By, Christian Kendzierski
I haven’t confirmed it yet but strong rumors say all guys entering fatherhood receive encyclopedia-thick guide books (or now web links or mobile apps) on how to be the best dad he can be.
I’ve heard the guide covers the basics; making sure he feeds the kid, clothes the kid, and shelters the kid. There is also a section, my father refused to confirm but a buddy of mine recently began hinting of its existence…a chapter dedicated to phrases a dad must learn. These phrases can help during long debates, while giving insightful advice, encouragement during the challenging times of life…and some when a dad goes speechless!
Some of the more noteworthy and famous ones:
“I brought you in this world and I can take you out!” The famous line hysterically delivered by Bill Cosby on his hit show “The Cosby Show.” Thanks to Bill Cosby’s popularity and the show’s high ratings this line made it into the history books and made an impression into the minds of all the kids watching, reminding your kid, Dad is boss.
With cloth diapers making a comeback, I’ve these words of wisdom for another generation’s use. Sure some diapers have a new design but this “tutorial” is a classic: “Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.” ~Jimmy Piersal, 1968.
Must-haves in a Dad’s arsenal:
“I wasn’t sleeping, I was just resting my eyes.” Often used while helping your child with homework or watching them practice for their dance recital…or who are we kidding? At the dance recital!
“Keep your eyes on the ball.” Works at any sporting event or company picnic when you really want your kid to beat your boss’ kid during a softball game.
“Go ask your mother.” A back-up when all else fails.
“Do you think I was born yesterday?” A question that can throw off any tall-tale telling child.
“Because? Because WHY!?” The guide points out, this question can and will be asked ad nauseam throughout a father’s career, often without an answer.
“Never use a pronoun when the person is in the room!” This works great when the child one-ups you in an argument about rules and the kid slips up with bad or impolite grammar.
“Do you think money grows on trees?” The guide notes that some children will actually look up to see if possible!
“If you gave your 100 percent, I can’t ask for more.” Great for the kid who put his/her heart into something and still came up a failure. Dad it’s your job to make them feel better, as long as they tried.
“Always leave something better than the way you found it.” Pointing out to a kid the importance of cleaning up messes can stick with them throughout his/her life.
“Because I said so.” If said in the correct tone, can answer all questions and mend any problem.
Christian Kendzierski is the youngest of 5 kids, so he had plenty experience in listening to his Dad giving advice, guidance and often stern words of encouragement. Christian spends most of his time as a media specialist at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He also works as a freelance writer and lives in Baltimore. See what’s going in his world, by following him at @ck1media.