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Just Call Me Dad

Fatherhood in the 21st Century


Archive for June, 2010

Nicholas has no shortage of toys; besides a collection of Thomas & Friends trains and rolling stock that would make VIA jealous he has blocks, cars, trucks, and stuffed animals – thanks to parents who can’t say no and friends and family who apparently have a lot of VISA debt. However, I’m always reminded of stories about kids who get the latest and greatest toy, only to sit down and play with the box that the toys came in.

I’ve been renovating our basement for the past several weeks, and left a couple of scraps of wood outside in our backyard. As the weather has turned warmer and we have begun playing outside more and more, the blocks have become a real go-to toy. In fact, I recently cut an entire 8′ 2×4 into 4″ long chunks. It’s amazing what can be done with these. Nick has turned them into a road, train tracks, bridges, stairs, towers, the list is endless. All this from a chunk of wood that cost less than $2.

This is something that anybody can do – just drop by your local home center and pick up a piece of wood. Make sure to lightly sand the edges to prevent splinters.

For even more fun, consider painting the blocks with your child.

I found this on a forum that I frequent and wanted to share it with you. If you know who wrote it, please let me know so that I can give credit where it is due.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family.
Talk about price shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.

But $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month,
* $171.08 a week.

* A mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is; don’t have children if you want to be ‘rich.’ Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs,
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:

* First step,
* First word,
* First bra,
* First date,
* First time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like, you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!!
It’s the best investment
you’ll ever make!!!!!!!!!

I’m a sucker for seeing families reunited. In honor of memorial day, here is a great video of soldiers being reunited with their loved ones, many of them of Dads and kids.

Thanks to @WBrettWilson and PeanutButterFingers for making me aware of the video.

You might want to get some Kleenex.