How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad


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Text Activated Robot Husband

If someone looked at my wife’s texts to me, they could easily look like a bunch of messages to a personal assistant. Knowing that these were back-and-forths between husband and wife, someone might say, “Yeeeeeah. There’s a loveless marriage, right there!” But it’s not loveless!!! It’s child-FULL. We’re parents. Sometimes parenthood has to roll up its sleeves and knock the prancing stuffed animal of love out of the way to get the job of being a family done. And by “sometimes” I’m pretty much talking about once or thirteence every single day.

Wife: Can you pick up some trash bags on your way home?
Me: You got it.


Text-Activated Robot Husband

I’m a nerd though. I love Sci-Fi. So, I’m not actually being sarcastic when I say that I kind of dig getting commands on my phone from my Darlin’ Dearest. Robots are rad! Sometimes when I’m performing one of my text-activated tasks I even move around in a jerky, animatronic fashion to really get into the role.

Wife: Frtppstable
Me: ???
Wife: Sorry! The little one got ahold of my phone!
Me: ;)
Wife: Can you turn down the air before you come to bed?
Me: Affirmative.


I really do like it. I even ask for my text commands. We’ll be on the phone going over the plan for the day and just before my eyes fully disappear, as they roll up into the back of my head, I’ll cut in with “Hey luv, sorry! Any way you can text me all this?”

Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m no saint or slave. It’s not much that I’m asked to do. My wife runs the whole household and family, these are just occasional chances for me to help out. I’m thrilled to do them, for the most part. Sometimes not so much. That’s another perk of text-based requests, by the way. The freedom to roll your eyes, groan or mutter something unwholesome under your breath without creating a “situation.” In any case, the job gets done. Unless I forget, of course.

Wife: DON'T FORGET the bananas on the grocery list I'm about to text.
Me: I won't. I mean I wlll.
Me: Not forget.
Me: I mean I'll get them!!!


We all know texting is out of control. All I’ve got to offer on this is a shrug and a guilty look. On more than one occasion I’ve texted Cody and Max to be quiet when they were conducting World War 3.5 upstairs in their room. Try not to judge. It works! The modern-day equivalent of banging the ceiling with a broom.

It’s not a pushpin bulletin board anymore, and it’s not refrigerator-magnet or Post-It notes, but it’s the way the world is now. And whatever anyone’s opinion is, that’s the world we have to parent in.

I even have a clear picture in my mind of a future scene, when one of the boys is older, a dad. I can see glowing text suddenly appearing on a lens over his eye just as he’s about to jump onto his hoverboard after work: “Can you pick up some diapers on the way home? [blink twice for location of nearest store]”

Wife: Try not to go to bed too late.
Me: Processing request... ... ERROR! ERROR! Does not compute!



You can even TEXT pictures now!
Oh. You knew that already? Well, here are some funny pics.

Instuctionaldiagram Alley
It’s where all the smart Hogwarts students get their books.



  1. MamaMunch says:

    My husband is the same way. I may tell him to do something, but I don’t expect it to get done unless I text him. Getting smart phones just made everything easier! Now I can send him the calendar too and I don’t have to listen to any more “what’s the plan”s.

  2. The missus and I rely on Outlook Calendar Requests to coordinate everything. My week is full of conference calls and laundry instructions.

    Have also totally emailed the wife, while where both in the house. Which may or may not have led to sex.

    • Andy says:

      This is amazing. Thanks for sharing. You just made texting, Outlook and smart-phones radder than they were before you commented with this.

  3. Katrina says:

    My husband and I email instead of text, and it’s our way of keeping connected while he is at work and I am home with the kids, its awesome! But even when we are home I have emailed him when I was in the room, or we would be playing a game and sitting at separate computers right next to each other and having a full on conversation through chat……LOL! Or when the kids are right there falling asleep and we are trying to keep quiet pull out the phones…. Yes we are geeks, but its fun.

    • Andy says:

      It is fun! We use email for the bigger stuff but it’s a good thing we’ve got unlimited text, otherwise we’d be having some financial problems. πŸ˜‰

  4. Hop-on-Pop says:

    “When did you ask me to do that?” should be in my txting shortcuts.
    I am horrible at saying yes and never doing. actually I’m great at that “never doing” part. I honestly just forget.
    My wife and I now use Orchestra to keep both of us on top of the to-do’s. the app lets you create and add to “to do” lists in a cloud and you can invite as many people as you want to see and help on each list.
    I can be at the grocery store buying stuff while my wife is at home adding it to the list <— we do that a lot. I just have to remember to look in Orchestra

    • Andy says:

      That’s rad. I may have to check out Orchestra. It sounds like a cool sounding name for a crutch for my chronic flare-ups oopsiforgot syndrome. πŸ˜‰

  5. Erich says:

    Texting is great for me and my wife. I work from home doing tech support so if she needs to ask me something while handling the little ones all she has to do is text. No worries about walking in while I’m on a call and risking a kiddo invasion.

