Next Level Adulting: Things You Just Gotta Handle Now That You’re A Dad

(Getty/Inti St Clair)

My wife likes to tell our child that when we met my room was such a gross disaster a quarantine wasn’t completely out of the question. I think she does this to remind our kid that I used to not be a complete drill sergeant about keeping things neat and organized because, like me, they have a factory setting of “lazy” (the other options on my dial were lazier, downright slothy, and nachos, but that was a long time ago, I swear). Yes, I may still hide things under the cushions so the house appears clean for company, but I have, in so many ways, leveled up in adulting.

I bought the adult ticket when I became a dad and now I’m taking the ride. And what a roller coaster of twists and turns this parenthood thing has turned out to be. It’s the small stuff that no one tells you about that will blow your mind and occupy so much of your time. The only thing you can do is stare adulting in the face, say goodbye to your pants-less, formerly gross-bedroom self, and take the adult challenge. Here are six things you gotta handle now that you’re a dad.

1. Less Sleep Is Your Life Now

Operating on less sleep doesn’t stop when your kid gets beyond the infant stage, and if your wife is nursing, it can be really hard on her. So giving her a break during the day means most of your free time will happen after everyone else goes to bed. If you want to do something creative, play your favorite video games, or watch the game instead of a cartoon, you’re going to be doing it in the wee hours. So get ready to belly-flop into the coffee each morning — this is your life now.

2. You Will Own At Least One Tie And Jacket, And Not Just Graphic Tees

Look, if you want to, you could show up at the preschool interview wearing your old raggedy Phish T-shirt, but dude, don’t. Being a grown man means sometimes suiting up and showing up in a way that marks you as a responsible and mature father so you get taken seriously. We know, it sucks, but save those old T-shirts for the days when the baby spits up on you for the 27th time.

3. You Will Become Mr. Fix-It

Want to have enough money to send your kid to college someday? Then it’s time to break out the tools and start doing some of your own repairs — even if you fix something badly, hey, it’s still fixed, am I right? Bonus if your spouse is also capable of handling pliers and a hammer, because then if the fix is worse than the problem you can share the blame. Winning!

4. You Will Realize Your Dad’s Rules Weren’t Just Him Being Mean

After the third time you find yourself doing first aid on your kid — whether it’s just a scratch or you have to head off to get professional help — you realize, ohhh, THAT’S why my dad had all those darn rules. There’s a reason behind the “don’t jump on the couch” and “THAT IS NOT FOR CLIMBING” and “No, you can’t help me cook on the outdoor grill with all the fire and hot coals and stuff” rules you grew up with. It’s because your dad loved you and wanted to keep you safe — just like you do with your kids.

5. You Will Need To Make Your Own Doctor Appointments

Look, we get it. Going to the doctor is just… awkward. None of us want to do it, even though we’re sick. 60% of men don’t bother to get a physical every year, and doctors estimate that 200,000 people die each year because of preventable health issues. Don’t be that dude. Go every year. You’ve got kids now, and they need you.

6. You Will Read The Fine Print and Almost Understand It

In the adult world, there are so many papers with teeny, tiny fine print. It’s now your job to read it and just about understand it. Yes, this will require you to read, go back, zone out, go back again, and have the light bulb of recognition go off. But with car insurance, it doesn’t get any easier than having GEICO’s licensed agents available 24 hours to help you through it. It’s like you’re a kid again and don’t even have to try — you just ask a question and someone else tells you how things work. Oh, the glory of those bygone days!

So buckle up, dads. It’s time to grow up, put on your khakis (definitely no jorts allowed), and kick ass at this dad thing.

With GEICO’s 24-hour customer service, no question is too small and you could save up to 15% or more by switching.

This post was sponsored by:
GEICO

The Viral #TurkeyChallenge Prank Has a Surprise Ending

(Twitter/AuthorClaireG/MSUDersh)

The brains of parents nationwide collectively melted this past weekend thanks to the #TurkeyChallenge prank. Twitter users were tasked with texting their parents “how long do I microwave a 25lb turkey for?” and then encouraged to post a screenshot of the response. Here’s some of our favorite reactions and the explosive twist ending to this viral saga.

When you’ve suffered a lifetime of dumb questions.

Cold.

Tag-team disappointment.

Score!

And finally, a dad who gets it.

Then this person makes an explosive claim:

…and follows it up with cooking instructions?!

Even Butterball recommends microwaved Turkeys!

Then another user provided more specific directions from a vintage microwave cook book:

Turns out it will take 4-6 hours to cook a 25lb turkey in the microwave. Who knew?

