Dad’s who lunch…?

When Ace was a baby, I was off work on Sundays and Mondays and we spent nearly every single Monday together doing our own thing. Our own thing almost always included having lunch at Lion’s Choice and then perusing the local Best Buy store for potential electronic purchases.

While I understand that Ace is an adorable girl and was perhaps the cutest baby ever,

Yes, we know how cute she is, thank you.

Yes, we know how cute she is, thank you.

we had what seemed like an inordinate number of visitors to our table who would stop and say things like, “I can’t believe how long she’s sat here and behaved herself” or “Good for you, is it really just the two of you out for lunch today?”

Having endured G$ as a dining companion more recently, I do get that Ace was a really, really good kid when we were out to eat. She could sit there for hours minding her own business or playing pull tabs (that’s right) while the adults talked and drank beer and what not, whereas G$ gives us a pretty predictable amount of time wherein we can eat and do our thing before he’s ready to be done and let’s you know it. I think G$ is more typical of most little ones than Ace was.

When it was just Ace and I though, I never did understand the first statement. They are little human beings, after all, and should be expected to behave as such, right?

As to the second question and similar ones to it, I now understand that the implication really was  “Oh wow, a dad is out with his kid, how great is that?”

I say poop on that talk!

I get that a lot of dads have no interest in taking their kids out in public alone. I have a lot of friends who are, quite frankly, fucktards when it comes to anything remotely domesticated like turning on a dishwasher, changing a diaper or getting a kid dressed and taking them out into public. The very thought of it sends some of them into convulsions.

I was never like that. I can’t stand to be cooped up too long, with or without kids around. I get cabin fever pretty quickly and have to leave the house before I go nuts.

With Ace, the hardest part for me was getting her dressed and not looking like a total hobo before we left, not that she’d have cared. My number one nemesis with her was that hair. While the hospital sends parents home knowing how to swaddle a little girl, dads are not trained in the art of doing anything with little girl hair and to this day, I’ve no clue how to braid or do anything beyond a half-assed ponytail. Sadly, Ace is old enough to take care of her own hair now so I guess to learn at this point would be silly.

My go to hair style for Ace was to put a hat on her head.

Hat...

Hat…

Hat...

Hat…

Hat...

Hat…

Hat...

Hat…

We going out, dad?? I'll put this on, if yes!

We going out, dad?? I’ll put this on, if yes!

You get the idea.

Even today, with three kids, I still like to get out of the house for lunch with them when we’re all off for the day and nobody is sick (which is a rarity it seems).

The fuck you lookin' at lady??!

The fuck you lookin’ at lady??!

Nobody approaches the table to tell us that the kids are really well behaved, G$ sees to that, but I still get the “good for you’s” and “what a great dad you must be’s” from people.

I’d hardly equate taking my own kids out to lunch alone with being a great dad. It’s easier to make the mess someplace else than have to clean it up at home, quite honestly. Part of it, at least, is for selfish reasons.

Do you fellas,  or your man, ladies, take the kids out alone for lunch alone? I rarely notice other men with kids as young as mine out to lunch, so maybe it’s just me.

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75 Responses to Dad’s who lunch…?

  1. mollytopia says:

    Omgahhhd she’s sooo cute – and I love all the hats – hilarious! I don’t see many dads out with their kids alone either. Therefore, you are in fact awesome. This is bad, but I usually assume those dads are divorced and and have too much porn and bourbon in their apartments to allow children inside. So swell of me to assume the worst, eh?

  2. Emily says:

    I’m like you – can’t sit home for too long so I always like to leave the house and even better if it involves a meal that I don’t have to cook. I recently had to leave town with my youngest for a few weeks while he received medical treatments a few hours away. My husband held down the tort with our other two kids, including preparing all meals (or going out). Still, my friends thought he would be helpless and set up a meal train so he’d receive prepared dinners twice a week. Little did they know, he’s a much more capable cook than me!

    • Wow, a few weeks would be a real test for me, I think. Upon getting home from work after picking up the boys from the sitter, I’m exhausted! I almost always cook dinner while my wife gives the boys their baths and puts them to bed. I used to think I was getting the better end of that deal, but now I’m not so sure.

