on the unique benefits of being an ordinary dad.
Man, I am tired. Let’s face it, I’m tired every day at the moment. This is the feeling you get when you have more than one child. This is the fatigue only a parent of multiples can understand. You feel blessed but, well… ordinary.
In my parental fog I have had a revelation. Feeling ordinary is the point. It’s the goal of fatherhood. We should celebrate it. All of us. Get up off the couch (watch your backs), open a window and shout: “I feel pretty average right now… and it’s the best feeling ever!” OK, it’s not a catchy rallying cry, but it is universal.
You see, my Instagram is full of wonderful, idyllic photos of my family. My beautiful cherubic children. Smiling. Beaming. Laughing. Adorable. I have, of course, like any good parent, edited this choice down from 20 to 30 photos I have snapped, then filtered and posted.
But my day-to-day life is more ordinary than my social media gives me credit for. I want to celebrate that. This is the fanfare for the common dad.
This Father’s Day, I want to celebrate the top five ordinary things we dads are rocking at. The things that make our kids happier than anything else. 5. The human jungle gym. It doesn’t take much to start this. The kids are milling around the lounge or a park and all you have to do is lie down. It’s like a homing signal kicks in. Something primal. They turn from whatever they are doing and get a gleam in their eyes. They know this is their chance to climb, punch, slobber and show you who’s really boss for a wonderful few minutes. (To get out of this we also need to be world-class wrestlers.) 4. Bath time. If you are a new dad, this is important. It’s your bonding time from birth, but it’s also like a mini Wet ’n’ Wild as they get older. There are lots of laughs and very few tears. It’s a relatively safe zone, but you have to watch out for floaters. When they occur you need to act fast. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. (Sorry if you are eating.) 3. Friday night takeaway. Traditionally, this is always our domain. The one time we can say, “It’s burger night!” or, “Who wants pizza?” and see the hearts in their eyes like little emojis. Basically, we are bigger than Bieber on this night. Bonus points to those who work out the best delivery service, so you don’t have to pile multiple kids into the car on a Friday night. 2. Fashion police. I love dressing my kids. I’m not at the Adam-sandler-fromBig-daddy- letting-my-kid-dress-like-asuperhero-in-a-blender point yet, but we all try to put our own spin on fashion. Or we just don’t care. Does this clash? Don’t know. Socks and sandals are OK, right? (I did this, Instagrammed it with pride, and was nearly trolled for it. Brutal.) You will get better. Or not. What do you care, so long as it gets done and they are wearing some clothes, right? 1. (This is most important.) Daddy squeezes. Grandparents or mums think they do the best squeezes. They are wrong. Don’t tell them. We know when the arms go out and the words “Dada” are bellowed as they run to you, they only want the best. I know this will end one day. Sometimes they squeeze a quiet tear out of me without knowing. But we never let them see, do we?
Happy Father’s Day. David co-hosts Today Extra, 9am, weekdays, on the Nine Network.
“Friday takeaway… Basically, us dads are bigger than Bieber on these nights”