REAL MEN HAVE TEA PARTIES WITH THEIR DAUGHTERS
“Papa, can I do your make-up?” “Whatever you want, Princess.” Half an hour later, Mom steps into the room looking like she’s seen a ghost. (To be fair, my dad did sort of look like a ghost when I was done with my artistry…) Dad looks up and asks enthusiastically; “How do I look?” And this… This is how I will forever cherish and remember my childhood with my Papa.
Being a good dad isn’t just being present and paying school fees; it’s about seeing the fun in everything, being a keen sport and always encouraging whatever your child might be interested in – even if it means you would have to occasionally sit in a 5-year old’s stylist’s chair, no matter how much it might threaten your masculinity. Or maybe it means having to watch movies like Frozen 30 times a week, while quickly wiping away that sneaky bastard of a tear from your cheek, because you are now more into the movie than your kid is… But no one has to ever know that part.
Being a good dad is buying your kid a whoopie cushion, despite mom’s embarrassment. Only a dad can see the humor in fart noises, that’s what makes them so special. They are able to create space for laughing at themselves and life – something moms usually miss out on while trying to (over)protect their clan.
Being a good dad is living by example and ignoring social norms. For instance, when I asked my dad why he’s doing my mom’s job by doing the washing. He replied; “There’s nothing wrong with my hands, besides… I live here, did you forget?” It’s about raising a child who will understand the value of both sexes, and see them as equal as a result of your actions. It’s about leveling out the playing field, it’s about encouraging your daughter to join the rugby team, it’s about letting your son join the ballet class.
Being a good father is raising a daughter who is not afraid to tell her boyfriend to do the dishes, like me.