Kids have a reputation for speaking the truth. And for maximum parental embarrassment, they always do it loudly. In crowded places. The tables have turned though, because parents now have access to the loudest, most crowded place that’s ever existed: Twitter.
It’s a 140-character parenting support group where Twitter Dads often tweet hilarious opinions, stories and observations.
Here are 15 of the best Dad moments:
15 Give up your dreams. Literally. Because you have a schedule to keep
Aside from spending all of your money on your kids, you'll also spend all of your time on them. When they're babies, you'll be kept awake by weird noises, squishy nappies and an appetite that seems way too large for something so small. When they're toddlers, all of your time will go to chasing after an uncoordinated little human with no sense of self preservation.
When they're older, you'll be carting them to and from ballet, soccer and school – until they're teenagers and you spend the same amount of time arguing about why they have to go to ballet, soccer and school. In the 18 years following your angel's birth, you'll be lucky if you get any time to yourself – even if it's just a two minute bathroom break.
14 And forget about having nice things
When you move into your first home, you can spend all of your energy making sure it looks good enough to make your friends
jealous happy for you. And (hopefully) you'll have the money to keep it that way.
Enter the child. Remember that $300 vase you imported from Italy? GOOD. Because, now that it's in a million pieces – all you have left of it is a memory. How about that white shag rug you spent years saving for? It's brown now. That wallpaper that you painstakingly installed? It's become a glorified chalkboard.
Having a kid means constant vigilance. And, even if you're like this Dad and shout at your kid to keep their hands away from breakable objects, everything is going to get destroyed anyway. Resistance is futile!
13 Don’t even think about wearing nice things, either
Once you're married and have kids, the pressure to look good all the time eases up a bit. You have the ultimate excuse for looking like you just woke up (even though it's 6 pm) – you can just blame your children.
Even on days where you do make an effort, you know it's going to end badly. Whether you're wearing pyjamas, or a tailored Chanel suit, you're going to be covered in mushy peas, apple juice, snot, and unidentifiable liquids (Why do children leak so much?). You might as well pack those good clothes away and spend their childhood in a black plastic bag. If you're lucky, you'll be able to pull them out when your kids are teenagers. And then you can have your revenge: No teenager wants to be seen dead with a parent wearing clothes that went out of fashion 18 years ago.
12 Enjoy playing Jenga with carrots
Parents need to employ every trick in their arsenal to get their children to eat things they don't want to eat. There are even recipes out there that will help you turn spinach into cupcakes... or something equally inconspicuous. Parents have been known to beg, bribe, and even force their kids to eat the food on their plates.
Sometimes, it's not that they don't want to eat the food in front of them – it's just that it's more fun to play games with it. Given half a chance, your kid will use his carrots to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which will inevitably fall over and force you to spend three hours searching for lost carrots. Or, maybe he'll use his peas for a game of hit the cat with a fork catapult.
11 Or if you’re lucky, you’ll have a wonderful game of soggy pasta pick-up-sticks
Do you know how to check if pasta is ready? Throw it up and see if it sticks to the ceiling. Do you know who knows this better than you? Yup. Your toddler. Because they've already noticed that spaghetti will stick to walls, floors, and doors, and they'll sling it around with glee.
Most of the time, you'll be amazed at how quickly your kid learns something. You might even think they're gifted. You're going to be equal parts furious and amazed when your two-year-old unlocks your iPad, finds the app store and downloads paid apps behind your back.
For some reason (maybe just to drive parents insane), the moment you put food in front of them though, your kid seems to forget how to use their bodies properly.
10 It’s a hazardous job. With no danger pay. Sorry.
You don't really need to put in a playground, trampoline or jungle gym because your kids already have all of those things in one package: You.
From the time they're born, they'll treat you like a climbing wall, and they're merciless about it. They'll be climbing up your face and using your eye sockets as footholds... and your pain will mean nothing to them. All that matters is the game. It's not unusual to see a father with scratch marks in strange places after their son is done pretending he's a vicious lion.
This is exactly what this Dad means when he tells the truth about what you're really doing as a parent: Protecting yourself from serious injury. Your children probably aren't doing it on purpose. Probably.
9 And if you want to avoid a ruined shag rug (and an irate partner), you’ll need quick reflexes.
Whatever time is left after you've finished carting your kid to soccer, picking up the carrots from dinner, or recovering from wounds suffered during a game of climb-the-dad, is spent pre-empting disasters.
Once they're past the stage where sippy cups are acceptable, you need to be prepared to have the reflexes of a cat. Because, wherever you go, there's a chance your kid is going to knock over their drink. No place is safe from them. And you're guaranteed to be embarrassed by a spill at least twice a week. Where you were once carrying tissues, you'll now be carrying Clorox wipes instead. If you don't have the kind of disaster prevention reflexes you need, you'll just have to pray that orange juice doesn't end up on your mother-in-law's brand new Persian rug.
