day at [other friend’s house], now it’s time to get a bath and go to bed. You have school tomorrow. You spent this whole day doing what you wanted, so please don’t whine now that you can’t get this one thing. You can’t get everything you want all the time.” Pause. “Daddy, I want to go to [her friend’s house].”

    4. Develop high-frequency hearing loss. This has helped me avoid numerous responsibilities. “Oh, was she crying? I didn’t hear.” “I didn’t know she was asking for some water. Thanks for getting it…….C’mon, Ole Miss. Catch the ball!”

  2. supercynic says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to add the necessary ending to every story about your kids that’s not gushy. “But I love ’em.”

  3. Madd Dawg says:

    One more: if you have more than one child close to the same age, use wisdom is selecting a fair and foolproof method for settling all dipsutes whether it be the flip of a coin, rock paper scissors, etc. Based upon my extensive research, the judicious use of such a method will reduce fights from an average of 137 per day to an average of 98 per day.

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    My mother just whipped our ass with a flip flop and dared us to ask any further questions when settling disputes! That and a raised eyebrow worked everytime on the discipline end. All of this is an advertisement for only having one to contend with.

  5. sweet says:

    another reason why I love LJB …..”whipped our ass with a flip flop” wooooooo – my mom poured tabasco down my throat when I sassed…..A Christmas Story (Ralphie – narrator) “I found that palmolive had a nice pe-con (in french) after dinner flavor, Lifebouy on the other hand……

  6. zeek says:

    Forget the kids, I wanna know How to get on the “free pass” program!!!From what I understand it is a beautiful system.

  7. Madd Dawg says:

    You don’t have the sack to even request, must less invent and operate within the confines of (if any), the legendary pass system.

  8. zeek says:

    I will have you know I have never broken a law that did not deserve it, or is it broke every one that didn’t deserve it? Oh well, the point is: your having to formalize a system that has confines(shudder/flashback) only proves your lack of true Rebelness/Renegadism(I just invented those words,by the way) and conforms to an oppressive notion of fidelity that I refuse to be a party to. What the hell, just lie and be a man like everyone else!!!

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