Dad Grades: Daniel Hillard – Mrs. Doubtfire

(20th Century Fox)

The 1994 blockbuster hit Mrs. Doubtfire is, at its core, a meditation on the difficulties of being a dad. More accurately, a meditation on the difficulties of rubber bodysuits.

The late, great Robin Williams stars Daniel Hillard, an out-of-work cartoon voice actor. Daniel is a father of three at the outset of a divorce with his workaholic wife, Miranda, portrayed by Sally Field. What, you ask, brought about this divorce? The best birthday party in the history of San Francisco, that’s what.

(20h Century Fox)

After the world’s lamest neighbor files a noise complaint, Miranda races home to find sparsely supervised anarchy grinding its dirty heels into her furniture. The logistics of this party, in retrospect, make little, if any sense. Daniel’s son, Chris, has just turned 12, yet every kid at this party appears to be in elementary school. Daniel also appears to be the only adult in attendance. It’s utter mayhem.

Miranda promptly files for divorce from Daniel, who then goes to stay with his brother. At their court hearing, a judge pledges to grant Daniel joint custody if he is able to secure a job and apartment. A fair ruling, given how notoriously inexpensive it is to live alone in San Francisco.

When Miranda tells Daniel she’s currently looking for a housekeeper, Daniel does what any of us would do in that situation: cloaks himself in makeup and prosthetics to assume the identity of an elderly Scottish nanny so he can see his kids. Sounds crazy, but, keep in mind, this was still some 17 years before the advent of FaceTime.

(20h Century Fox)

Daniel lands the housekeeping gig and keeps house to the pure oblivion of his inattentive ex-
wife and children. Miranda, meanwhile, falls head-over-heels for a pre-James Bond Pierce
Brosnan, much to the dismay of a quietly wistful Daniel.

(20h Century Fox)

His jealousy is understandable. Sure, Pierce Brosnan’s character has an impossibly alluring smile, chiseled, sultry facial features, a fiercely suave demeanor, and the keys to a Mercedes-Benz. But Daniel Hillard can do a Porky Pig impression. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters?

Daniel’s children eventually catch onto him after one of them catches Mrs. Doubtfire peeing while standing up. They panic and threaten her with a tennis racket, because it was 1993.

(20h Century Fox)

My, how far we’ve come!

Anyway, Daniel’s ruse comes to a head when one night at a five-star restaurant he attempts to alternate covertly between a TV pitch meeting, dressed as himself, and Miranda’s birthday dinner, dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire. The evening, as expected, goes horribly awry, since the Hillards appear to be damned with what I can only assume is some sort of Family Birthday Curse.

Seriously, why is this family virtually incapable of enjoying a birthday? First, Chris’s birthday serves as the catalyst for a divorce, and now this? What gives? What was his daughter Natalie’s last birthday party like? Did the magician have a massive, fatal stroke in the middle of a card trick? My guess: Probably.

(20h Century Fox)

The Good
Daniel has such a sweet, engaging relationship with his three children. They’re everything to him. He’s everything to them. His funny voices fuel them. They’re laughter fuels him. It’s an unconditional love of the highest mutuality. The sheer absurdity of the lengths to which he goes to ensure his kids maintain a prominent role in his day-to-day life should inspire every father who watches this.

The Bad
Sucks at cleaning.

(20h Century Fox)
(20h Century Fox)

It’s sweep THEN vacuum, dude.

Verdict
When it’s all said and done, Daniel Hillard goes above and beyond for his kids. His devotion is
truly remarkable. You’ll hear a lot of dads say self-congratulatory things like, “I would take a
bullet for my kid.” Yeah? Would you defy court orders by secretly leading a double life as their
vaguely-European babysitter? Oh, you would? Actually preferable to taking a bullet, you say?
Okay. Sorry. Carry on.

 

Daniel Hillard’s Final Dad Grade: A-

 

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.

(napshappen.net)

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