    • Andy says:

      Exactly! I’ve actually run away from my kids when I was on client calls at home. Ha ha ha! Oh, the looks on their faces! HAH! “WTF is wrong with Daddy???”

  6. Christina says:

    Diapers? Babies will just be toted around on potty hover chairs all day… ala Wall-E =D

    • Andy says:

      Ugh! LOVE WALL-E!!! But, yeah, that’s a scary picture you painted there. Extra scary because of how believable it sounds. πŸ™

  7. Kevin says:

    Texting got us through the baby-no-sleep stage. We’d even text in the same room. Our families made fun of us but it made us parenting ninjas.
    Even now we’ll text rather than shout through the house and wake the boy.

  8. Kevin says:

    OK, now be honest, who has set up their keyboard shortcuts so they don’t have to type common phrases like “On my way” or “Love you too” all the time?

    On the iPhone it’s Settings/General/Keyboard/Shortcuts

    • Andy says:

      You have no idea what you have unleashed!!! I’m such an iPhone junkie that people have joked that earbuds are part of my anatomy, but I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS! And now I do… Muhuhahahahaha!


  9. Brad Jenkins says:

    I sent my wife a text this morning which wasn’t even asking for sex or anything that required action on her behalf (not that sex REQUIRES any action from her)and she replied “f u”. Apparently, one of my two year olds got ahold of her phone and sent it. At least that’s the story she’s telling me.

  10. My wife and I don’t do this, I think she would be upset that it’s too impersonal, but what you said at the end is spot on! It’s just a stand-in for a push pin board or post it notes… and uses less paper! I like it!

    • Andy says:

      Rad. I dig it. I’ll admit there have been times I’ve scanned through my text thread with my wife and it does seem impersonal and utilitarian. But it’s just a tool for us and we talk all the time so the goofy stuff happens in real life. I think I’d rather have the businesslike stuff on a text thread and the goofy teenager-at-heart stuff happen where I can pinch her butt.

  11. MotherDuck says:

    Thank God for texting! At least I no longer need to worry about ink poisoning from all the notes I used to have to write on my hands to remember stuff. I use my phone as my second “brain”. Plus you can cut out all of the B.S. and forced social veneer and just get to the point. Of course I add emoticons to lighten it up. ;^P

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha! YEEESSSSS!!! Emoticons in da house! I’ll fess up to something else. Last week I started texting myself. I didn’t know you could, but I tested it and it worked. Since then I’ve been using it as a high-priority reminder, using the intense power of the little red iPhone notification dot like a rubber band around my finger. πŸ˜‰

      • Ashley says:

        I text myself all the time. It’s sort of sad. the best are drunk text to myself when I really need or want to remember something.

      • MotherDuck says:

        I’m really going to have to try that. I think I’ll give myself a funny contact name like “Freak Who Can’t Remember Anything”. Texting myself would also be good for drunk texting so I don’t find myself texting or FB posting about stuff that no one cares about and wish I could take back the next morning. Not that that happens often…but enough. πŸ˜‰

  12. Laurie says:

    Texting is the best! Its amazing to just be able to text anything that comes into your head anytime, I love it! I am totally guilty of being upstairs in my house and texting my husband who is downstairs, its easier than yelling it down to him right? Not to mention that I couldn’t agree more about the being able to groan and make faces at the screen when asked to do something you don’t want..Its perfect!

  13. Mel says:

    I text my husband from bed, especially when it’s too cold, or I’m breastfeeding, ‘turn the light off, I’m sleeping’, ‘water’, ‘are you ever coming to bed?’

  14. Evonne says:

    We live in an onion house. Not literally of course. It’s just that since it was first built (130 years ago) there have been several additions – and it now has layers. That said, it can be difficult to hear what’s happening on the other side of the house sometimes so texting is a handy form of communication to save us from yelling. Either that or I phone home and hang up after a ring or two. Hubby knows that means I need him…Just think of all the stress these mod cons are saving us from! ;oP

    • Andy says:

      We JUST moved out of a 100+ year old house, which we loved, but I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. It’s strange how I could hear my boys chatting at 11pm through the ceiling but my wife couldn’t hear me if I was shouting to her in the kitchen. πŸ˜‰

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