Monday, May 23, 2011

Who's the Best Dad?

The good folks at Dad Central Consulting have invited me once again to be part of a blog tour. And I love it.

Because, in honor of Father’s Day, the equally good folks at Man of the House (“if you are looking for advice on how to make an easy dinner that will leave your kids happy and your wife feeling safe to let you in the kitchen, we're here. We're here for the man who wears a dozen hats and worries about losing his hair…”) are running a hoot of a contest, voting on who is The World’s Greatest TV Dad. Hop on over and you can choose between such luminaries as Homer Simpson and Cliff Huxtable, or Ray Barone and Charles Ingalls.

I can’t say I have consciously been inspired by any TV Dad. In fact, as a person who watches hardly any TV, I was hard pressed to even recognize some of the modern patriarchs. My TV heyday was in the 70s, so I’m much more familiar with a Mike Brady, Howard Cunnigham, or Tom Bradford than an Eric Taylor, Phil Dunphy, or Mitchell Pritchett. But heck, I’m sure some of my readers are cool and hip and very Modern Family.

My own dad was a successful diplomat, who married and had children comparatively late in life. So he wasn’t outside tossing rugby or cricket balls like some of the younger dads of my contemporaries. What he lacked in physical energy (and I can sympathize with him now, as I head toward the big 5-0 with a 4 year-old in tow), he made up for in emotional and intellectual energy. He never shied from telling us he loved us, and he loved a good conversation, even if it later turned into an argument.

From him, I’ve learned to tell my own children that I appreciate them for who they are. I want them to know that they are successful people even if they don’t make particular sports teams or (as is more likely in our family, given their love for all things theatrical), get the starring role in the school play. In everything, I just want them to do their best (even if their best is, like mine was, a C in Math.) I tell them that I love them and that I am proud of them and that I will still love them even when they goof up. (Which they will: they’re human kids, after all.)

I think I’m a pretty good 21st century dad. I stay at home with the kids, so I am a culinary whiz, chauffeur, and laundry dude all rolled into one. I cut the grass and take out the trash. I tell my wife that I love her and that she is beautiful and that I admire (and sympathize with!) her going out to work and dealing with all office egos and freeway commutes. [If you’re out there sprinkling pixie dust, I wouldn’t mind being a bit more of a handyman, like my father-in-law is. But hey, he’s just a phone call away when the hot water heater needs replacing or the attic fan gives up the ghost.]

Now I’m off to Man of the House to vote. And may the best dad, (cough, Cliff Huxtable), win!

Vote for Cliff!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received promotional items to thank me for taking the time to participate.


  1. Ooh, and what were the promotional "items"? In all seriousness, this is a nice post. It's nice to read how people become the parents they are, and who influenced them along that road.

  2. Not sure if it's my computer or that website but it kept giving me annoying little pop-up windows that kept asking me if I wanted to continue - so I gave up.

    Of the four choices you gave me I'm going with Cliff Huxtable too.
    Homer Simpson - loving but a bit distant
    Ray Barone - I can't stand his whiny voice
    Charles Ingalls - I don't do 'perfect'!

    So Cliff it is!

  3. You are the best dad, hands down. I love you!


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