Daddies Dearest

My mother used to tell a story about going to Mass when I was a baby. My parents didn’t want to deal with a baby at church so they took turns. My dad would go to mass, come home and my mother would go to the next one. One Sunday she returned from church and could hear my baby screams coming from the apartment. She ran inside and upstairs and was confronted with my father holding me upside down by one foot and swatting at my bottom with a wash cloth because he didn’t know how to change a dirty diaper. My mother took over and I have lived to see 48.


I think we all have stories of goofy things dads do because God bless them, they just don’t know what they’re doing or do it very differently from the way mothers would do it. Doing what? Doing anything. They are doing it differently and that probably means they are doing it wrong.

When my daughter, Annie, was a baby her dad told me not to worry that he would get up with her in the middle of the night so I could sleep. And he did. Even though he got up with her, I could still hear her crying on the baby monitor. Annie was an easy baby so once you changed and fed her, she was good to go. Finally I went into her room and asked what was going on.  Mitch said, “I don’t know what’s wrong, she just won’t stop crying.” Did you feed her? “No.” Did you change her diaper? “No.” Well, those things need to happen, what did you think I was doing with her every night, playing cards?

My sister recently went out of town with a bunch of ladies and she shared the transcript of a voice mail that one of the women received from her husband. This may be one of my most favorite dad stories ever. Here is the phone message from the father of Claire the toddler:

“It’s like 6:36AM, you just left like 10 minutes ago and I have a couple questions about lunch. Do I make her a sandwich, like a legit sandwich just like I’d make it for me and just send it that way? With turkey, cheese and I just put honey mustard on with a knife? And the peas and carrots, do I have to like heat up peas and carrots in the microwave and shit like that? I have no idea how to get these peas and carrots together. Um, so just give me a call back so you can let me know how this all works.”

Also, when she got back she opened up his laptop and the internet browser was still pulled up. It was and he had typed “how to cook broccoli”

“I just put honey mustard on with a knife?” Nope, if you’re making an illegitimate children’s sandwich, you put yellow mustard on with your finger.


Dads, I’m just teasing you. We love you guys but seriously???


15 thoughts on “Daddies Dearest

  1. This -> “Did you feed her? “No.” Did you change her diaper? “No.” Well, those things need to happen, what did you think I was doing with her every night, playing cards?” <-That…classic.

    I fancy myself a good dad as far as knowing how shit works, but I have to lean heavily on my wife for a lot of things. I don't know where you women learn all this crap like when the babies can start eating M&M's and stuff, but we men need that pamphlet.

  2. Maggie –

    Part of me has to wonder if they play dumb on purpose, just so they can get out of changing poopie diapers and picking baby oatmeal out of their hair. But then the other part realizes that they probably are that clueless sometimes.

    My favorite daddy moment was when my (then) 9-month old daughter, Meghan, projectile vomited all over my husband in the middle of a restaurant. He just stood there with a stunned look on his face that silently asked, “NOW what the fuck do I do??” He was frozen with panic and indecision, holding our crying, puking daughter out at arm’s length like she was made of radioactive material.

    I have to admit, I paused a few seconds before I jumped in to rescue him – mostly because I was laughing too hard to help. But had I not snatched Meghan out of his arms and helped clean them both up, I honestly believe that they would both still be standing there in the middle of the restaurant,14 years later, covered in crusty baby puke.


    • Linda, Perhaps they do but I don’t think even they could create the situations that they do in order to get out of doing something. And they don’t realize how entertaining they are, I always have to laugh first and sometimes take a picture before I get the situation under control.

  3. I think Dads are overgrown kids themselves which make them rather adorable but inept in certain things. Still, that protective thing makes it all good. When we’d go to church with Mom when we were little, she’d put poptarts in her purse in case we got hungry or bored which we always did. My little sis dropped a marble once and it rolled allllll the way down, from the back pew (where we usually sat because we were always late) to the front one where it stopped at the carpet. Miraculously, God was okay with that, although the minister might not have always been. ;).

  4. This made me smile, thanks Mags.
    You have to wonder about some guys, if they actually notice they have kids in the house, or ever see the mums caring for them. At least that phone message shows the dad really wanted to get it all right – even if it was hilarious!

  5. My parents did a pretty good job with dividing the labor of dealing with me. She helped me do my homework. On Sundays, he’d teach me how to read via the funny pages. She put me to bed at night. He got me up in the morning. If I had a nightmare and screamed bloody murder, he was in my room faster than the speed of light. He’d make me a cup of tea to calm me down as I’d spill my guts about the monster he swore would never get me because it would never get past him.

    My live in grandmother did all the cooking so they were both off that hook.

    The arrangement worked and even at age 86, he’s still a very nurturing guy who’s still looking out for me.

    • Mike, you are one of my faves and I hope someday down the road I actually meet you and I hope at that point that you are a dad. You and Marti would have one or more lucky kid(s).

      • Awww shucks. You too, Maggie. I’m sure we’ll meet someday. Not sure about the kids thing, but you never know. Maybe i’ll just kidnap one that looks smart – hope for a future doctor.

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