Dad Cooks Free Thanksgiving Dinner for 100 Strangers for 33rd Year [VIDEO]

(Yahoo!/AOL)

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is no easy feat. Just the thought of it gives me stress and I have a small family. But sometimes, not hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be even worse.

That’s what Scott Macaulay found out in 1985. His parents had gotten divorced and family relations were strained, so he was preparing himself to eat Thanksgiving dinner all by himself in his lonely apartment outside Boston. And then he had an idea.

He took out an ad in the Melrose Free Press, his local newspaper, and asked for 12 strangers to join him for the holiday feast.

“I knew that I couldn’t be the only one in this situation,” Scott, a divorced vacuum cleaner repairman, told the Washington Post. “There had to be at least a dozen people out there who didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving Day alone.”

He was right, although he was off by a bit.

Since that first Thanksgiving 33 years ago, Scott has continued to invite anyone and everyone for dinner, asking them to RSVP via an office phone number he lists in the paper, and plenty of them do. He hosts 60 to 100 people everywhere, but not in his home, thankfully. After his oven broke one year, he moved the dinner to Melrose’s Green Street Baptist Church, which has continued to host it, for free, ever since.

(Boston Globe/Jessica Rinaldi)

Scott buys everything himself, insisting that to do otherwise “would take away the spirit of it.” The menu hits around $1000 and includes four large turkeys, multiple pies, and all the typical sides, from sweet potatoes, stuffing, and mashed potatoes with gravy to butternut squash and cranberries. But Scott’s Thanksgiving is about more than the hearty meal.

“This isn’t about the food, though,” Macaulay said. “It’s about having a place to go. Silence is unbearable, especially on Thanksgiving. My goal is always to replicate the feeling of having a nice dinner in somebody’s home.”

For thirty-two years, he’s been doing just that.

On one occasion his mom and dad both showed up. Macaulay’s mother was dying of breast cancer and wanted to be with family. As did his father.

“There they were, sitting on the couch together,” he said, “holding each other’s hand, years after their divorce. I can still see them sitting there. That’s a happy memory.”

His 22 year-old son, Walter, pitches in every year to help serve and clean up. He’s also the designated turkey carver, of course.

Here’s a video that celebrated the 27th year of his Thanksgiving tradition:

Tweet Roundup: The 12 Funniest Tweets About Thanksgiving

Gobble gobble! Set the table, loosen your belt, and prepare the mute button for that one scene you forgot was in Planes, Trains, and Automobile, because we’ve got 12 hilarious tweets for you to be thankful for.

If you’re not hosting, we wish you safe travels.

If you are hosting, we applaud your courage.

Preparation is key.

Always remember the reason we celebrate.

Show special thanks to those who make the holiday possible.

Or don’t.

There’s a good chance your kids are gonna be picky.

But the apple pie doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Try your best to watch what you eat.

But no pressure to keep active.

So kick back in that recliner and relax with your family.

You’ve got a big morning ahead of you.

Father Figures: I’m Fine

“I’m writing this because it is something I can’t say out loud.

I am a father of 6 kids. Half of them were acquired through marriage. I have never questioned my responsibility to any of my children, biological or not. My oldest son is now married and on his own. Just last week, my second oldest moved out with his fiancee.

I found that no matter what, it doesn’t get any easier to let them go.

I still get a little choked up at night, locking the front door, knowing that I am not waiting up for him to get home tonight. The hardest part is locking the deadbolt, because I know he won’t be able to get in the front door. (Even though he knows the combination to get in the house through the garage.)

A few days after he moved out, he asked me if I was doing okay, because he saw how hard it was for me to let my oldest go out into the world on his own. I told him I was fine. I can’t let him know I lied.

I’m not fine.

I know he needs to be able to move on with his life, but my little boy still owns a large part of my heart, as do all of my kids. I worry about him every day, not because he’s in danger, but because I’m not able to be there for him like I could when he was at home. I can’t stand in his way, and I have to somehow trust that all of the time we spent together for the past 19 years will be enough to get him through to become the man I know he should be.

It’s scary to worry that maybe I didn’t do enough; what if I failed him?

I’m not okay with him being gone, and I won’t be okay with any of my kids leaving the nest. But as far as they know, I’m fine.

Writing this is just my way of finally getting the words out of my head that I wish they could hear, but that they can’t know about.”

– Ralph Bennett

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

Top 5 Pregnant Turkey Pranks on Thanksgiving [WATCH]

(YouTube/Christine Nelson/Kristin Burr/Nerissa Hawkinson)

Thanksgiving is primarily associated with eating and football. But thanks to a hilarious collection of YouTube videos and a generation of gullible children, we might soon have to add the “pregnancy prank” to that list of November pastimes.

