How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

She. Is. MINE!!!

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Father vs Son Showdown for Mom

It all started out so subtly that it was probably already happening and we didn’t even notice. A sad face from Lucas. A pissed off frown and a pouty lip. Maybe we just wrote it off to some intense toddler farting in the beginning.

Soon though, a pretty recognizable pattern started forming. I’d give Lizzie a long, romantic “thank God we haven’t killed ourselves or each other” type of hug and Lucas would shuffle in and shout, “No!”

He’d pull my leg to break us apart and Lizzie would offer up, “Awwww. He just wants to play with you, he hasn’t seen you all day.” And that seemed to make sense, he hadn’t seen me all day and was delighted to play with me.

Then it started getting more obvious.

My wife and I would clasp hands in the car and then, inexplicably, Lucas was bellyaching about something. His phrase recently for lodging a complaint is: “I don’t!” Which is essentially an economical and g-rated form of “I don’t f##king like that!” or “I don’t f##king want to do what you a##holes are trying to make me do!” Anyways, not getting it, we’d try turning off the A/C, then the radio, getting him a fallen toy. And then we realized. Our hands. He didn’t want us to hold hands. What!?!

We’re finally on to him.

Now we’re on the look out, and sure enough, every time we kiss at length, hold hands, hug or cuddle, the little guy goes berserk. “I don’t! I don’t! No that! No thaaaaat!” Okay, it’s weird, but tolerable. But if we continue… the guy goes to straight to 11 on the volume dial.

Our kid throwing a tanrum because we're huggingNothing quite so romantic as holding your wife in your arms while your child serenades the two of you with Get the Hell Off My Mommy! (off of Justin Bieber’s unreleased Japanese import single)

I’m a-okay with the concept of a kid being grossed out by mommy and daddy making nasty. We all are. But any affection? Fully clothed? Craziness! This is like some kind of jealousy thing. Or affection hoarding.

The little lad loves me to pieces. I’m a friggin’ walking stuffed animal, cartoon and video game rolled into one human being for him. No surprise. And he loves his mom so much he ties himself to her apron strings with knots Houdini couldn’t escape with a bowie knife and a jar of lard. He loves us. Individually. But apparently he doesn’t like any horning in on the whole love thing, us sharing any of it with each other.

An imaginary showdown.

Let’s take a flight of fancy on a dirigible of delusion. Using only a keyboard and the renewable energy of my imagination, I’ll detail the conversation Lucas and I would have if he were a little further along in the language and abstract concepts departments…

Lucas: “You can’t have her. She’s mine!”

Me: “Rent a clue! According to the “I saw her first” clause, I win this case by default, knee-biter!”

Lucas: “M’yeahokay. Who owns her boobs and who does she see naked more often, old man?”

Me: “No fair! That’s apples and oranges! Apples and gross oranges! I’m her husband!”

Lucas: “I’m her son! Last time I checked, you can’t divorce a son.”

Me: “Oooooo! I made you. I can unmake you, boy.”

Lucas: “I will cut you.”

And he would, too. He’s got little razors for nails and some of his things are surprisingly sharp-edged for children’s toys.

Yeah yeah yeah. I don’t need any psycho babble to tell me it’s just a phase. I’m not worried at all. I’m annoyed. I pay my dues, I’ve at least got the right to be annoyed when I can’t hug my wife without Luciano Pavarotti’s tear ducts spontaneously combusting with radioactive lava.


A little less conversation… a little more Diagrams.

Didn’t get enough? Read more of our Notebook posts. We’ll teach you the meaning of enough.


44 Responses to “She. Is. MINE!!!”

  1. Dawn says:

    I want to start off by saying that I LOVE How To Be A Dad.
    But please, please, please, don’t take photos of your child when he’s crying. My mother did that with me when I was little and it was really traumatic. Even though his reasons for crying may seem really dumb to you, it’s something serious to him.

