It’s always cool to be a dad, but this week is prime time! The Father’s Day cards and gifts have been bought and it seems the Internet is a bit more abundant in “dad stuff” this week. I’ll share a few examples of what I am seeing…
Here’s a funny music video about poppin’ bottles; the song totally gets stuck in my head when I watch it:
And there’s this classy commercial Sears put out about dads being heroes, which I definitely approve of:
“He’s just super, ’cause he’s my dad.”
I like this guy’s comment on the video on YouTube, which itself earned 67 thumbs up:
I feel like in the past 3 years as I’ve been “daddy blogging,” I’m starting to noitice that I’m spending less time writing about examples of how dads are portrayed as idiots in media, and instead, spending more time spotlighting the examples of dads being celebrated instead.
That’s really exciting for me to see.
Sure, some of these examples I’ve shown today are lighthearted and show the dads poking fun of themselves, but that’s part of the celebration.
Fortunately, it’s becoming taboo for companies to portray the dad as a goofball. But it goes back to the concept that it’s better to make the crowd laugh yourself than to have them laugh at you at your expense thanks to someone else.
I definitely don’t mind laughing at myself. After all, it’s in my wiring to want to make people laugh… I’m a guy!
For the rest of this week, dads will officially be publicly celebrated. But in many households, dads are celebrated more than one special week a year.
Over the weekend Mommy and I took you to the pool, just in time for the weather to turn overcast, therefore demotivating us from our desire earlier that morning to want to go swimming in the first place.
Being a guy who drinks a minimum of 3 liters of water a day, I naturally had to disappear for a minute or so, soon after we arrived, as Mommy helped you get your feet acquainted with the cold water in the kiddie pool.
As I made my way to the men’s restroom, I saw a woman standing in the doorway.
Actually, “standing” is not a good word to use. “Anxiously pacing, rocking back and forth, biting her fingernails” would be the way I would like to describe it; because that’s clearly how I remember her.
Turns out I was only steps behind the woman’s 11 year-old son as he walked into the restroom. I’ve been in a similar situation before, so I braced myself for the 90 seconds of awkwardness that was about to unfold.
Right in the middle of the boy trying to do his thing, in the stall next to me, I heard the mom yell (and I mean yell) into the restroom:
“Ethan? Ethan! Are you okay in there? Ethan?”
Of course, in his embarrassment, he delayed answering right away.
So again, his mother screamed, “Ethan? How is everything? Are you okay in there?”
This time he managed to murmur a “yeah” just loud enough for her to hear.
The boy and I were in perfect syncopation. As we washed our hands side by side at the sinks, I wanted to say, “Hey man, sorry about what’s going on right now. I know you feel embarrassed by what’s going on. Plus, I know you know I’m just a regular guy, not a creep. In fact, I have a wife and a 2 and a half-year old son just down the hall. I want out of this situation just as much as you do.”
But I didn’t say a word or even look at him.
It was a long 90 seconds, but it finally came to an end as both the boy and I left the restroom at the same time, with the boy’s mother waiting for us there at the door with a very worried look on her face.
This story isn’t about the mom who I am making out to be a wee bit overprotective, or the 11 year-old son who I am making out the be the embarrassed victim of that wee overprotective mom.
Instead, this story is about me; the random guy who just happened to walk into the restroom the same exact time as that boy.
The way I see it, there’s nothing I could have done or said differently to the boy or his mom to help the situation; that would have only made it worse.
So I guess what I am saying is, sometimes as a grown-man entering a public restroom without his own son in tow, I just have to be okay with certain assumptions being made about me.
When we pull into our neighborhood each afternoon, there are two ways to drive to our house: Turn right and get there quicker, or continue going straight for the slightly longer scenic route that circles around.
Of course, every day you say, “Go straight! Go straight!”
Then I respond with, “Go straight, what?”
(“Please” is the implied answer, obviously.)
Upon request, I always go straight to appease you. But Tuesday, you were distracted by the commercial airplane flying right over us (we basically live in the landing path of the Nashville airport) so I just turned right to save time.
“No, Daddy! NO! Go straight! Straight, Daddy!” you protested.
But I had already committed to my right turn and we had already been in the car nearly an hour by that point. I didn’t turn back around and “go straight.”
