Thursday, September 27th, 2012
We modern dads can be a sensitive crowd, as learned from this year’s Huggies fiasco. It comes down to the fact we don’t want to portrayed as the idiots that sitcoms and commercials have made us look like throughout recent decades.
I have pointed out several times by now the cliche about men freaking out when changing their kid’s diaper. It’s so annoying to see another token image of a goofball dad holding his nose or making a theatrical face while taking care of “diaper doody.”
Unless, that image is part of Dave Engledow’s “World’s Best Father” photo series, which is currently buzzing on the Internet. (Let’s be honest- that’s why I’m writing about it now.)
His photos poke fun at negative stereotypes of dads. In other words, he’s unknowingly supporting my “Non-Doofus Dad Awareness” cause by showing the world hilarious, over-the-top examples of how not to do this thing called fatherhood.
Engledow explains it this way on his Kickstarter project page which he set up to fund the World’s Best Father 2013 Calendar:
“The character I portray in this series is intended to be a parody of the father I hope I never become–distracted, self-absorbed, neglectful, clueless, or even occasionally overbearing.
I’ve always used humor as a way to deal with my personal fears and neuroses, and in many ways these images are often an attempt to do just that–to illustrate humorously the fears that I and, as I’ve learned, many other new fathers have about fatherhood”
Without a doubt, this is my kind of guy.
I have a feeling that like me, he would mock, not celebrate, the idea of a “Dadchelor Party.”
One of my favorites of Engledow’s “World’s Best Father” series portrays him as an overzealous dad/coach who is training his toddler daughter to become an Olympic diver: He is coercing her into jumping off the mantle into a small wading pool on the living room floor.
Another shows Engledow struggling to win an arm wrestling contest with his young daughter.
Some parents these days seem to nearly beg for our attention when it comes to pictures and status updates about what’s going on with their kids.
After you check out more of Engledow’s pictures, it becomes clear that he doesn’t have to beg for any of our attention. He already has it.
In case you missed that first hyperlink to transport you to his web page, featuring his pictures, here it is again:
World’s Best Father 2013 Calendar
Image: Engledow Art Photography.
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
To answer my own question: Lame.
Part of my agenda as the daddy blogger for a major parenting website is to positively re-brand fatherhood; to reinforce the fact that a dad changing his kid’s diaper is not ironic at all and that taking care of his own kid without Mommy around is not babysitting… it’s a man taking care of his own kid.
That’s the world we live in and that’s the generation I’m a part of.
Needless to say, I am not cool with the cartoonish concept of a soon-to-be dad having a drunken party (or the likeness thereof) with his buddies to celebrate his final days of freedom before he inevitably says goodbye to his sex life and his ability to watch football games on his 56 inch TV without being interrupted by his crying infant or nagging wife, which therefore makes his life a 1980′s sitcom hell.
Just to be sure that I’m not exaggerating what Dadchelor Parties are all about, an article on The Huffington Post describes them as an event “where men bring diapers in exchange for beer, while others are more extravagant and involve all day bar-hopping or even a destination weekend. All seem to involve drinking, sporting events, gambling, and more drinking.”
Okay, okay, but what about the non-drunken version of a Dadchelor Party?
What’s wrong with a soon-to-be dad hanging out with a couple of friends to share some beers and smoke some cigars in an effort to invite the days of fatherhood in a more sophisticated fashion?
Well, I guess I don’t have too big of a problem with that, except for the simple fact I don’t know anyone in my version of the real world who would think that’s cool; especially when attached with the phrase Dadchelor Party, Daddymoon, or Manshower.
I have a feeling that my own friends would actually think that having a “Manshower” is not only tacky, but also, uh…
Manshower? Come on, need I say more?
So what am I offering as a legitimate and respectable alternative? I say the kind of man who I would consider cool enough to be my friend would leave me out of the equation all together and instead take his wife on a babymoon.
The phrase “babymoon” is uber trendy, and therefore annoying, and is not a word I will ever speak aloud, but the concept of taking your pregnant wife on a getaway trip before the baby comes is righteous.
My wife and I went on [one of those] before our son was born an then we went on another one about 6 months after he was born.
It’s a good thing; especially for husbands and expecting fathers who, you know, are A) actually responsible adults B) who respect their wives and C) can understand that having a good time doesn’t need to require a hangover afterwards.
But for those soon-to-be dads who would rather flirt with 20 year-old waitresses at bars all weekend while getting “plastered,” and then brag about it the next week on Facebook, all in the name of a Dadchelor Party, you’ve lost your man card.
Let me know if you ever want it back.
Image: Let’s go party, via Shutterstock.
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