The boys' handiwork...

This is a blog about dads.

Yes you there, Sir, in the T-shirt, trying to build a Lego spaceship while subtly rearranging your balls and wondering what it would be like to be a spy.

You. Dad.
I’m going to blog about you. 
And here’s why (please read to the end, or you’ll think this is the opposite of what it is…..):

We mums spend a lot of time talking about you (thought I’d point that out, in case you’d somehow managed not to notice this…)
Generally speaking this ‘talk’ goes along the lines of, ‘Oh bloody hell, Pete can’t do more than one thing at a time, and even that’s too much most days’, or, ‘Richard thinks childcare means sitting on his arse playing all day. I mean, does he empty the dishwasher or tidy up after the kids? Does he heck!’ or,
‘We’ve lived in this house for six years and John still doesn’t know where the washing machine is, let alone how to use the bloody thing!’
And suchlike. (The list is fairly long. As you may also have noticed…)

Now, in many cases, all of this is quite true, and fairly annoying. For me, the most annoying is the middle one.

When I come home from work on a day when my husband has been Playing Dad, I don’t need him to tell me what they’ve all been doing for the last six hours. Because I can see it.

I can see that they’ve baked cookies, because the entire downstairs is covered in flour.
I can see that they’ve done painting because all of my children have a litre of paint in their hair, on their face and down their fronts.
I can see that they’ve had a go at every single jigsaw in the world, because they are all still covering every inch of carpet in the lounge.

We mums (fairly understandably, I’d say) frequently moan about much of this ‘hapless Dad-ing’.
But listen up, ladies who are also reading this, because they know something we don’t, and it’s important:

They know how to switch off that endless, exhausting, nagging stream, called The List Of Things I Really Must Do Or The House Won’t Look Exactly Like The Ones In LivingEtc And If Someone Rang The Door Right Now They’d Think We Were Slobs And Never Visit Again And Say Socially Annihilating Things About Us At The School Gate, And Oh My God Is That A Pair Of SHOES Left In The Middle Of The Hall Floor AGAIN???! And Why Hasn’t The Toilet Roll Been Replaced? And Is There Any Milk Left? And What Are We Having For Dinner For The Next Month? And Why Am I The Only Person In This House Who Does EVERYTHING??! (And Did I Mention That Giving Birth HURTS???!)

This list is important, of course. If we didn’t have it we’d all live in a pig sty and catch some kind of pig sty disease. And then die.

BUT…it’s also important to Switch. It. Off. And. Play.
And, in the 13 years I’ve been a parent I can safely say that Dads, in general, are better at doing this than mums.

Oh sure, I can sit down and play…and I do. A lot!  But within 10 minutes I’ll be getting up to quickly hang out the washing. Or pick some cushions up off the floor. Or wipe the line of strawberry jam I can see dripping slowly down a cupboard door.

My husband, on the other hand, can sit with my children and play, without pause or concern about the state of the bathroom or the fact that we have no food, clean clothes or The Special Yoghurt That The Kids Like in the house, for an entire day.

Yes, the children are starving, yes we have no clean clothes, no there are no packed lunches for the morning. But they don’t care, because when Daddy goes into Daddy Playing Mode they have the BEST TIME EVER.
And that’s worth an awful, awful lot.

The photo at the top of this blog is the result of this Daddy Time, today. For three hours my husband and his son stood in the kitchen surrounded by piles of empty boxes (that I, in Organised Mummy Mode keep for such purposes), glue, paint, brushes, scissors, tape, and mayhem, and made it.
(I feel rather awful that it’s all guns and tanks buy hey, he’s a 7-year old boy. Whaddaya want?)

Of course the kitchen took another hour to clean. But did it matter? No it didn’t.
Because I’ve never seen either of them look happier.

So dads, this one’s for you, and your amazing, fantastic and much appreciated ability to switch off, PLAY and have fun whe it’s required.
We won’t stop having a good moan about you, obviously. It’s far too much fun.
But we do appreciate your Excellent Dadness very, very much, even if we forget to say so far too often.

Now go and put your bloody cup INTO the dishwasher and move your dirty shoes from the mat by the back door onto the Shoe Rack, like I’ve already asked twenty times.

Thank you 🙂

14 thoughts on “Superdad…

    1. lizfraser Post author

      Thanks Michelle – they can be pretty crap at times but… can we! Nice to give a big thumbs up from time to time, and appreciate the good bits. Now then….back to the tidying up…; -)

  1. Pure Bubble

    Great Post!

    After 22 years of marriage, my kids are too big to play with dad on the floor! Even though I still want to get the Lego/Scaletrix/Train set/dolls house etc etc out now and again!

    However, I have learnt that the most important thing a father can do for his children is love their mother.

    The wife told me to say that!!!

    Bob xx

    1. lizfraser Post author

      Haha! Then your wife is very shrewd….and so are you, for doing as she said! Never, ever disagree with your wife. Unless she is talking crap. But most especially don’t disagree with her when she is hormonal. Which, if she is a normal woman, is 97% of the time.

      Sounds like you’re doing very well, which is great to hear. And don’t worry – I’m sure you can still get the Scalextric out every so often. My dad is 60 and I know he does 🙂

  2. DaddyNatal

    Nicely written as per usual Liz.

    Had me chuckling away, we do suffer a feeling of panic when we realise we have been playing for 6hrs got nothing done and Mum just about to walk through door… no honest we do.

    It lasts all of about 10 seconds until we realise we havn’t completed the rocket yet we were building.

    I think it is really all about our Peter Pan complex, men never really grow up and any chance we get we just want to play, having kids gives us the excuse to just do that 🙂

    Although don’t underestimate the amount of hard work it is to play for 6hrs straight!!!

  3. TheBoyandMe

    Having just despaired on twitter that I felt like a crap mum watching my son & husband playing, some kind soul pointed this out to me. Thank God I am not the only one who feels this! I was watchong them sit on the floor blowing bubbles for 45 minutes. The Boy is 21 months old, he shouldn’t have that attention span! Meanwhile I was cooking tea, tidying the living room & tweeting. Why can’t I switch off and just play?

  4. Kate

    Oh my god. Were you in my house? Did you see me do all that? Or are we really all that similar!? Such a true and funny post!!


  5. Catherine

    Died laughing at this one!
    In fact, did I write this? Did I? Did I write this and you stole it?!!!
    Gosh it’s so true. We got back from a walk yesterday and I’m immediately fretting about homework, packed lunches, getting tea ready, where’s Isla’s tights, did I wash the PE Kit; and they’re out there playing something involving two of ’em standing very still while the third lobs a massive prickly beach ball and tries to hit the still ones. Till it’s dark. And they end up going to bed late. On a school night.
    But as my husband rightly pointed out last night, “Yeah, but they think Daddy is so much more fun than Mummy!”
    Quite true.

    1. lizfraser Post author

      Thanks Martin. I always like to give a thumbs up to Dads where I can….Too often mums are so busy criticising them that they fail to see where they’re doing a great job!
      Cheers for dropping by the blog.


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