  3. I love taking my kids out with no help. I probably embarrass the kids quite a bit, but I don’t care.

  4. My husband has taken / does take all of the children out, together or separately — whatever the activity requires — but most notably, when they were about 3,4,11, and 13, he would wake them on Saturday, take them to breakfast, the park, and go to the grocery store so that I had all that time to sleep in. And yes, everyone told him how wonderful he was. Parenting one’s own children: What a novel concept!
    Still, y’all are rarer than you should be.
    We have three girls, so their daddy has now mastered the simple braids, in singles or doubles! lol — but Ace sure does wear those hats well! 🙂

    • Thanks, Joey, she’s always been a looker. That’s awful sweet of your husband to give you a respite like that. My wife wouldn’t miss out on a breakfast out though, even for a little peace and quiet. We like our dining out too much I guess. We get a lot of kudos that mom’s don’t get, and it’s hilarious.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    “I say poop on that talk!”—For a minute I thought your potty mouth had been cleansed. But then I read the next paragraph and you redeemed yourself. Phew. Don’t mess with my world like that…

    Nice to hear a dad say it’s a bit ridiculous to claim a father’s a good father because he takes a kid out to eat. A mother wouldn’t get that; in fact, she’d probably get the opposite. But you are a good father because you spend time with your kids. That’s all they really want–love, time with their parents that’s not consumed by smart phones, and to be safe. Ah, now didn’t I end that sweetly? You can go back to swearing now.

  6. Elaine says:

    I would guess that when you go out now for lunch with the family, you’re one of those people who has to move if under a vent…

  7. Mental Mama says:

    I only have a step-daughter and didn’t acquire her until she about 7 – so I can’t speak to this a whole lot. She’s always been pretty well behaved in public, for which I’m thankful. However, we rarely take her out because she can’t be counted on to eat enough food – even at 10 – to justify going anywhere. And few things piss me off more than throwing away food that she insisted she’d eat.
    My nieces, on the other hand, don’t go places too terribly often. They’re 5 and 3, super picky eaters, and pretty active. We have reasonable luck at one Mexican place where the younger one eats plain chips and the older one eats tacos. But even then it seems to work out best if we have 5 adults for the 2 children.

    • Picky eaters are a challenge for sure. Cool won’t really eat anything but a limited number of items and he doesn’t ever eat enough to justify the $6 or more we pay for his plate, so a lot of times we just have him split something with his brother. The portions anywhere are so big nowadays that there’s plenty on our plates to share as well. If we really don’t want to fight about what he’ll eat then we go to a buffet so everyone can find something they like.

      • Mental Mama says:

        I’ve gotten to the point with this one where we pretty well always eat at home. We did manage to pull off a fast food Mexican place for lunch on Saturday, but tacos are cheap and easy to customize for kids.

  8. barbtaub says:

    There were ten of us, and not one was nearly as cute as Ace. But a couple of times a month, my father would pile us into the station wagon with a kid-per-square-foot ratio that would get you ticketed today, and take us out to breakfast so my mother could sleep in. He found a place in San Jose called the International Fair Restaurant which had two big advantages. First, there were food stations, so each kid got to go up to the counter and order their own food. You wanted fried chicken for breakfast? Chow mein? Spaghetti? Ice cream sundaes? There was no mother there, so nothing was off-limits as long as you tithed some of it onto the baby’s highchair tray. Second, the other clientele were from the walker/oxygen tank set, so the entire time we were there people would be shuffling up to marvel at what an amazing family he had. He would sit there as the baby du jour flung whatever disgusting bit of food she’s partially chewed, and bask in the glow of a dad well done.

    • Ten kids…that’s just incredible to me still!!

      My mom was raised in a 2 bedroom house with 8 kids and I complain about the noise in my 4 bedroom 3 kid house! lol.

      Your dad had the right idea. Maybe taking the kids out to give the wife a break is part of the reason he kept having additional kids? We like to hit the Chinese buffet from time to time so everyone can pig out on whatever it is they want.

  9. mistyslaws says:

    My hubs is more of the take the kids out guy than I am, actually. Every Sunday morning he takes them to breakfast, then church, then to the store, where he initiates the slave labor of making them go fetch procucts and order lunchmeat. And yes, he often gets the “aren’t you just the BEST dad in the world?” comments and appreciative looks. For me, that just seems normal. It’s just how we work. They are cool little people and he likes to hang out with them. Plus, he likes to give me a break every once in a while. He’s good people.

