It’s Father’s Day this Sunday – the day dad does his best to stay in bed a little longer so that the kids can ‘help’ mom make breakfast. Older teens might offer to mow the lawn or let the old man possess the remote control for the day. Dad can expect to have them all to himself for a little bonding time while mom catches up on whatever she’s catching up on. This, of course, is totally different than Mother’s Day, when dad takes the kids out for the day so that mom can enjoy some peace and quiet.
Dads definitely fare better with morning breakfast on their special day. On Mother’s Day, kids are quite clear it is their role to serve their mom burned toast, soggy cereal and whatever other concoction they think she might like. All a father can do is stand behind them as they present mom with their interpretation of a gourmet meal, mouthing silently “I’m sorry” as he watches the love of his life ingest the unappealing offerings while maintaining a smile and assuring her offspring that this is, indeed, the best fruit-loops omelette she has ever eaten.
Dads get off a lot easier. Moms seem to know how to suggest things to their children without offending them. “If you keep the peanut butter out of Dad’s hash browns, he’ll have it for his toast.... and maybe instead of Kraft Dinner with mustard, we could save that for later and give him scrambled eggs....what do you think?” The kids loudly agree that’s a great idea and mom prevents dad from having to consume a Pepto-Bismol cocktail after breakfast.
Moms seem to also be better with ensuring kitchen etiquette. They are able to encourage the children to use fewer pots, pans, bowls, utensils etc. In my experience, the kitchen is never any worse on Father's Day than after any other meal. For whatever reason, fathers have a hard time maintaining that same order on Mother’s Day. When the children are done preparing the celebratory feast, there is not a clean pot, pan, dish or utensil left in sight. The cupboards are bare and the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes.
It took me a few years to catch on, but this is the real reason dads are to take the children out for the day so mom can enjoy some private time. Truth be told, she probably just needs the little ones out of her hair so she can dedicate the next few hours to cleaning the kitchen.
Dads have their strengths and there are some things that dad can maybe teach better than mom. But as a father, myself, I know that behind most fathers is a mother helping to ensure he looks like a rock star in the eyes of their children.
To all the dads out there, have an awesome Father’s Day. And to all the moms out there, thanks for gifting us the privilege of fatherhood.