Here at the Ipsa Homestead we have enjoyed the prosperity of the Obummer years as much as my grandparents enjoyed the Great Depression. I shouldn't complain. I have had a job almost all of that time. I know families that have not been as blessed as me.
The circumstances of the last few years have required me to work a night shift while Mrs. Ipsa works part time during the day. I do this because the company has health insurance. One of the blessings that has come from this arrangement is that I get to spend time during the day with my kids.
In our home we have an event each day know as "lunch". Lunch is that time of day when otherwise normal kids turn into epicurean tyrants. It seems that most things done by a man in a kitchen can not match up to the efforts of his wife. Never mind if that man has been a professional chef. Evidence of the mastery of the sauté pan is not admissible in the court of kids. What matters is that the PBJ is cut into FOUR squares, not TWOOOOO. Don't let it bother you that "squares" are really "triangles". Just because "square" means four sides all the same length in the adult world, it doesn't mean that in the world of the preschool aged female. Do what she means, not what she says. Time to make another sandwich.
Once the stay at home dad learns a couple of basic skills, the job becomes easier. The first skill I recommend learning is the "beat the kid half to death without leaving any marks". Once you have the kids believing that a near death spanking experience is "just this close" at any given time, you will have fewer problems.
Getting thorough the day problem free is only part of the challenge. The next challenge is having them sing your praises to their mother. Single guys don't know this, but she quit being your wife exactly 2 seconds after the doctor confirmed she was pregnant. From that second on she became this creature known as "mom". If you are kid, mom is the greatest thing in the world. Seriously mom's know everything. Mom's do everything better.
The trick is to get the kids to convince mom that you are the best thing ever; well at least since mom. A man can do this one of a couple of ways. The first way takes about 40 years of hard work, being there for the kids, listening to a lot of stuff and wasting time doing things they like. Then you up and die while the kids are out happily living their own lives. About the time they have kids of their own, they will miss you, and start to think, despite the near death beatings, you were OK. You can go that route if you want. There is an easier way. You can fix the election results.
You do that the same way you do in a real election, you pay off the voters. Thankfully its not as expensive a process as a real election, and you don't have to lie to the voters. You may have to lie to the election authority (the wife), but you should be used to doing that if you've been married for any length of time.
Today I was elected "The Best Dad Ever®" for the second time in a week. Here's how I did it the first time. I went to the store on my way home from work and bought: 1 package graham crackers, 1 package marshmallows, 1package Hershey chocolate bars. I then made S'mores. Result? Best Dad Ever ® on a Saturday night.
Best Dad Ever ® for a weekday lunch is a little more involved. We can't have any screw ups cutting sandwiches or its an automatic default. I had a plan. It all started with a after work, midnight trip to Wal-Mart. When I walked in the door I saw that they had a big bin full of sweat corn 5/$1.00. I got 5 good ears. Then I got a package of hot dog buns (the hot dogs were already thawing at home). The buns are important because the kids hate eating the dogs in bread. The I saw the huge display of Pringles. (Queue angels singing, and light shining down from heaven). I made a bee line to the cookies aisle and found the double stuffed fudge Oreo's. Incidentally the FDA recently discovered that Oreo's are crack for kids. Hopefully they will start labeling them that way. If they do it will help new dad's develop a shorter learning curve.
Corn on the cob, hot dogs, pickles, potato chips and Oreo's for the lunch time win. In case your counting that's 2 Best Dad Ever ® in four days. Not too shabby.
It's fair to say that mom's do lots of stuff better. My kids have always wanted mom to do certain things for them. I mean heck, just because a guy mistakes 160 grit sandpaper for baby wipes once or twice (ok three times) doesn't mean that Dad doesn't deserve a shot at the parenting pedestal. Mom's may be able to "make it all better" with a kiss and a Scooby Do Band Aid. Dad's have junk food and high fructose corn syrup. Plus sometimes you can let them skip out of their homeschooling work a little early and go outside. It makes the kids happy and it lets me get a little blogging in. Besides they aren't going to tell mom. They know who The Best Dad Ever® is, and why. Plus they know about the beatings.