Therefore, you began crying real tears, so emotionally caught up that you could barely hear through my remedy as we sat in the parked car in front of our house:
“Jack, just calm down a little bit and we’ll go inside and see Mommy. I didn’t go straight today but it’s okay. I can’t always give you exactly what you want, when you want it. I need you to be okay with that. All you have to do right now is calm down a little bit and I’ll get you out of your seat.”
Basically, you had to stay in a 4 minute impromptu “strapped in the car seat” time-out session with me as I listened to classic 1984 Bruce Springsteen, but not your favorite song of his, “Dancing In The Dark.”
It’s similar to the assigned seats you’ve given Mommy and I on the couch. If I sit on the wrong end of the couch, you often get so upset that the end result is me turning off the laptop; meaning you can’t finish watching monster trucks clip on YouTube.
My lesson is typically and simply this: Just chill out and you’ll get what you want from me, most of the time.
But I have to know you’re okay with letting the answer be “no” sometimes, because the more you’re okay with “no,” the more likely I am to say “yes” the next time.
Needless to say, the day after your “Daddy, go straight!” meltdown/time-out in the car situation, you immediately said, “Daddy, you go straight? Please?” as soon as we turned into our neighborhood. Nice planning and prevention on your part, Son.
You got your way. Maybe my plan is slowly working.
So, Internet trolls laced the comments section of the Cheerios ad with hateful messages of racism.
As you’re about to see in the ad, a biracial family is featured. The Internet trolls used this as a target to upset people… and unfortunately, they were very successful.
They were so successful that the comments on the ad have since been deleted. Plus, no one can leave a comment on the ad anymore, because of the Internet trolls’ success of basically making it seem like America is full of outspoken racists.
But I do believe that America has enough select sick people to cause a riot on the Internet. They knew the masses would be angered. They knew that the overwhelming majority of Americans are not racists and would get quite a rise out of the trolls’ racist remarks.
Unlike the traditional racist who is very ignorant yet extremely focused on hating a certain group of people, Internet trolls are careless about who they indirectly hate. I don’t know which is worse…
Okay, I told you that the “Just Checking” Cheerios ad is awesome. Here it is:
As a daddy blogger who is extremely focused on spotlighting ads, TV shows, and movies that feature dads in a positive and active role, I love (!) this ad.
I noticed that the acting is superb. It’s so believable and candid, that I actually caught myself thinking, “What a cool family.”
Then I reminded myself they’re just actors.
This ad is fresh, funny, and promotes good health. And for the fact that you eat Cheerios in a plastic baggy every morning on the way to school, I can even say that we honestly support the product they’re selling.
That doesn’t happen very often in this health-nut family you’re a part of.
P.S. Beware of Internet trolls, even in the comments section of this, too!
You’ve had My Pal Scout (by LeapFrog) since you were a newborn. He’s a toy you’ve literally grown up with. However, it’s now at age 2 and a half that Scout is truly relevant to your life more than ever.
Now that you can talk, it’s like Scout has truly come to life! He’s a real talking puppy… at least, I think that’s what you think.
Sometimes to stall going to bed, you’ll ask for socks from the closet, then see a toy you haven’t played with in the past 4 months; ever since you became obsessed with monster trucks, that is.
That happened to be the case with Scout.
“Jack, let me show you how to play with him. If you want to play games, just press this red ball of yarn on his paw,” I explained.
Scout began talking to you:
“Hi Jack, wanna play?”
In a half-second’s time of confusion, astonishment, and wonder, I saw your eyebrows go up as you excitedly and hesitantly replied with a smile, “Yeah!”
Then Scout continued to engage you: “My favorite animal is a giraffe. Jack, is that your favorite animal too?”
How could it be that this green puppy who has been hanging out in the closet has the same interests as you? He even likes bananas, as you do, and sang about them to you.
Granted, Mommy customized Scout online a couple years ago to say your name and interests. But to you, he’s a cool dog who can talk.
And so the bromance began. All last weekend, Scout was your buddy. You were sort of bummed that I wouldn’t let you take him to the zoo.
At least I let you eat dinner with him.
I think Mommy just needs to program Scout to say he likes monster trucks… then you’ll really be all set!