Ask The Dad: The Gun Playdate

(Getty Images/Martin Hospach)

This question comes from Phil in Dallas, TX.

Doyin, I’m a big fan of your work here, although, I have to admit I never thought I’d be the one writing in with a question, but here I am. My 7yo daughter has a really close neighborhood friend and she’s always at her house. The problem is, my wife recently learned that this girl’s dad is an avid gun enthusiast and now she refuses to let our daughter play there. The dad was in the military, owns his own consulting business, and is extremely qualified/trained to own guns. My daughter is devastated that she can’t play at her friend’s house and I think my wife is completely overreacting. What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for the kind words, Phil.

The gun debate is on fire right now and I’m not here to change anyone’s mind on that front. If you must know, I’m not a “gun guy” — but I respect responsible gun owners and their rights to own firearms. That said, your wife isn’t overreacting. Check out these quick facts:

1,300 children die and over 5,700 children are injured by gunshot wounds every year in America. Also, firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death among children behind illness and unintentional injuries (such as car crashes and drowning). This is a BIG deal.

Now, is this dad out here trying to be Yosemite Sam? Probably not.

(Giphy)

But it would be foolish to believe that guns don’t pose a threat to kids, regardless of how responsible the gun owner is, or how “foolproof” his method is of hiding his firearms. Speaking of which, one dude I grew up with told me recently that “a locked up gun or an unloaded gun is useless, because no bad guy is going to break into my place and wait for me to unlock it from the safe or load it.” That means a loaded gun is somewhere in the house that could potentially be accessible to kids. Could the same be said for your neighbor?

It would be pretty sad if your daughter lost a friend over this, and I don’t think that needs to happen. Going forward, I would suggest meeting with the dad (along with your wife) and tell him your family’s concerns. If he acts like a damn grownup, he shouldn’t take offense to the fact your wife is worried about her daughter being in a house with guns. Additionally, why not just have this girl come to your house for playdates instead? Seems like a fair and easy compromise to me.

Last, but definitely not least, you need to take your wife’s concerns seriously and not write her off as some overprotective mom. What would you rather? Ignore your wife’s feelings and make her resent the hell out of you? Or simply roll with my suggestion? Even if the dad is offended that you questioned him, so what? That’s his problem, not yours.

The gun debate will certainly continue, but there should be no debate when it comes to doing what you feel is right for your children.

Crocs Just Released High-Heels And People Are Losing It

(Tradesy)

Love them or hate them, Crocs are a staple of the dad community and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

However, in a recent turn of events, the infamous clog company released a surprising new model of footwear: the high-heel.

(Crocs)

Attempting to balance comfort and sophistication, the shoe looks about as glamourous as it can while still retaining the traditional Croc characteristics, and people are very split on whether or not they should exist.

Despite harsh reviews from critics and fashionistas as well as the steep $55 price tag, the newest version of Crocs are already selling out all over the place!

“Get all the fashion without sacrificing the comfort. Dress them up or down, and enjoy wherever the day takes you!” Crocs claims about the radical new heel. What do you think? Do these belong in a flaming dumpster fire or are you already eagerly buying early Christmas gifts?

The new ‘Cyprus V Heel’ is selling fast.

(Crocs)
(Crocs)

Some versions already selling out!

(Crocs)

 

And opinions vary quite a bit.

Grab a pair here now while you still can! Or do your best to erase this knowledge from your memory forever.

You know, either/or.

 

Father Figures: Timeless Toys

“At the ages of 8 and 10 years, my two boys became immersed in Cartoon Network’s “Hot Wheels Battle Force 5.”

They asked if I had the same cartoon/action figure fun when I was their age and I was happy to say yes.

I shared with them my 1980’s memories of MASK and how close the two toys lines followed each other. Our journey started there.

The three of us were able to return to my childhood home and venture through the attic storage, and we found the 80’s treasure right where I left them 25 years ago. We brought the collection home and cleaned the items up by hand, using the internet as a resource to match each character with his vehicle.

The journey continued as I watched the boys blend the two generations of toys together in their own universe, fueled by imagination. We were also able to find the DVD versions of MASK and HWBF5 and still sit down together to watch.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend time with my boys and blend the two generations together.”

– William Phillips

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

Custom Watermelon Slicer Looks So Terrifyingly Awesome

(reddit/u/Texas12thMan)

If a guy with a missing finger told you he built a custom watermelon slicer that includes over a dozen massive kitchen knives, would you try it?

Are you kidding? No way.

What if that guy is your dad?

Oh, then absolutely. Here, let the kids try it first.

Wife’s dad built this watermelon slicer. from gifs

15 Hilarious Photos That Prove Kids Can Sleep Anywhere

(flickr/Pete Souza)

Not only are kids spoiled rotten with their near endless opportunities to nap, but most of them have the innate ability to fall asleep anywhere.

