In the spirit of celebrating everything good, fathers (dads) been one of those good things, have come up for special mention, for what they’re doing right. Father’s Day have come and gone we know, but there is no reason for In the City Lagos, not to remember the awesome dudes that populate Lagos and the formative experiences of fatherhood, that they need to experience. Go ahead do, or enjoy and tick off (if you’ve been down that particular route) the moments to treasure, the things not to miss, and all the other little experiences that turn a man into a father.
Be Terrified During Labour
This is the one that every man who’s been through it gives women props for. Not that many in these climes have actually experienced this as in been present in the labour room, but the few who have been, have the unequivocal right to be downright frightened, and not to feel any less a man for it. Remember, that in some societies, its fatherhood rather than marriage that makes the man. In our estimation, this one ranks alongside unbeatable, so go on grab your bragging rights.
Talk back to a rude whoever, wherever
There’s always a smart-alecky somewhere, Mr./Miss/Mrs. know it all, who will try to ridicule your agreeable pitiful efforts with the tiny tot. Don’t let anyone shame you; Rome was not built in a day, neither was Third Mainland Bridge.This is standing your ground scenario, you’re a new dad, but you’re still a dad. Just make sure it is not your mother in law.
Change A Napkin/Diaper. No, Change Lots of Them
Nigerian men might not believe this one, even more so Lagos bobos/big boys, but take it from me, to truly enjoy taking care of children, you have to participate in the daily grind of it. No pain, no gain, you agree? So, there are no highlights of fatherhood without the hard work of fatherhood. Weird but true: One diaper/ napkin change with your nose pinched is a chore. Several diaper/napkin changes, now we are talking. Stay with me people, we are evolving here.
Become A mechanical wizard
A man can’t breast-feed, but he can take charge of the endless accessories that come with a new baby. These activities are neither fun nor satisfying, but you aren’t a dad until you’ve installed a car seat, untangled a new-fangled baby carrier, lowered a crib mattress, and correctly set up whatever complicated toy, some unthinking person got your child as a present. Word of caution; hands on, not supervision, this is not a job for Kunle, neither is the child his.
Be confused by children’s clothes
She will laugh when she comes home and you’ve dressed the baby in a bathing suit because you thought it was just a weird onesie, or you’ve put an older kid in her little sibling’s pants, which you mistook for shorts. Oral family history, that will get you dewy eyed looks when the affected parties grow up. It’s a gift that keeps giving. The family that laughs together, does what?
Stay Home Sick With Your Kid
Alpha male, hunter gatherer, you are out
there every day, bursting whatever is burst, to put food on the table and wifey is doing same, not that she is an alpha male though, believe me you are lucky. God loves you, and the planet is aligned in your favour. The child is sick, stay home this time, not wife. Simple as abc. I hope you get this; you might never get this chance ever again. Forget hustling, just stock up on medication and a few games and enjoy some unscheduled parenting time. I know staying home with a sick kid, can be hard to arrange with work and really doesn’t sound like fun, is a great way to bond.
Eat Something Weird
As a parent you’re so often trying to convince your kids to try new foods or even eat at all. I will spare you all the story of how many and the kind of shenanigans hubby and I got up to, to get our little prince in shining amour to eat when he was a wee one. Now he eats down the house, oh, the old times!!! But really take a go at that ‘okpa’ and who knows? Leadership by example, it’s often said. Bonus; you might get them to eating healthy, but that’s if it is what you do yourself.
Inner Child Time
If she is a girl, do something distinctly girlie with her and vice versa. Take her to the salon/hair place to get her hair braided, and do not just dump her and get talking on your phone the whole time, setting up deals. Build that lego like a pro and run around with it and make airplane noises with your mouth, if you have to. Engage with the process and moment. It’s the memory people, the memory.
Conquer Fears (Yours or Theirs)
Calmly squashing that cockroach underneath your shoes, will set a tone. It’s man versus cockroaches and everything else that flies, and man always wins, hopefully. No swashbuckling no good dude is going to use this one on her in future or even presently, she got this covered, courtesy dad. Work harder man. There’s nothing quite like the experience of overcoming your own fear-or pretending to-in order to keep your kids from being afraid. Do the groundwork so your children won’t be scared by things you were scared of as a child.
Do What They Want
One of my favorite sights in the world is when my hubby sits on the sofa patiently watching Disney with my daughter or when my husband, daughter and son are throwing lines of movies they have watched back and forth, and cracking up about it. As a dad, you’re going to watch shows and movies you don’t want to see, go to parties you don’t want to go to and eat food that aren’t geared for you-but your participation means the world to your children. Suggestion; occasionally let the kids decide what the whole family does. Can you handle that?
Talk to Your Kids
A favorite thing of mine is talking to my children, always, always fun. I mean random talks about nothing in particular. Dads are known for ‘talks’ especially when
things are not going right, but also there’s a place for bantering that could actually unearth very significant information. My son cracks me up to no end and my daughter’s malapropisms when she was younger is a treasure forever. Come on guys, be a man and talk, not just that type.
Take Your Child to Work
My husband scores an A on this one. If he could and had the time, he always took the children to his office and even friends. Kids are fascinated by what you do when you’re not around. If possible, letting your children spend a few hours in the office with you will provide great fun for them as well as you. I hope your co-workers love it too, and not turn into party poopers but you cannot be responsible for their feelings too, the child is already a handful.
Teach Your Kid to Drive
Apparently, its universal world-wide: Dads are the ones to teach their children during first tries at spins behind the wheel. Again, do not leave this one for your driver. Can I say it enough; it’s your child, not his.
Celebrate Graduations and Milestones, Large and Small
We celebrate birthdays here in Lagos like no other place that I know of. But do you not think it proper to make a big deal out of every accomplishment. Dads need to step up on this one, the school event is not a mom’s event, it’s a parent’s event; father and mother. Be there when your kid comes last on the egg and spoon race, cheering wildly from the sidelines, even if they forget the race and head towards you. Scoop them up and plant a big one on their cheek, after all with you they always win. Remember, children in today’s world get much more formal, outside-the-home education than they have in previous societies, and fathers may play greater roles and find meaning being involved in a child’s transitions through the formal education process.Now that we are on the same page, we agree we’ll be there at the after school whatever it is and the graduations also
Walk Your Daughter Down the Aisle
All these years and finally we are here, who else could make this day complete?
Travel, Eat, Shop… (Without Paying)
Someday your child will grow up, get a job, realize how much you’ve done for him or her, and, if they’re in a position to do so, start footing the bill for family holidays, occasions and other events. Brilliant. And they thought this day will never come..ha! Who’s having the last laugh?
Know You Did Good
I took it for granted, that I knew that family mattered, but when I got married, my husband reinforced it over and over in words to me and the children. I got it and I hope they also did, because then dear daddy, you could rest easy in the work you have done thus far. You have done well and good.
We’re all parents, but we’re also children, so after reading this, take time out and say, “Thanks, Dad, Father, Papa, ! I love you”