As a Dad and a father, things change, and there are now certain expectations or responsibilities which make me who I am.
Here are just 13 things that changed when I became Dad.
- Changing expectations when eating vegetables. My broccoli no longer includes the flourettes, instead my portion is the stems – the part that no one likes to eat.
- .. Yum. But that would be plain cheese pizza because that’s what the family eats. Or, if I’m lucky. Otherwise, I get a whole lot of crusts, and I hope and pray that those crusts have some sauce or cheese on them.
- Leftovers? What are those? As Dad, leftovers are my meals. After “Daddy, daddy, daddy, I want oatmeal for breakfast” and then after refusing to eat it, I pack it up, toss it in the fridge, and then I either eat that oatmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the next few days.
- Sniffing or tasting food which someone suspects may not be suitable to eat. If it looks funny, smells funny, is close to the posted expiry date, or has been in the fridge just a bit too long to feed to the kids, it goes into my tummy. Yum.
- Cleaning up Poo. All Poo, anywhere. Kids, poo, toilet poo, poo in clothing, poo on floors, animals poo, things that might be poo…
- Cleaning up vomit… (see above). Nuff said.
- When there is a night walker in the house, I intercept. If there is a line up to sleep with mommy, I move. If there is a child falling out of bed, or anything nightly disturbance, Daddy is on the scene! That usually means that within a week, I’ve pretty much slept everywhere in the house, but that’s okay so long as everyone else has a good night’s sleep because I’m so exhausted all the time I can sleep anywhere, anytime.
- Carpool / Taxi service, call it what you want, but it’s daddy’s territory.
- Back-up school help in areas where I am so not qualified, often at the end of a long day:
“Do quotation marks go before or after the period or question mark?”
“I think I missed that day in public school”. (Child not accepting that answer). “There is an American way and a Canadian way.”
Still not buying it.
Stalling long enough to Google that question and come up with this answer:
“There is a difference between US and British/Canadian punctuation styles. In the US, trailing periods and commas always appear inside the quotation marks, for example, “Let’s go to the zoo.” Or, another example, like the spelling of the word is “ampersand.” Or, final example, He said, “Go now,” and turned away.
But in Canada and in the UK, they follow the logical extension of the quote. The period or comma goes outside the quotation mark, except where the period is part of a quote. For example, He said “The day is long.” Or, the movie was called “Benji”.
How about question marks? Well, If you’re quoting a question then the “?” goes within the quotation marks, as in this example, Sally asked, “Where are you going?”
Not to be confusing, but if you’re asking a question about a quote, then the “?” goes after the quotation marks, as in this example. Did Sally say, “We are going to the zoo”?
Clear as mud, eh? I think I taught them to stop asking me questions.
- Act responsibly behind the wheel. I can only slightly exceed the speed limit if everyone in my car is sleeping and if I do so without putting anyone in harm’s way (like weaving in and out of traffic). Duh. Learning to not swear at / talk to other cars was WAY more difficult.
- Going to the toilet will / has never been the same. If it’s not trying to figure out how the seat got wet when the boys are supposed to pick up the seat to pee, and how the floor got soaked when nobody in my family admits to having used that bathroom, like ever. Or when there is pee on the wall, or all the toilet paper is in the toilet, or someone forgot to flush, or the icing on the cake, whenever I’m in the bathroom and manage to lock the door only to have it unlocked and before I know it I’m face to face with a child.
- Promote the playing of sports for fun, while competing, but always within the rules. I don’t want to be that Dad who forces my son to play a sport because I never had the chance or was good at it. That’s the best way to build up resentment and that’s not what our generation does…
- Keep lines of communication open at all times, and make sure that children are able to read situations and most importantly that they are able to learn what it is that their mother wants / needs and to be sure that she gets it. She did, after all, birth those kids which I think trumps (not the Donald) everything else that I can and do as a father / dad.
What’s changed for you?