It’s said about bravery: If you’re not brave, just fake it. No one will notice.
It’s implied, in fatherhood, and coaching, too. A dad can’t know everything. A dad doesn’t need to. A dad needs only to give the impression he knows everything.
Let’s say your opponent doesn’t know your weakness or deficiency.
Do you even have that weakness or deficiency?
I realize the opponents in this case mean my own daughters.
I’m aware of myself – sun-soaked with a sun-soaked and rum-influenced state. Maybe I left my playbook open, in the opposing team’s hotel meeting room. A time zone and border between my girls and I might give a false sense of stealth.
Why would a dad with a slight advantage toss it away for the sake of a Monday post? Here are three lies a dad might (or might not) tell.
It’s in the interest of … survival.
1. “I know all there is to know about smartphones and Instagram.”
Kids fingers-swipe and download apps the way we used to rule the Atari joystick. Generation Next turns us into grandparents. We can’t even set up our voicemail.
Or switch from ice to water on the fridge without an intervention. If you haven’t yet declared your technological ineptitude yet, try this, fathers:
We fool kids with socialist jolly elves and philanthropic hares. We do it with tooth-auditing fairies, in fact. We con kids that dad has a magic app. It tells him what dip-shit boy they’re Snap-chatting.
Or what Google search they cave to in ill-advised alone time.
Just tell them dad just installed the DadWatch app. Santa’s surveillance capacity appears capable as the Walmart employee satisfaction committee in comparison.
2. “I will break a boy in 17 pieces if he brings you home late.”
Dads, we’ve been that boy.
So the boy brings your daughter home late. The worst traffic since Aberdeen won the Scottish League Cup will do that.
(That was just 1990. To my kids, that’s Jurassic Period).
Here are things I’ve told my girls when it comes to discussions about boys they like*:
Has he ever ridden in an ambulance?
Do they casts for a fractured sternum exist?
I need that son-of-a-bitch’s social security number.
*-or, maybe told them. What’s the difference?
I won’t delve into the trite diatribe of dads who clean firearms around a boy. What dad would take shots at a boy? He just brought a girl home 15 minutes late from the dollar movie and Krispy Kreme?
But we have this cultural standard to uphold of mental instability.
I’d rather identify with the boy, with a firm handshake and eye contact.
Jeevs the shit out of them every.single.time.
3. “Just wait until I tell your mom.”
Don’t do this one.
If a dad defers to mom, he surrenders credibility. Know all those Disney dad stereotypes? That we’re just an extra kid, with a driver’s license.
Everyone post-Michael Keaton riles you to share fatherhood with. Doesn’t he?
Get up. Stand up. Be a dad.
Praise kids, with authority.
Speak to your children, with authenticity and authority.
Set example, with clarity.
And never, ever, push any of it off to Jesus, Santa or mom.
What lies do you tell your kids?
Amy Mascott’s post on Teach Mama blog inspired this post.