Let me get this straight.
If you’re a dad and you’re taking care of your child – for the afternoon, for the evening, for life, whatever – you are not babysitting. You are parenting. And these are 10 things all dads should know, so get a pencil and a pad of paper and start scribbling!
1) Construction Skills
A father will need to know how to assemble everything from Lego spaceships to push bikes to swing sets.
It took me a long time to fine tune this skill. Now I place whatever I need built in the middle of the kitchen and invite Tracey’s dad over for a coffee.
As any mother worth their salt will tell you, there are different cries. Fathers? Not so much. If we can hear a cry at all it’s usually for one of two reasons. The first one is the cry is so loud we can’t hear the telly. Cries of this magnitude tend to mean physical pain is involved so a father will need to find somewhere to safely deposit his drink, pick up his wounded child and go look for his wife so she can decide between kiss, band-aid or hospital.
The second, and far more worrisome, reason he might notice his kid is crying is when his wife is standing between him and the plasma telling him about it. In this instance he must do something quickly, or otherwise he might be the one in need of a hospital. About the only time you can be sure a father is actively listening for the telltale cries or patter of feet is when he’s in the bedroom practising making another child with mummy and he doesn’t want to risk getting up to lock the door in case his wife’s mood changes while he’s away.
3) Important Dates
Remembering birthdays is the kind of thing a kid looks for these days. The more kids a father has the more difficult this becomes, but super sperm is no excuse for missing a birthday. You need to write them down.
Thankfully, this is why they invented Lotto forms. By using your kids’ birthdays to complete your entries you’ll never forget a birthday again. You’re welcome.
4) Favourite Things
A good father knows which toys, books or electronic devices are his child’s most loved. This is so we’ll know what we can take off the little buggers to get their attention – a very handy bit of leverage when they won’t do what we’re telling them.
Not all favourite things work though. For this reason, things like our kid’s favourite number or colour will likely elude dads because you can’t, for example, take the colour blue off them; therefore, knowing this sort of thing is useless and a waste of brain cells to store. Although if they still don’t behave after you’ve relieved them of their DS, you might be tempted to put a splash of the colour blue on their backsides.