A Parent’s Perspective: “Carl Goes To Daycare”

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

For those who aren’t familiar with the children’s classic Carl Goes to Daycare, written and illustrated by Alexandra Day, it’s a hyper-realistic tale of a gigantic dog being let loose in a daycare while the primary childcare provider attempts to break in to save the children and her job.

My kids love the vibrant imagery and childish antics. I love the tension of the entire book hanging on the edge of life-altering catastrophe.

Let’s take a closer look.

Things start out innocently enough. A mom is dropping her kid off at daycare. With a Rottweiler. Like she’s in an early 2000s DMX music video. She’s probably just being facetious when she says, “Take care of the children.” Surely Carl will stay outside.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Hold up. The dog goes inside, and… what’s this? The childcare provider appears to be locked out?

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

The children are so thrilled by Carl they don’t notice the absence of adults, or that Mrs. Manning is using a crowbar she had just laying around to try to break into the daycare.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

What is even going on here? Carl has lost control of the children. Someone tell that little girl she is trying to ride a dog with lockjaw mechanism. Your head fits in his mouth kid, watch out!

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Carl has regained control? Carl can read? Carl is making sure they keep to their daily schedule?

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

What is that wacky Mrs. Manning up to now? It looks like she’s trying to pick the lock with a colonial-era device used to churn butter. Meanwhile, a savage 125 pound beast is teaching the children horticulture tips. I know cell phones aren’t invented yet but FFS Mrs. Manning, go next door, ask to borrow the yellow pages and call a locksmith. You’re legally responsible for those children!

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Carl in this picture is ALL OF US. Look at his face. Fuck crafting, amirite?

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Carl is looking burnt out. We’ve all been there. He knows that if he just feeds these little monsters he’s one step closer to the end of this hell day where he can crack open a cold one or dig his teeth into a rawhide bone and imagine it’s the flesh of the loudest, whiniest child.

Meanwhile Mrs. Manning appears to be climbing a pine tree without an OSHA-certified harness and then smash through the skylight like a young Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

What‘s the deal with this daycare anyway? EVEN IF that moron Mrs. Manning was inside, surely this is not compliant with adult-to-children ratio laws?

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Wow, Mrs. Manning. Tie your car to it, a reasonable solution to anything. Good luck to any kids in her care with a loose tooth. I hope the bumper flies off your VW Beetle, you realize this is the wrong career for you, and you’re able to get your fucking life together before a lawsuit destroys you.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

AW SHIT THAT’S RIGHT! CARL CAN FUCKING READ!

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Carl, you smug son of a bitch. You knew she was out there the whole time and could have opened the door, but you wanted to make her sweat.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Carl’s like, “Hey genius, you owe me one day’s minimum wage pay and also I took a crap by your desk.”

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

At the end of every book this lady acts like Carl is the crazy one. “Oh, hey, I just left you in charge of my infant daughter and like 24 other kids but I’m going to put my hands on my hips and be condescending because you’ve got a ladybug on your butt like a dang fool.”

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

You bet your ass you’re glad Carl was here, Mrs. Manning. Your jumpsuit is fly as hell but your judgment is questionable.

(Carl Goes to Daycare)

Memories were made, the entire day’s schedule was attended to, careers were saved. Carl may be a man of few words, but that doesn’t stop him from being a gentleman, a scholar, and above all, an unlicensed childcare-providing Rottweiler. Like, I can’t stress that last part enough.

Bottom Line

While it is impressive that Alexandra Day could switch-hit as both author and illustrator, I felt Carl Goes to Daycare had more plot holes than the last season of Lost. The innocent amusement of the children juxtaposed with a savage beast who would rip them all to shreds if he was held without food for a week was, in fact, interesting. But throughout the tall tale I couldn’t help but imagine what would happen if the story was in modern times, and the daycare had webcams. Helicopter parents would immediately call the animal control SWAT team to storm through the windows with high-powered tranq guns. No more Carl. And after the state licensing agency got involved, no more daycare.

But if you can manage to suspend your disbelief for 10 minutes, Carl Goes to Daycare is an idealistic view of the potential heart of a rottweiler. I just wouldn’t be calling the pound to see if they have any good nannies anytime soon.

Pee-Wee Football Player Gets Pumped Up on the Sidelines

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

(Getty/master1305/Tom Briglia)

A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails

(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)

Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.

(Instagram.com/cheeksmagee)
(Facebook.com/KellySmith)
(Instagram.com/abbyjmccoy)
(Instagram.com/instagramycohen)
(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)
(Instagram.com/JoyScribner)
(Instagram.com/bullitt.with.a.name)
(Facebook.com/KristenMadral)
(Instagram.com/heatherdtomlinson)

Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.

DAD STRENGTHS

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.

DAD WEAKNESSES

He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.

VERDICT

Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.

FINAL DAD GRADE: A-

Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.