The Dad

Generic catch all for posts written by The Dad staff or Father Figures.

To be fair, an incredulous “What?” is my response to most things parenting-related.

Father Figures: Doody Duty

(Josh Kreager)

“In early fatherhood there was a minor debate as to how to check for the dreaded poopy diaper. My wife’s method was to simply pull back the rear of the diaper and do a quick visual. Me, I’m a man of utility and practicality. I go for the butt-to-nose sniff test. This was a tried and true method, until one fateful evening.

While watching TV, an all too familiar scent wafted across the room. We both knew the culprit, and it was my turn for doody duty. With nothing but the soft glow of the TV to light the room, I picked up my less-than-1-year-old daughter and performed my ‘sniff test’ in an effort to ensure that this was not a false alarm.

Tried and true, right? Wrong.

When I put my child’s diaper to my nose,  I immediately felt the warmth of something that conformed like Play-Doh to the shape of my nose and filled my nostrils, instantly followed by the smell of partially digested breast milk and mashed peas. The doody was so great in volume that it had squeezed up the back of her diaper like a toothpaste tube and rolled down the back onto my nose. In pure horror of knowing what just happened, I almost threw my child! In between gags I yelled to my wife to take our daughter. Once freed, I proceeded to the kitchen sink and gave up my delicious dinner. All the while my wife and daughter laughing in light of my dismay.

I begrudgingly adopted my wife’s method from then on and I still hear this story from my wife on occasion. Makes for good conversation with strangers.”

Josh Kreager

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Meanwhile I can’t watch the Olympics for more than 30 minutes without having a snack.

Father Figures: Solitary Conphonement


“The Black Hole. The Upside Down. The Sunken Place. Guantanamo Bae. We don’t have a name for it yet but this is where phones and PlayStation controllers go when my chirruns decide to ignore my warnings about not breaking rules, not studying, being a punk to their sibling, etc. Once I set the length of time and press lock there’s no turning back. There’s no code to open before the timer expires. An iPhone 6 is currently taking a three day dirt nap in it. Solitary Conphonement. Parenting is fun!”


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Father Figures: A Unicorn-Related Crisis

(Heather Dixon)

“While I was out alone one evening, I texted my husband to check in. He was holding down the fort with our three young daughters and I felt it only right for me to ask how he was.

Within a few minutes, my phone buzzed. ‘Just got P down for the night. The girls are good. A unicorn-related crisis is now over.’

I stood in the middle of a busy store and laughed out loud.

When our first daughter came into the world, my husband spent the night she was born staring at her tiny newborn face, patiently waiting for his turn to hold her. After a while, I delicately handed her over to him.

I watched him walk over to the hospital room sofa and sit down. He placed her on his chest, tummy-to-tummy. After a moment, his entire body relaxed. He put his head back on the cushion as he let his eyes close. Comfortable. At ease. He was home.

When he opened his eyes to look at me, they were glassy and red. I started crying. We both started laughing.

‘This feels really nice,’ he said to me. And that was the moment. He was a Dad.

Since then, he’s been busy raising three little girls. And while a 7, 6, and 3-year old can be a lot to handle–I know he’ll manage it. If there are boo-boos to kiss, he’ll kiss them. Dinner will be made and served on their favorite plates.

My husband surprised me when we had our children. At times, he gets overly stressed out by the chaos and noise. He’s convinced that only our kids have developed a deep inability to listen. He has been known to yell ,’Baths are not for splashing!’

And then, at other times, he handles unicorn-related crises with ease. He’s unflappable. Missing stuffed unicorns will always be searched for and found. He is their constant.

He is showing them, in his quiet way, that men should be sensitive. Reliable. Kind. He’s teaching them about healthy relationships. And they are learning how multi-layered a man can be.

He is doing what Dads do.”

Heather Dixon

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Father Figures: Dropping Bombs

(Tom Granville)

“Being a dad has its up and downs. Moments that make you proud, and moments that leave you absolutely speechless.

My family (wife, mom, Dad, brother, and sister) and I were watching the Steelers playing the Broncos a few years ago.  Big Ben throws a late game interception. Everyone is shocked and mad. I go, ‘Awwwww crap.’

My 3-year-old daughter, in her little Steelers jersey, turns to me, and in the loudest voice she could muster, says, ‘Daddy, what the fuck?!’

You could have heard a pin drop in that room. My jaw hits the floor. Everyone is now staring at me. I am mortified because she said it, but proud because she used it at the right time, and in the right context. To this day, we chalk up her hearing that word and repeating it to her uncle Denny.”

Tom Granville

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Natalie Portman Is Back With Another 🔥 SNL Rap

She takes on Tide Pods, the Star Wars prequels, motherhood, and more…

And if that’s not enough, she (finally) played Eleven in a “Stranger Things 3 Sneak Peek”:

Father Figures: No Amount Of Video Chat Can Make Up For That

(Danny Hansen)

“This last year I was on the road more than I was at home. Luckily my deployments have not been longer than three months at a time and I have usually had regular internet access. Having the ability to video chat helps, but three months is long enough that I miss major holidays. Brand new babies are now sitting up on their own, and kids who toddled around in diapers now sprint to the bathroom on their own. No amount of video chat can make up for that.

Deployments are hard for mom because she doesn’t get any nights off and is suddenly and constantly outnumbered.
The hardest thing to watch from the other side of the world though, is a two-year-old’s struggle to understand the emotions of missing a loved one. Sometimes it manifests as a solemn statement of ‘I’m sad’ or an angry ‘I don’t want to talk to Dad!’ Other times it’s things that make Grandma lose it in public places, like naming a new teddy bear ‘Daddy.’
Two days of traveling and a 12-hour time zone change doesn’t decrease the excitement of being home or diminish the feeling of a big squeezey hug and ‘Daddy, I missed you’ whispered in my ear. I will not try to explain that feeling but it is the moment I look forward to every time I leave.
I love my job, I love my country, and I love my family. I do my job and I serve my country because of my family.”
Danny Hansen
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Every dad’s nightmare: your kid cheering for the other team.

Father Figures: Happy Birthday Daddy

“My son was born 2 months before my 23rd birthday. The morning of my birthday, my fiancee laid him next to me so that when I woke up he would be right there (while she kept an eye on him). As a first time dad I thought that was incredible to wake up on my birthday and have him there. I rolled over to kiss his cheek. At that moment he threw up straight into my mouth. Happy Birthday Daddy!”
Zachary Green-Garcia
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