Dads Really Do Wonder 'What Would Mommy Do?'

little girl at beachSome years ago, Volkswagen had a commercial that I think perfectly exemplifies being an adult with a child. This commercial featured a father and toddler duo where the child drops a cookie on the ground and the father has to get to it before the kid picks it up and puts it in his mouth. The voiceover states that "I've got to stop my kid from eating off the ground when in my mind I'm thinking five-second rule."

If that isn't my life, I don't know what is. It's funny how life goes from being fancy free to "don't do anything that her mother will yell at me for." Which ... well, let's just say it should be an easy task but the truth is, since my daughter showed up, I've discovered that I apparently don't have as much common sense as I thought.


For instance, my daughter loves water fountains. Not the kind you drink out of, but the kind that shoots up out of the ground featuring legions of germboxes running through with reckless abandon. Now, I took my daughter to go play in the fountains one day and was faced with a conundrum: with or without sandals. My thinking is that she should take them off so she doesn't ruin her shoes. But then I'm seeing other little kids, who were all smartly with their mothers, running around with shoes on. In fact, the only other kid I saw without shoes on ... came with her daddy.

I suppose that should have been my sign right there. But nope, I take my kid's shoes off and let her play in the water. And then it dawned on me. "P, you're going to get in trouble for this. What kind of parent lets their kid run around without shoes on in 2011 in a public fountain. There are all kinds of cancer and salmonella and Ebola and swine flu in this concrete slab that your daughter is running over. What's wrong with you?" I wonder if we menfolks are just hardwired to NOT know what to do with our kids at the same level of detail as mothers.

Needless to say I destroyed all photographic evidence of my child playing around without shoes on and taught my daughter to deflect all questions about that day by saying "mama, there goes that man" repeatedly. Why? I just like the sound of it.

And honestly, I still don't know if she should or shouldn't have had on her sandals.

Yay, fatherhood, where your goal is to keep your kid alive and hope mommy agrees with your methods.

Do you notice a difference between what a mom lets her kid do versus what a dad would let her do?


Image via Mike Baird/Flickr

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