    • andy says:

      Thanks! We love it when people love our website. You can rest easy. I don’t take pictures of him when he’s crying, I totally understand your point. He was crying in this photo because I was looking for a pic and he wanted my iPhone. I just used it because it was a good depiction of what he looks like in a jealous tantrum.

  2. Eric says:

    We’ve only had the jealousy thing once that I recall. When my oldest daughter was about 18 months or so (she’s almost six now), my wife was doing errands on a Saturday when I decided to clear the living room and romance her with a little dancing to Tim McGraw when she got home. My daughter didn’t like that and was continuously trying to cut in. Totally killing any mojo i was building up.

    Other than that, the other girls and my son have had no outwardly feelings of slicing us up.

  3. This kinda behavior in my kids just inspired me to be more affectionate and touchy/feely with mom – kind of a romantic waterboarding for the kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

    They’re almost out of the house now – and they know beyond all shadow of doubt that dad loves mom. I’m convinced it’s one of the greatest truths a dad can show his kids.

    Love the blog – keep it up (and keep making the moves on mommy!)

  4. Makyo says:

    When my daughter was about a year old she full on SLAPPED my husband after he kissed my upper chest. The kiss was up near my collarbone but her response was so immediate I think it was a “get away from her you bitch!” moment. Now we do “family hug”, where we all cuddle together. Any time she fusses when hubby and I are affectionate, we pick her up and say Family Hug! and she puts her little arms around our shoulders and gives a big squeeze.

  5. Stephanie K. says:

    And again, it’s like you’re living our life…Braelyn tries a fit if I even walk into our bedroom where she knows Daddy is, waiting to apparently kidnap me or something lol!!!

    I sure hope it’s just a phase…

  6. MotherDuck says:

    Wow, beautifully written, Andy. When my kids were still nursing I was the bee’s knees and their main source of cuddles, food and love. My girls are 5 and 9 now and are daddy’s little girls. Often I feel like I’m just “that lady that brings home the bacon” (literally ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and I miss those days of feeling like I’m the goddess of milk.

    My husband and I are very affectionate with each other and always have been. He refers to me as his girlfriend to them. We’ve always kissed in front of them despite their “Eww”‘s and “That’s so gross”‘s. I would flatten this button now and get him used to it and not let him think he has control over when and where you two can express your love and give each other comfort. If he has a fit, he has a fit. I feel sometimes we are so careful not to upset our kids and make everything a bit too safe which results in a generation of American Idol contestants that think they can do no wrong because that’s what their mommy’s and daddy’s tell them all day. Eventually, he will see that this is what mommies and daddies do and he’s not in charge of this aspect of his life. Give him something he can be in control over, like a rad fire truck and some legos to knock over with it.

    • MotherDuck says:

      Pardon my ‘s’s.

    • andy says:

      Thanks! Brilliant comment! I especially like the bit about American Idol contestants. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We’re already working on “pushing through it” and are also trying to direct his attention elsewhere with out being “baby bribers.” You know, waving candies in front of a snotty nose in a pleading effort to stop the madness.

  7. Steve says:

    Kids are like dogs, in a way, especially in this instance. Their primordial “pack” mentality takes over, and all they can think of is “STOP THAT NOW! We’re supposed to be friends!”

    I would imagine kissing, dancing, slapping and other forms of “passer-by” affection comes of as violence to the newly formed brain. Our dog is 4 and he has not outgrown it: Luckily for us, humans adapt and get over it. Good luck, Andy and keep up the great work.

  8. Desiree says:

    He will outgrow this. Meanwhile, make sure the three of you spend a lot of time roughhousing and cuddling as a group. That’s what I did, and it eventually worked like a charm.

    • andy says:

      Oh yeah! As a family, we’re like a really bad but affectionate act on Cirque du Soliel.

      We even coined the word:

      family –> “FAMWICH” <-- sandwich It's kind of like a group hug meets breakdancing.

      • MotherDuck says:

        This, I must see!