  10. Used to. Frequently. Miss those days. Thanks for rekindling them.

  11. Christina says:

    My ex-husband did not like doing things alone with the kids. Once I wanted to go grocery shopping on a Saturday without the four and two year old and he just could not understand why I could not take them? Just once I wanted to take my time without the two ticking time bombs. Just once.

    • See, that’s just awful to me. It’s douchebaggery to expect the mom to do it all the time. It’s too much for one person to do it alone all the time I think. Going to the grocery store with the boys after i get them from day care or getting a haircut or just taking Ace to get a sno cone are some of my favorite times with them.

  12. momtimes4 says:

    My husband stayed at home with our first and he took her all around. It was great for both of them! He did dress her like a hobo on a daily basis though.

  13. I live in CA – I see fathers with kids by themselves all over the place, going on field trips etc. My kids ages range from 22,20,12,10. It wasn’t like this with my older 2, father involvement I noticed increased rapidly when my 12 year old started school.

  14. This isn’t going to shock you but I’ve taken Ted with me to an animal friendly bar. And he sat like he was the shit on my lap and let me drink ’til I got drunk. I didn’t get ‘good for you’ stares though. I got the ‘you’re a bat shit crazy fucktard’. But by god, I looked good doing it. And so did Ted. I can tell you’re a great dad all around (and yes, Ace is so stinkin’ cute with or without the hats) but what fun memories you’re spawn will have of lunches out with you. One time, my dad took me to Red Lobster all by myself when I was a kid and we were in the ‘city’. I felt like I’d died and gone to the fanciest restaurant in all of the world.

    • The vision of you and Ted getting tanked at a bar will give me happy dreams tonight and no, it doesn’t shock me. And Red Lobster…that’s awesomeness! Your dad sounds like a man I’d really like. Did you ever ask him about Steve Hobbs?

  15. markbialczak says:

    My darlin’ is now 23, and she still quickly accepts my invitations for breakfast, lunch or dinner daddy-daughter dates. You are headed in the same direction. Well done, Don.

  16. my husband, mr. baseball, has always taken the kids out and loves it… they come back disgustingly dirty and without having eaten a meal. fabulous!!

  17. Katie says:

    Now that you mention, it is usually a woman you see struggling to get her stroller out of the trunk of her soccer mom minivan. I think it’s cool you take your kids out in public. I think some dads get too hung-up about being called Mr. Mom or something like that.

  18. My exhusband always took my 2 girls out for lunch or dinner, hey we all still go out once in awhile together for a meal. We wanted them to practice their manners and how to behave out in public, they usually did well.
    Now that they are teens,and we go out, my biggest fear is them getting into bar fights with the men over sports lol.

  19. Kylie says:

    Luckily, hats are adorable 🙂

    My husband takes the kids to soccer games by himself, which is quite a feat with the littlest one. It’s glorious because it allows me to sleep in on the weekends! He also makes brunch!

  20. Honey says:

    I take John out and get numerous compliments on well behaved he is. Ha! Ha! I kid. Our kids are sooo old, I can’t remember. But I can tell you that they now take an inordinate amount of pleasure taking us out to dinner.

  21. I think the fact that you are out with them alone says that you are brave. Not necessarily a good dad. 🙂 And, I love how the hardest part is getting her dressed. My husband seems to pick out the ugliest shirt, or the one that they outgrew 3 months ago out of their closet every. single. time. And, my daughter sounds a lot like Ace. Then the little brothers came along and all hell broke loose. Eating out is a fiasco almost every time.

    • She has never really cared what she’s wearing out in public and still doesn’t. Part of the difficulty getting them dressed is that wife does the laundry (she doesn’t want me touching her precious front loading machines) and I never really knew where the clothes were! We can’t do anything now without it being a fiasco, but we still like to try! Our families do sound very similar, minus the god from ours and add alcohol to yours of course. lol.

  22. Katia says:

    You are awesome. My husband’s the same way. He took both boys out to the Science Center while I was meeting a friend. I have never thought of the hair challenge daddies of little girls have. I would imagine it’s akin to when I am asked to wrestle and play transformers. Oh and I know you know, but the photos in this post. OMG.