8 And then there are the expensive swimming lessons
We've already established that you can't have nice things, wear nice clothes or buy expensive rugs, but there's something else you can't have either: Gadgets. You'll own them, but you'll be replacing, repairing, and guarding them more than you'll be using them.
As this Dad points out, your phone could go for a swim. There are a few scenarios where this could happen. Maybe your toddler has disappeared with it and wants to set it free the way you set his goldfish free. Or, maybe they want to take photos of the fish's journey to heaven. Or, maybe you've barricaded yourself in your bathroom to get five minutes of Pinterest time and dropped it into the bowl when one of your kids barges in. There's only one thing you can do about this: Make sure you always have rice in the pantry.
7 Planning to sleep in this Saturday? HAHA. No.
Parenting is 50% fighting to get your kids out of bed and 50% fighting to keep yourself in bed. Knowing they have to get up to go to school turns them into temporary narcoleptics. But, come weekend, their need for sleep has suddenly vanished and they're already causing trouble by 7 am. They seem to take special pleasure in pouncing on their parents to force a rude awakening.
Fortunately, this phase doesn't last forever. When they hit adolescence, their need for sleep multiplies by the thousands. A teenager that wakes up before 12 pm on a Saturday is a unique breed. If you're a parent that has been traumatized by early weekend wake up calls, this is the time to have your revenge. Slam some pots and pans around, sing as loud as you can and vacuum right outside your teenager's door – do whatever you can to get your own back.
6 At least the lessons you learned splitting up bar fights will come in handy
Before they get older and become semi-responsible parents, guys can get into all kinds of trouble without too much thought about consequences. Some of them cause fights in bars. Some get involved in fights in bars. Some break up fights in bars. But getting between two intoxicated men is nothing compared to the wrath of a mother being sassed by her child.
Hell hath no fury like a Mom being talked back to. Fortunately, all those years of observing the kind of tension that can lead to violence is good training for parenthood because dads will be able to recognize when his wife is about to lose it. Although, in this case, it might be safer for them to stay far away from the battle.
5 Don’t worry; you didn’t need your patience anyway
At some point, your kids will complain about how much you nag them. Because, if you didn't, they would never pick up their worn socks, brush their teeth, or do their homework. When that day comes, fathers can remind their kids of all the times they nagged their parents so much that they gave in just to shut them up. Unfortunately, children won't do the same. They seem to have endless patience with your nagging and wouldn't consider doing something just to keep you from nagging them more. Or maybe it's just selective hearing. There will be times where you'll wish you had the same ability.
Kids have no problem begging for hours. They'd follow you to Mars just to ask – for the 173,254th time – if they can have ice cream.
4 Except that you really, really do need it
One of the first skills you'll need to develop as a parent is patience. Without it, you're in for a miserable 18 years, because your kids will test it every second of every day. You can talk until your vocal cords burn out, but whatever you're trying to tell them will fall on deaf ears.
Take comfort in this: One day they'll have kids of their own and all that time spent yelling about why you don't want flies in the house will click when your kids start shouting the same thing at their kids. Sometimes, there's nothing better than being able to say, 'I told you so.' The only thing that can top it? Joining the kids in their rebellion and "accidentally" leaving the door open for a fly invasion.
3 And then there are the smells and gross body fluids
For the first few months of a child's life, they don't do much besides eating, sleeping and pooping. They do it at all hours – including the night when you'd rather be sleeping. Learning how to block out the rotten smells that come from your baby is one of the steepest learning curves you'll go through during your time as a parent. Before you know it, you'll be doing what you promised you'd never do: Discussing the consistency of the various fluids that escape your child's body.
Spending the first few months covered in various gross substances will have you wondering how something so cute and innocent can produce such nasty things. Being a parent means acquiring a whole new skill set, including one of a forensic investigator.
2 It’s like owning a parrot that wears nappies, eats dirt, and draws on walls
One of the greatest joys of parenting comes from watching your children turn into better versions of yourself. Discovering traits that reflect your own can be fascinating and terrifying – especially if they're learning some of your bad habits, like swearing.
Sometimes, it's next to impossible to guard your tongue as much as you'd like to. Kids are the masters of disguise, so even when it seems like they're not paying attention to you and the things you say, there's a chance they're secretly taking it all in. You won't know it until you're at church on a Sunday, when your child decides it's a good time to repeat the conversation you had at breakfast this morning – the one about your boss where every second word started with an f.
1 But every once in a (long, long) while, there’s a moment that makes it all worth it.
Being a parent is the most demanding, tiring, and frustrating thing you'll ever do. Your child will try your patience, test your intelligence and expose your weaknesses. Some days you'll wonder what you were thinking when you decided it was a good idea to raise a human puppy.
But every now and then, something will happen to make it all worthwhile. It could be something big like the day your daughter graduates from college. Or, it could be something beautiful like watching your son defend his younger brother from a bully. Nothing will satisfy you more than watching your kid turn into a better version of yourself. But it doesn't have to be any major moment, most of the time something small and innocent – like a hug – is all you need.