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Modern Dad

As Father’s Day approaches, be sure you hug your mom

By Jon Show. This Father’s Day marks my 11th year as a parent, which means I’ve been raising animals for almost a quarter of my life. I mean children. Raising children.

I know sometimes I’m a lousy role model but I try to make up for it by explaining the important things I want my kids to understand about life. Yes, that’s just a fancy way of saying, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Why mess with something that’s been a hallmark of parenting since the dawn of time?

I have no idea if my messages are getting across, despite, in some cases, having actually taped them to the mirror in my kids’ bathroom. So in case they haven’t been listening (they haven’t been) here are some things I’d hope for them to know about life:

Always stick up for the kid who can’t stick up for him or herself. You might get in trouble at school for standing up to a bully but you won’t get in trouble at home.

That being said, a bully is a person who relentlessly picks on someone. A bully is not a person who says something mean to you a couple times on the bus. People are going to do and say mean things to you in life; learn to deal with it without running and telling an adult.

Put down the toilet seat so the dog doesn’t lick me with toilet water on her face.

You’re being raised to respect people who are different than you. This is not something that should require practice or reinforcement from us. Sadly, it’s also exceedingly rare in this world. That doesn’t mean you should lower your standards and swim with the mouth breathing bottom feeders that sit on both sides of the aisle.

Judge people by their clothing and their shoes. When you walk into a party, the person with the wrinkled shirt and dusty shoes is probably the most interesting one to talk to.

Don’t leave your socks downstairs because the dog eats them and then throws up for three days until she regurgitates the sock.

Don’t try to be funny if you’re not funny. Don’t try to be interesting or smart if you’re not interesting or smart. You’re something – just figure out what it is and be that thing.

Don’t wear pajamas to the airport or sweatpants to the grocery store. If you can’t muster the strength to put on pants that don’t have an elastic waistband then maybe it’s better to stay inside for the day. Yoga pants are exempt from this rule because I like when The Mother of Dragons wears yoga pants.

My apologies for not mentioning this in a previous Father’s Day column, but please don’t exit the school bus via the side window. This was something that I thought didn’t need to be covered, but apparently I was wrong.

Hold onto the leash when you walk the dog so the leash doesn’t drag between her legs and get pee on it when she squats.

Hold the door for people but don’t expect people to hold the door for you. There will be times you’ll help someone and times people will help you, but more often than not you need to manage on your own.

That said, don’t date someone who expects you to open a car door and don’t expect your date to open the car door for you. It’s a date, not a car service.

Don’t use the word literally unless you’re literally being held at gunpoint. Something may be off the charts or a situation may be win-win, but find your own way to express things. The English language is a thousand balls of yarn waiting to be weaved into a tapestry. Weave one. Don’t go pick one up at Crate & Barrel.

Yes, I just used a metaphor to complain about people who aren’t creative with words. Sometimes the words just aren’t there, like when you (boy) pee in the backyard in broad daylight or you (girl) try to lead a group of six-year-olds out on the roof during a sleepover.

Don’t be afraid to be a nerd. Nerds grow up to rule the world. They’re also the most interesting people to hang out with. Cool kids are concerned about looking cool. Nerds launch rockets.

Hug your mom when she comes home from work, it makes her happy.

And finally, maybe don’t listen to anything I tell you, which shouldn’t be hard based on our mutual experiences thus far. What do I know?

For example, last year in this Father’s Day column I suggested you pester your parents until they got you a dog. A dog that immediately marked my office as her personal toilet and proceeded to vomit socks, mulch and various other objects on a weekly basis. Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing or talking about.

But make sure you hug your mom.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.