We all understand that turkeys lay eggs; birds don’t carry fetuses the way mammals do. But maybe we don’t understand it all that well, because there is a staggering amount of YouTube videos showcasing people being stunned by the sudden emergence of what they think is a baby turkey from the insides of their Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s actually a cornish hen that’s been stuffed inside the bird and used to terrorize unsuspecting children who think they’ve accidentally been party to the murder of a feathered family.

Check out some of the best examples of this hilarious prank below.

1. This one features a “hide behind the curtain” move and dad’s incredulous explanation to his clueless kids:

2. Watch as the horrific “truth” dawns on these women:

3. This video gets bonus points for Joe Buck’s accidental narration of that little boy’s trauma.

4. Mom boasts the turkey is free range and organic, apparently they get pregnant too.

5. Miss Dallas 2014 takes a moral stand:

Homeless Dad Finds Rare Disney Art, Honest Dad Lends a Helping Hand [VIDEO]

(CTV News YouTube/Curiosity Incorporated)

Sometimes, you need a little luck. And a helping hand.

One struggling dad got both this past week, when he found treasure, and compassion, in a pretty unlikely place.

Adam, a homeless Canadian man who has been living on the streets of Edmonton, was doing a little dumpster diving when he found something he thought might score him a few bucks. He took it to a nearby antiques shop and got twenty for it.

Turns out, it was an authenticated frame from the classic Disney animated movie Bambi.

(Global News Edmonton)

Alex Archbold, to whom Adam had sold the piece of art, put it up on eBay, and lo and behold, it netted the Commodity Inc. store owner almost $4000. He was shocked that the piece he’d bought for so little yielded such a return, and he knew what he had to do with the some of $3700 he received for its sale.

“I decided the right thing to do was to find him, and whatever it sold for on eBay, I was going to give him half,” Archbold told Edmonton’s CTVNews. “Here’s a guy who needs it more than I do, so I just thought it was the right thing to do.”

So Alex tried to track Adam down. It wasn’t easy – he documented his fruitless search on YouTube. In fact, he wasn’t able to find the man until he returned to the store that Alex was able to give the homeless father of three what was coming to him.

Here’s the moment where he gives Adam the good news:

“There’s $1,600.35,” Archbold told Adam as he handed over an envelope with his half of the proceeds.

“Are you kidding me?” Adam asked.

Adam has been on the streets for three years, trying to save up the money to return to his children in London, Ontario. Alex has even set up a GoFundMe page for his new friend, and he hopes their lucky interaction will pay off even further. The campaign has already toppled it’s $10,000 goal in only 11 days.

“I hope that he sees value in himself again, and that he wants to do the work for the right reasons—for his kids and his family,” said Alex. Both of them men are fathers, roughly the same age and both treasure hunters, “Really, we’re in the same business.”

Son Takes Down 44-Year-Old Christmas Tree in Honor of Late Dad [VIDEO]

(CNN/WSAW)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s just about time for the holiday season to kick off. Soon, Christmas trees will be going up in houses all over the country as Christians everywhere begin to celebrate.

This year, instead of putting a Christmas tree up, one man will finally be taking his tree down, after 44 years.

Back in 1974, Rich Olson’s father, Neil, erected a Christmas tree as a few of his six sons were headed off to war, and the patriarch declared that he wouldn’t take the tree down until he had all of six brothers back home together.

Unfortunately, that never came to pass, and on November 7th, Neil Olson passed away in a car accident.

While most families will be welcoming the Christmas season by putting up a tree and spending a joyous night decorating it, the Olsons will be doing the opposite in memory of the hopeful man who kept that tree standing for most of their lives.

The tree has been standing for nearly 50 years, and after this Christmas, it’s finally going to come down.

“We’re going to take it outside and light up the Christmas tree for the last time, take everything off and toast to my dad,” Rich told CNN.

“We’re always going to be little Ollies,” Rich says of he and his brothers, “and he’ll always be the big honcho. Always.”

The Dad Approved – Time-Lock Safe

(Amazon)

Expert dad hack to win the battle over screens: When you need some non-negotiable screen-free time, put your kid’s device-of-choice in this safe and set the timer. It can’t be opened until the timer goes off. Regardless of your kid’s whining, it’s not happening. Nothing says “…and I MEAN it” like a time-lock safe. Brilliant.

Check it out here.

We love cool stuff but hate shopping. You’re probably like us. So every once in a while we’ll share a product, service, or experience that has earned The Dad stamp of approval. Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided link, The Dad may collect a portion of sales, but opinions are our own. Also heads up, The Dad will never touch your thermostat. That’s yours to manage.