    • Thanks, Katia, your hubby sounds like good people. The hair thing was always been awful for me. Ace would even make fun of me in public for how her hair looked! I used to laugh at my wife when one of the boys did something with their little boy parts that left her flummoxed! She’s an old pro now though.

  23. A.J. Goode says:

    My husband is great about taking the kids places. He’s the fun parent. But he doesn’t dress the little guy — oh no. I lay out all clothes for everyone, icluding hubby, the night before.

  24. ksujulie says:

    Aw, love this post. Love the hat pics. She will be completely comfortable throwing on a hat on a bad hair day 🙂

  25. First of all, this post had way too much adorableness. Those pics are precious. Second, my husband was very much like you when the kids were little. And YES, they looked dirty and like little hobos all the time. Nothing matching and their hair, a disaster. When my father passed and my kids were little, I had to send my husband alone with our kids to his brother’s wedding. I had given instructions to put tights on my daughter if it was chilly and socks if it was warm. He ended up putting both on her at the same time. Those pics are priceless!

  26. My husband, also a STL boy, used to take our two toddlers and my best friend’s two toddlers to lunch, the zoo or the park so she and I could have mom time. You dads are awesome!

  27. findingninee says:

    First, the hats are freaking brilliant. Second, I’m totally taking credit for you thinking of this after I said my hubs was with my son all day when I was at a conference. My husband does take my son pretty often. We have a crazy work schedule too so there’s usually at least a few hours on the weekend when he’s 100% there. I have no idea if people comment that he’s being “such a good dad” or not but I should ask him! I do know my son is not as good for hubs as he is for me and so I am the one who feels guilty about that. Hubs is happy to take him. As they all should be. If not, they need to run away and marry YOU. 😀

  28. I was re reading your post, and thought back to my own childhood, my father was really involved in a lot of things my sister and I did, (it was the 80’s, practically unheard of) I am 39 (gasp)! The one which stands out the most was for my 5th birthday I wanted a “real date” with my dad, he had to use the door bell, have flowers, dinner and a movie. It was perfect and to this day the best date I’ve ever been on!! Unfortunately, he set the bar so high, I was surrounded by so many losers, I thought I could fix. Ha! Life lessons.

  29. Go Jules Go says:

    My dad used to take me out for ‘father/daughter’ lunches every now and then – certainly not as often as you seem to – and I don’t remember him ever combing hair!

    I think part of it is that a lot of women I know are really controlling / Type A when it comes to parenting, so they enable their husbands to act like f*cktards.

    In sum, I raise my Bud Lite Lime in salute, Dad ‘o The Year! (Seriously – you ARE a great dad.)

  30. I don’t get it, man. I LOVE taking my kids out almost anywhere I go. I go on “dates” with my daughters at least once a month where it is just one of them and wherever they want to go. That people are shocked by such behavior is the problem. As Jack Sparrow said, “the problem is not the problem. Your attitude about the problem is the problem.”

  31. Hmmm I don’t believe he has ever taken them out to lunch alone….oh no wait he has, picnics at the beach/park but you can hide that way…lol
    Great photos and fun post.
    Long time no chat!
    Cheers,
    Jennifer

  32. My husband would take the kids out sometimes only that each time, I have this mental image that somebody will come home missing a limb. So far so good. I should learn to trust my husband more LOL

  33. mommypeace says:

    It’s just you. My husband will take him alone to the store or something, or is fine watching him at home though, so I guess I’m still halfway lucky.

  34. djmatticus says:

    I would have zero problem taking the Little Prince out on my own… and have ventured out to run errands with just him and I before. I don’t really do the “out to lunch” thing right now though as he isn’t that messy and I can’t justify the expense when the Queen keeps the house stocked full of deliciousness for me to peruse. But, yeah, eventually, he and I will head out together when he can enjoy the experience of eating something other than milk….

  35. flyingplatypi says:

    Good for you! I think it’s important for each parent to spend quality time with the kids. And if you never take them out, how will they know how to behave?

    Hugs!

    Valerie

  36. One of the benefits of being separated is that my ex HAD to learn how to do all the caring for baby things all by himself. He was keen to have our son at his house on his own from a young age so he got right in there and learnt what to do. I think even if we were together he would have been pretty good. He’s a hands on parent and absolutely rocks at it. I’m really proud of him.

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