Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Better Parenting Through Dodgeball

Woke up yesterday to learn that the temperature was -14 and that my son’s school was closed for the day. Stuck inside because of the cold, we ended up playing dodgeball in the family room.

This sort of thing has become disturbingly typical for me.

Before I became a father, I thought that fatherhood would turn me into some wiser, more mature, more loving version of myself. What it has really done is given me a lot of excuses to act like a five-year-old. There aren’t many days when I’m not, in the name of fatherhood, binging on breakfast cereal or playing wiffle ball or watching Sponge Bob.

The fact is that now that I am a father I act more like a child than I ever did when I actually was a child.

I can’t say I’m entirely proud of this. I know that there are certain behaviors expected of responsible parents, and I know that living-room dodgeball is not among them.

I also know that my own father managed to be an involved, loving dad without ever letting me forget who was the kid and who was the adult. These are all excellent arguments for a more dignified and reasonable style of parenting.

On the other hand, how many times do you get the chance to play dodgeball in the living room?

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