The Stay at Home Dad: Dragging down the heads in the clouds
| May 15, 2021 1:00 AM
Parenting experts often warn, “Be careful what you say and do around your children. They absorb everything.”
This isn’t my experience.
I wouldn’t list “attentiveness” as a key attribute for any of my four kids. Perhaps they’ve devised elaborate strategies to just “ignore dad,” but in my observations, I haven’t seen much that could be categorized as forward thinking.
My girls prance around the house with sunshine and rainbows floating above them at all times, and my boys tumble on the furniture making explosion noises.
Being attuned to your surroundings takes practice, I suppose, but some of the air-headed things that happen in my house are Wallace Shawn-level inconceivable.
The following conversation between me and my 7-year-old son occurs, verbatim, at least three times per week:
My 7-year-old son: Dad, what’s for dinner?
Me: You can literally see what I’m putting on your plate.
Him: Oh, you made some (insert food item here).
Me: That’s right.
Him: So what’s for dinner?
Other frequent interactions with my clueless kids:
My 9-year-old daughter (in bed): I can’t find my stuffed monkey.
Me: Are you laying on top of it?
Her: No. (she checks) Yes.
Me: Hey bud, you gotta wipe up that puddle under the ice maker.
My 7-year-old son (standing in the middle of the puddle): What puddle?
Me: The one that’s making your feet all wet.
Him: Well, how am I supposed to clean it up?
Me: With that big hand towel that’s right next to you.
Him: So what do you want me to clean up?
The 6-year-old: I can’t find my reading group book!
Me: Is it the book you’re holding?.
The 6-year-old: UGH, NO! (looks at the book in her hand) Oh, yeah. STOP DISTRACTING ME, DADDY!
Me: Hey, bud. Did you throw your banana peel away?
My 3-year-old son: Yep.
Me: So what’s that banana peel next to you?
Me: Bud, go throw your banana peel away.
Him: Can I play the purple iPad?
This is why I don’t worry about swearing around my kids. They don’t hear any of the words I say anyway, unless one of those words happens to be “dessert.”
Me: Hey, I was cooking dessert and the oven started on fire. We need to leave before we all burn to death.
My 7-year-old son (flapping away the smoke): So what’s for dessert?
Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer and a stay-at-home dad to four kids, ages 3-9. He is tired. He can be reached at email@example.com.