My wife woke up the other morning alarmed that she had forgot to pack my daughter’s lunch for daycare. In an attempt to be a good husband, I told her not to worry… Dad would handle lunch! Her immediate reaction was to groan while lamenting “Noooooo… you’re going to make her a dad lunch! Dad lunch is whatever dad can throw together! It’s like rice, one chicken nugget, half a string cheese, fruit snacks, and a shoe!”
First, I was slightly offended, but truth is that she is basically right. Dad lunch is absolutely a smorgasbord of nearby and partially edible foods. However, it’s not a malicious attempt by Dad to sabotage the nutritional needs of our kids. It is also not based in laziness, or a lack of caring. Dad lunch is a microcosm of a larger difference between Mom and Dad.
Mom has a plan. She tends to know what is appropriate for basically any situation. Mom knows that each lunch contains a certain combination of foods to achieve nutritional nirvana. Mom knows that certain clothes get worn to certain events, and the exact day that shorts are no longer appropriate for outside. Dad on the other hand is totally winging it, and by “it” I mean parenthood. We love our kids more than anything, but that doesn’t make us any more competent when it comes to decision making.
We are still the guys you fell in love with, and those guys could live off of cold pizza, Doritos, and Kool-Aid. We would wear the same ripped t-shirt and jeans to every event short of a wedding or funeral (that’s what ties are for), and we have absolutely no idea what an appropriate bedtime is. We stayed up until 4 am several times just to watch Steven Segal fight Tommy Lee Jones on a boat. In short, we don’t make great choices.
Then one day, someone hands us a baby and says “Hey, congrats Dad! Now go home and raise this thing.” Most dad’s try their hardest, and we succeed on many levels. However, we have no plan. Each day is a new adventure, and each night is a little victory that we didn’t severely screw up the kiddo that day. So next time Dad packs a lunch that may or may not actually contain any actual vitamins or minerals, just know that we are trying, but we have absolutely no idea what we are doing.
So with all that in mind, I named this blog Dad Lunch. First off, I thought it was simple and kind of catchy, but also it is just a collection of thoughts from a dad who is winging it on his way down this parenthood path.