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The Father Factor

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Happy "Farters" Day??

Today, I was looking for Father’s Day cards for a couple of friends who are new dads and I was just amazed at how many of them were focused on drinking, grilling and farting. In fact, one enterprising and creative “poet” was able to produce the trifecta and use all three in a single card. What talent… Now, anyone who knows me for more than 20 seconds will tell you that I am a guy who loves humor. In fact, I have certainly “dealt” a few fart jokes in my day. If you don’t believe me, you can pull my finger.

That said, the folks in the card business have gone too far and now they really treat Father’s Day like it’s a national holiday to celebrate lazy frat boys. Furthermore, I noticed that, unlike on Mother’s Day, the humor tends to make fathers the butt of the jokes. For example, for moms, the card writers tend to say stuff like “despite all the times that I was a thoughtless idiot, you somehow managed to love me nonetheless. I love you Mom!” For dads, it goes something like this: “Dad, despite the fact that you are a clueless out of touch idiot, who is more interested in guzzling beer and guarding the TV remote control than parenting, somehow, despite my better judgment and the counsel of many, I managed to still love you... Happy Father’s Day!”

Well, if you ask me, something just stinks about this…It seems to me that there is a “silent but deadly” plot afoot and I think we dads need to say enough is enough and make these card companies give us more than just a burst of hot air. Or, at least we should make them leave the room.

Mother's Day - Take 2

There was a lot of pressure on Vinny and I to make mommy's first Mother's Day memorable. I knew that getting a Hallmark card and some flowers would not be enough. The "thought" only counts for so much...

So, we (notice how I am attributing rational thought to a 4-month-old) decided to make mom a homemade card and other hand-crafted items instead.

So, I headed over to Michael's to pick up the materials the Friday before Mother's Day. I wanted to make a cast of Vinny's footprint or hand print, so I bought the kit to do so. I also wanted to make a card with his hand and footprint on it, so I bought construction paper and finger paints (nontoxic, of course; do they sell toxic finger paints?).

The next step, of course, was to go retrieve Vinny at day care so we could make the gift together in the one place where mom would not be around - my office.

When we got to my office, I was ready to create. Vinny was asleep. Had I fully read the instructions on the footprint-making kit, I would have known that it was best to leave the child asleep while making his footprint. Instead I woke him up, and upon inserting his foot into the plaster gel, he began kicking, squirming, and crying. I tried to do the same with his hand. In seconds, he had space-age gel between all of his fingers.

I knew I had to act fast. The gel was hardening. My co-workers (Renae, Jason, Mike, Amy, and Natalie) were doing their best to help, but it was too late. The gel hardened and the project was lost.

Good thing I had a Plan B. The finger paints. I decided to use red, because it stands out on light-colored construction paper. It also stands out on clothing. Mine and the baby's. All of my co-workers had deserted me at this point, except Renae, who must like crying babies trying to make handmade Mother's Day gifts.

Nevertheless, after much more kicking, squirming, and crying (mine and the baby's), we were able to get two decent footprints and two decent hand prints onto the paper.

I was sweating by the time it was over. After many paper towels, we were able to get all of the paint and gel off Vinny's hands and feet. There would be no trace elements left for mom to ask about when we got home -- "Why does the baby have red paint on his feet? And why are your pants covered in that same red paint?"

Alas, mom did not suspect a thing. Baby was clean, and I had changed my clothes by the time she got home. Whew...

So, on Mother's Day, when mom opened her card, the hard work paid off. She loved it. Vinny and I did a telepathic high five. To prove that I did not make any of this up, here is photographic evidence of happy mom and baby, with handmade Mother's Day card. If you stare at the picture long enough, Vinny will give you a telepathic high five, too.

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