Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dad Stories

One of the innumerable tasks of fatherhood is to impart knowledge to your children: teach them about the world and how to behave within it. Dads are bottomless wells of expertise. They seem to know how to do anything, build anything, fix anything. For a young child, Dad = superhero.

Safe homes for spotted owls

My own Dad is exactly that. He wired our childhood home to have a phone and stereo speaker hookup in pretty much every room. He taught us all about computers back in the days of Commodor e. He built us our own rollerskates out of old trucks and Chuck Taylors. I forgot just how smart he is when I was between the ages of 13 and 20, but since then I have remembered just how resourceful he is. When I was 22, I received a stacking washer-dryer set. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to install the set in the storage closet of my apartment. My dad arrived with just his toolbox and within minutes he had McGuyvered the set securely in the space. With this kind of knowledge and ability, why would I question him when I was a kid and he told me the red and white power line marker balls are homes for endangered species of birds?

Yeah, I believed that one until I was well into adulthood.
Prosperity lantern
aka Boy Eating Dragon Home
Dads seem to take great joy in pulling the wool over their innocent children's eyes. Last summer Eric and I took the kids to our favourite sushi restaurant for one last meal before moving to Saskatchewan because really, how fresh is that sushi going to be in the prairies? Our kids love sushi, so a trip to Sushi Osaka is usually an enjoyable excursion. This particular afternoon, however, Benjamin was not in any mood to sit. I pulled out all the tricks from my purse: Hotwheels, crayons, juggling sharp knives. Nothing was working. The two year monster sweetheart could not be dissuaded from jumping on Mom, standing on his chair, or climbing under the table. In a moment of "brilliance" Eric pulled out a dad story and told Ben that the decorative red lanterns contained dragons that would come out and eat little boys who weren't sitting nicely on their chairs. Nothing says family time like a terrifying story of being gobbled up by a fierce dragon.

This past week Maya did a great job of preparing Ben for Easter. She told him both the biblical story and the Easter Bunny story in an attempt to get him excited about the upcoming holiday. However, Ben couldn't quite grasp the idea of a bunny rabbit sneaking into our house and leaving us chocolate treats. So Maya enlisted her dad's help and asked Eric to google a picture of the Easter Bunny to show Ben. And what does a kind, loving father google to show his son the Easter Bunny?

A kind, loving father googles Donnie Darko.

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the terror trail

Poor Ben was not looking forward to Easter. He took a look at the images Eric pulled up, turned to me, and said in his sweet, little 3 year old voice "oh, no thank you, Easter Bunny. I no like Easter Bunny. Easter Bunny too creepy." I'd have to agree with that appraisal.

It took us all week to convince Ben that the Easter Bunny was actually a cute, fuzzy bunny not a creepy, terrifying, evil rabbit who likes to go to the movies. On Easter morning, Ben discovered the Easter Bunny had brought both he and his sister lots of chocolate as well as some bubbles, sidewalk chalk, marigold seeds, and a set of elbow pads, knee pads, and bicycle gloves. "Mommy, I like Easter Bunny. Easter Bunny not too creepy anymore."

And yet he insists on wearing all that safety gear at all times.

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Ramble on. . .