The NO FUN ZONE that was the town from the 1984 classic musical film Footloose, has relocated to a ten foot mobile radius around my person. These are the stories of that mobile home.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re young. You don’t have kids, or you have all boys. So you think, “Man I will never be this crazy.” Maybe you’re right. But if you have little girls… you know. You are also slowly becoming the legally dry, no loud music, we don’t shake our booties in public, leggings are not pants, you’re not going out of this house dressed like that I don’t care what passes for “fashion” these days town from Footloose. Just let it happen. I am.
Two of my daughters’ birthdays are coming up in April, so naturally parties, gifts, and age have been coming up in conversation lately. So as we sat down to eat lunch yesterday my middle girl (6yrs) was talking about what age she would be allowed to do things:
Wear makeup – Freshman in High School
Eat as much candy as she wants – 18 and have own dental insurance
Have a cell phone – 18, able to pay for it, and Dad has a monitoring app
Then, as she is explaining to Grandma how rational this all is… she drops, “Oh! And I get to have a boyfriend when I’m 35! Dad said so!” Both her mother and my mother turn to stare at me as I’m mid-bite of my taco. “What?!?” So my daughter continues, “Yeah! When Dad and I went for milkshakes he said that if a boy wanted to be my husband and take me for a milkshake that he had to meet Dad and do chores. So when I’m 35 I can go on my first boyfriend date!” Apparently, she and I were the only ones who found this to be a reasonable proposition. Before you judge too harshly… you have to understand.
My oldest girl only sees boys as competition for being the fastest kid in her grade. She is already the fastest girl, so the boys are more of an obstacle than anything else. So she is cool with that and I’m cool with that. My youngest is a baby. She doesn’t know what boys are. She just loves her stuffed penguin. So she is cool with that and I’m cool with that. My middle girl…
My middle girl (D) is the girl that shrinks her body, wrinkles her nose, and says certain boy’s names very slowly.
“Who did you play with at recess, honey?”
“I played with TIIIIIMMMMMYYYY and RRRRRR.JJJJJJJJJ.”
This behavior went from cute to DADDY DEFCON 5 when she came home and talked about her favorite teacher, COOOOAAAACCCHHH HHHEEEELLLLEEEERRR. And when her sister pointed out that Coach Heller was married, (D) replied, “I didn’t see no ring!” I tried to get her a doctor’s note excusing her from all gym classes but apparently “paranoia of the father” is not something fixed with a doctor’s note.
So I went to work. (Cue the inspirational 80’s rock “I went to work” montage.) I have emerged from my Dad workshop with an idea I believe is inspired by the Holy Spirit and should be passed by both houses of Congress…patent pending. I believe I have developed a system that all dads of daughters will benefit from. Just hear me out.
I told (D) that if a boy wanted to spend time with her, first he would have to meet me for an initial interview. At this time I would go over the rules of how a young man should speak, dress, and behave in the presence of my daughter. And then we would go over THE CHART.
THE CHART would have a list of chores that the boy in question would need to do along side of me (Dad). One completed chore would result in time being added to his account. You want to do homework together for an hour? You’re going to need to scoop the cat litter and take out the trash. Dinner and a movie? That boy is going to rake up every leaf and gum-ball in my yard. Chores can add 15, 30, or 60 minutes to the account and the account can never exceed 5 hours. If the activity you are wanting to engage in exceeds 5 hours a special dispensation will need to be applied for… or Dad will chaperone. Things like violating curfew, disrespect of the father or daughter, or wearing your pants around your knees (or joggers of any variety) will result in loss of time. You can go into negative numbers.
Basically, if you want to spend time with my daughter, you have to spend time with me. If you want to date my girl you are going to have to show her and me that you are willing to work to get and keep her.
Here is the curveball. If there is a nice boy that passes the interview and does the time at the house… my girl is going to go on that date. I don’t care if she is madly in love with some emo deadbeat at school. The nice boy that is hard working and dad-approved… she has to give him a chance to win her affections.
That’s right! It makes me cringe when there are good Christian, hard working boys out there who adore a girl, but the girl just doesn’t feel the same way about Adam as she feels with Rocco. Rocco is dangerous and mysterious and would never do anything as mundane as help her dad mow the lawn. Rocco has got to go! And my girls are going to give Adam a shot so they don’t end up in a ditch, pregnant, or on the pole.
I just have to iron out a few details, but I should have some #Dadlife charts and kits available soon. Who knows, I might start a KickStarter for THE CHART app. What do you think?