        • andy says:

          ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lucas is the meat. Lizzie and I are the bread of course, which is nice I guess because he loves it like heroin. Cody and Max are the mustard and ketchup, but we rarely do a full-scale famwich with all of us at once, just too likely to result in injury.

          P.S. I know ketchup is gross in a sandwich, but neither of the older boys likes mayo.

  9. Amy Gulli says:

    Is his middle name “Oedipus”? You might wanna consider that …

    • andy says:

      Hah! You think he’s going to kill me and get all Southern on his mother? It’s all good. I’ve got these wings I made out of wax in case he ever comes after me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. This I can relate to.

    There’s nothing quite like the thrill of kissing your wife in the evening against the inside of the front entrance door, praying that your two-year old son doesnโ€™t come staggering out of the upstairs bedroom like a drunken sailor back into the bar fight for the third time that night.

    • andy says:

      The visual of this is so dรฉjร  me, it’s crazy! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! The whacked out hair, the rosy cheeks, a fist rubbing a sleepy eye, the crinkled brow and the “Hey! WTF is going on here!?!” ready to spill out of a drooling mouth.

  11. Shirley says:

    My son, (who is now 25 and will truly disown me if he EVER sees this)said to me when he was four, “Mommy. When I grow up, you and I will live together in a house. Daddy and L. (his older sister) can live together in another house. But YOU have to live with me forever.” Oedipus? I don’t know. Just know that his little face melted my heart then, and his now bearded, snarky face melts it still. Except for when I want to slap the shit out of him. Love your blog. Wish we had such things when hubby and I were hanging on and screaming (at least I was) through this roller coaster called parenthood.

    • andy says:

      Amazing!!! Don’t worry. We’re not in the habit of tracking down the son’s of our readers and embarrassing them. Unless you’re extremely wealthy and we need to use it as blackmail to get you to pay us such a ridiculous amount of money that we need to take a week long shower from how filthy rich you’ve made us. But really only then. Otherwise, shhhh. He’ll never know.

  12. Shirley says:

    Oops. Was it bad to write the “s” word?

  13. Shirley says:

    Extremely wealthy? Hmmm.. I’m a teacher. Guess that answers your question. Now I REALLY don’t have to worry. About extortion, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. It almost looks like he is flicking you off in the picture…kinda makes me laugh out loud!


  15. Madame Rogue says:

    OMG, I laughed till I freaking cried at the photo’s caption. Genius! The follow up song would have to be “Stop Hurting Mommy!” where your kid walks into the bedroom mid-coitus.

  16. Ashley says:

    Funny, my son says I will cut you too. They must go to the same preschool.

  17. We go from stealing kisses with boyfriends or girlfriends in high school, hoping our parents don’t see…to stealing kisses with the wife or hubby hoping the kids don’t see!

  18. stacy says:

    The photo of your boy captures the sentiment perfectly, I’m right there with you. My fifth child (20 mo) is our only girl and she freaks if I kiss, cuddle or hug her Dad or any of her brothers. She is still nursing so I suppose it’s territorial. She wants to be in my arms, next to me or on top of me if any of them are even thinking of snuggling with me. My husband just laughs and says “you got your girl and boy does she love her mama!” I really don’t let her get her way about this-the boys (including Daddy) need affection too! Whenever it gets seriously irritating I remind myself that sometime in the future she will be in those wonderful teenage years where I most likely won’t be her favorite person – I better enjoy being that to her now. One of her nicknames when she is in this mood is “The Separator”

  19. Kathleen says:

    okay, thank you ! seriously, that was my life when my second child (I shall call M) was between the ages of 1 and 3, except at the beginning, M had alot less words to use, so we always ended up with a screaming rage of tears to contend with that never ended until my husband and I would physically seperate infront of him. And just to let you know, it does slow down, if not stop completely. Just make sure you let him sleep in the bed with you every night. (I’m being sarcastic, but it truly still happens with M in our house) Just remember how lucky you are to have a child who speaks (or screams) his own mind.

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