To My Kids: Believe It Or Not, Yes, Daddy Can.

Family 2_0

Hello, Children!

As our fiscal year draws to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to express my immense gratitude and appreciation for everything you do to make our family a happy and successful, if not necessarily profitable, organization.  The truth is that I love you like my own children, most likely because you actually are my own children.  I love you so much that it sometimes takes my breath away.  Like, you know how much I love cinnamon toast?  Well, that’s how much I love you.  Actually, way more than that, because if someone told me I had to give up either my kids or cinnamon toast, I’d say, I’m keeping my kids, thank you very much.  And now that I am writing this, I realize it doesn’t sound like such an awe-inspiring love.  “I’d pick you over toast.”  But you know what I mean.  Let’s move on from this before it gets any worse.

So, kids:  I am writing to you today because I believe that in order to achieve the greatest synergy within our enterprise, we need to ensure full utilization of all available resources.  With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to reacquaint you with one of our most valuable and yet least relied-upon team members:  I call him Jim.  You may know him as “Daddy.”

I say “reacquaint,” because I realize you’re already fairly familiar with Daddy, most notably in his role as Director of Telling People to Turn Off TVs and Chief Shower Coordinator, as well as in his occasional stint as Liaison to the Great Outdoors.  I know you’re also aware that when it comes to things like “swimming in a pool,” “being allowed to operate a gas-powered vehicle at the age of three,” and “putting up as many holiday decorations as we can fit on our property,” Daddy is by far the more fun parenting associate.  However, I’ve noticed lately that the two of you may not be encouraging Daddy to realize his full potential, and I think the time has come for a change.

A Sensible Equation.
A Sensible Equation.

Let’s recall, for a moment, a recent incident where I foolishly thought I could close the door to my room and get through a 30-minute workout video without anyone needing me.  First, one of you called me to ask a question, on the telephone.  From the living room.  Next, the other of you climbed two flights of stairs to say, “Mom!  I’m ready!  I know what I want for breakfast!”

This confused me, because it was Saturday morning, and I was pretty sure your father hadn’t gone anywhere.  “Wait a minute,” I said to you.  “Isn’t Daddy home?”

And your response, so precious and priceless:  “Yeah.  He’s home.  But, Daddy’s sitting.”

That’s right.


Let me ask you:  do you remember the last time someone said, “Oh, let’s not bother Mommy!  MOMMY’S SITTING!”

No.  No, you don’t, for the simple reason that those particular words have never been spoken.

The trouble here is that when we over-utilize one department, we create an imbalance of effort that I’m fairly certain our organization cannot sustain for the long term.  In other words, there are certain days – primarily Sunday through Saturday – where if the word “Mommy” is spoken one more time, I fear my response may border on the unreasonable.

So let’s talk about some of the ways in which we could make use of the Daddy Division a bit more effectively.  For example, did you know that Daddy is just as capable of opening a bottle of Gatorade as I am?  That’s right!  He’s actually better at it, come to think of it, due to his superior upper body strength.  For the same reason, he can also retrieve giant Rubbermaid containers full of Matchbox cars from the guest room closet, and move furniture when you have shoved a hockey stick too far under to reach.  Furthermore, he can throw actual high flies to you in the backyard, as opposed to the “lame pop-ups” that I’ve been accused of delivering.  I know that with Daddy, you might not get the snappy response time you’ve come to expect.  But I believe that working together, we can help him to greatly improve his service levels.

As a fun exercise, take a look at the following list of common household exclamations:

  • Mommy! I can’t find the right Lego Batman walkthrough!
  • Mommy, do you know where my blue Under Armour shirt is?
  • Mommy! Guess who my favorite 2013 All-Star players are!
  • Mommy, can I have a snack?
  • Mommy, how old do you think SpongeBob is?

Now, I’d like you to take each of these statements and repeat it out loud, replacing “Mommy” in each of them with “Daddy.”  Try it now.  I know it may feel unnatural and strange at first, but with practice, I know we can optimize our teamwork skills and thus bring our morale to new and greater heights.

A side note:  As the sole representative of the Mommy Department, I want to assure you that your contributions are greatly appreciated, even when those contributions make me feel like my head might explode.  Nothing in this communication is meant to imply that I don’t want to be bothered by you.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth, because I know these years are fleeting, and you won’t be six and seven forever.  I really do want to take it all in and appreciate every little thing that comes with having six- and seven-year-old boys.  It’s fun and funny and I love everything about it.  I do.

And I guess it’s because I love you so much that I want to give you this gift:  the gift of resourcefulness.  Because to me, resourcefulness is second only to a good attitude when it comes to living a happy and successful life.  We don’t need to know everything, or how to do all the things, or which remote to use to get to Netflix.  We don’t need to have all the answers – we only need to know how to get them.  And the smartest of us, the most successful of us, have more than one way of finding the things out.  Or finding the double A batteries.  None of us can rely on one source for everything.  Otherwise, do you really think they’d have bothered inventing Bing?  My point exactly.

In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I only want what’s best for our operation, for today, and as we look to the future.  And I think we’d all agree that it’s best if Mommy doesn’t accidentally become an arsonist, or other type of public menace.

Also, I love you.  Super much.

Hugs and kisses,

Heart_0Your Mommy

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  1. Miss, you really hit the nail on the head! And delivered on my bday, the day daddy in our home will be most utilized for everything all day! Thanks!

  2. This is fabulous – and so true. My 5 yo just sits and demands without even trying to be cheeky or inventive – she just assumes I’m there to come running from the kitchen to pick up her book that has fallen off the sofa! Wonderfully constructed argument – I see great prospects for your organisation with you at the helm!

    1. Ha – well, so far I’ve instituted two new policies – one is “I don’t hear you unless you say please,” the other is, “I don’t hear you if you’re asking me to do something you could do yourself.” If you’re wondering about my success rate, consider I’ve just been asked, “Mommy, could you please make dinner? Because Daddy says he’s busy changing channels on the TV.”

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