Under Siege: The Adventures of a Stay at Home Dad

*Note from the Editor: I’ve had a crazy busy week! If it weren’t for my amazing friends and contributors… you’d have nothing to read. I also forgot that this month had 5 weeks in it. My friend, Dave, stepped up to the plate for me on the condition that he still gets to write next week… Who does he think he is? Oh, yeah, one of the most supportive, funny, and best listeners I know. I have amazing friends. For reals. So without further rambling from me… I bring you:

Or “Mean Girls, the Home Edition”

I’m sitting on the couch, a little while ago, downloading a collection of Disney Princess, Hello Kitty and various other puzzle applications for my new smart phone. These aren’t for myself, of course… they’re for Sydney, my 5yr old daughter. She wants to use my phone in place of the iPod that’s been beaten up pretty good and is no longer working, to her displeasure. She insists she needs something to do during our frequent travels around town and says that it will help keep her quiet in the back seat, which she says is important because she knows how she can be noisy and bother daddy while he’s driving…she stops just short of delivering a “and it’s for safety, Daddy…for safety” capper. Being able to use the new phone for that purpose is a “no-brainer”, she would probably insist, if she only knew what “no-brainer” meant.

It’s soon after I begin the process of loading some of these apps that Syd notices me over here, messing with the new toy and decides to hop up on the couch to see what I’m doing. She sits on the arm of the couch, the one that I’m leaning back against. She’s just over my shoulder, watching, ordering up which puzzles she wants and putting the kibosh on those she doesn’t. As we sit there, she begins to very sweetly start playing with my hair…Now, the funny thing about this is that she’s always done this, from the earliest age and as a matter of fact, it’s one of her most endearing little quirks.

It’s actually become a very effective device we employ if we want her to take a nap. If she needs to take a nap, but is resisting, all I have to do is lay down next to her on the couch, or on her bed, tell her to cuddle up to me and demand softly that she “play with my hair”. She’ll reach up, and start sweetly running her fingers through my hair and like magic, she’s soon fast asleep. It works well!

The problem here is that it feels really relaxing and is beginning to make me think of napping myself…I say to her “That feels so relaxing, Boog {that’s my nickname for her}, you’re gonna make daddy fall asleep.” Without missing a beat, she responds with “Well, let me play with the puzzles on the phone and get me some apple juice, or I’ll stop playing with your hair!”

At that moment, incredulous at what she’s just said to me, I look over at one of her sisters, Emma, who is sitting next to the other twin sister, Maddie and is playing with Maddie’s hair just as Syd’s playing with mine….then Emma shoots me this look like she’d say if not for the binky in her mouth that “You had better get used to it, Old Man…’cus there’s more where that came from!”

Wow. The power that these sweet little girls wield over me, and the rate at which they’re discovering and utilizing this power is shocking and nervous-making ….I’m scared.

Later, after having let her use the phone for puzzles as we ran an errand, Sydney lectures “What did I tell you about singing in the car, Daddy?” in response to my listening to and singing along with a song on the radio.

“I don’t know, Boog, what did you tell me?” I replied

“To not do it!”

I think I am right to be scared. I feel it’s justified.


  1. That’s awesome. I’ve got a little girl that is almost 1. We’ll see if she learns that she has that much power over me :)

  2. Kelly says:

    Can I say that I love that you’re reading my blog Jon? *high five*

  3. Shanna Bengtson says:

    This is great, Dave! I love to hear these stories. You’re one girl up on us but I can SO relate with you in so many ways.