Seriously. ANYWHERE.

Here are 15 amazing photos of kids who just couldn’t wait to start counting those sheep.

A whole new meaning to "layover."

(Imgur)

What kind of masochistic napper is this??

(Imgur/dreadpirateciv)

To be fair, those White House chairs are super comfy.

(flickr/Pete Souza)

When you're so tired, even stopping to lay down is too much work.

(Reddit)

Let's be honest. If any of us could fit on a dog like this, we'd sleep there too.

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The tranquilizing effects of retail.

(Instagram/godsbella)

Eating yourself to sleep? That's the dream, kid.

(Reddit/zWeApOnz)

Don't eat the meatballs.

(napshappen.net)

The vampire snoozer.

(napshappen.net)

So close, yet...

(napshappen.net)

Either he's exhausted or that window smells amazing.

(Instagram/simwebb)

Sometimes you don't even have the energy to take your shoes off.

(napshappen.net)

You've heard of a "bed & breakfast," but have you ever tried a "sleep & shower"?

(Instagram/meaganjoy)

Have you tried sleeping at a 90 degree angle? It's all the rage with the kids.

(Imgur)

I mean, it's not like anyone else was using it.

(Instagram/katiebssydney)

Tweet Roundup: 10 Hilarious Tweets About Taking Your Family To The Beach

(Getty)

Sunshine. Seagulls. Fifteen-minute walks to the nearest toilet. Nothing like a day in the sand with your family. Tuck that wallet in those sneakers, here are 10 of the funniest tweets about taking your family to the beach.

Ahh, the beach.

Great for spending quality time with the kids.

But be sure to schedule this trip wisely…

and pack accordingly.

Now that you’re settled in, why not build a sandcastle?

Or make some new friends?

Maybe bury a loved one in the sand?

If they’re busy, a family pet will suffice.

If you’re gonna take a dip, safeguard your belongings.

And finally, always leave with a souvenir.

10 Times Baby Monitors Captured The Creepiest Things Ever

(Getty/MartinPrescott)

In theory, baby monitors are a great idea. You get to move about your house freely while keeping a watchful eye on your little bundle of joy.

But technology isn’t perfect. Between the grainy black and white night vision cameras and finicky audio channels that randomly pick up other frequencies, you’re bound to witness some creepy and, occasionally, inexplicable footage.

Here are 10 moments caught by baby monitors that totally creeped us out.

It's time to play "Is That A Bundle of Blankets Or The Ghost of Long Dead Infant?"

(Imgur)

Spines are supposed to bend that way, right?

(wikimedia)

Ok. Ummm, nope forever.

He gets his black, soulless eyes from his mother.

(wikimedia)

Is this a lulluby or exorcism situation?

The weirdest part is mom casually referring to her child as "stink bottom."

Oh, what beautiful eyes you have, possessed infant.

(reddit/u/Lynoctis)

Please tell me he has a twin... please tell me he has a twin...

(Instagram/siljewoods)

This is fine.

(Instagram/sweetmigliore)

His four demon eyes aren't weird. They're "unique."

(Pinterest)

 

Father Figures: Driving Lessons

“I’m a terrible driver.

No testament to my grandpa, who taught me how to drive – he was a teacher through and through, both by trade and by soul. He was forever clipping articles out of the paper that he thought would teach us something, and that got passed down to my dad naturally.

Neither were overly emotional men, preferring to demonstrate how much they loved us through teaching us things, rather than simply stating it. Just as valuable, not as obvious. 

One day my dad and I were sitting in the driveway in his Honda Pilot, ready for a driving lesson (my grandpa was busy that day). He tried to calm me but I was nervous. I mixed up the gas and brake pedals and – in slow motion yet also at lightening speed – drove straight through our garage door. 

Yeeeeeah. 

The splinters and beams rained down around us, I think I was screaming, my mom came rushing out of the house. My dad got out of the car, calmly took my hand and led me down to our basement, where we sat on the couch and hugged and he told me it was okay. For this minute, it was just us in the basement and nothing outside mattered and everything was going to be okay. 

Fifteen years later, my marriage had fallen apart. I was living in another city and unreasonably petrified to face my parents and talk it through. Pulling in their driveway, it probably really was slow motion as the tears started to roll down my cheeks at the thought of rebuilding my life and having to explain to them what went wrong. 

My dad met me in the driveway, wordlessly unbuckled my daughter from the car seat, handed her to my mom, took my hand and led me to the basement. 

‘It’s okay,’ he said, voice wavering slightly. My eyes spilled over and I sobbed into his chest as he rocked me the way he had so many years ago. 

‘It’s okay. Right now, it’s just us down here. Nothing out there matters. It’s going to be okay.’ 

Nothing I expected, everything I needed. I love you Dad.” 

– Liz Vetrano

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