Sometimes I am lost for blogworthy ideas about fatherhood. Inspiration is fleeting and I don't know where to turn. Much of my inspiration comes from TV or music. Greater men are probably inspired by historical figures like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. Others may be inspired by great authors or scientific studies, but that is not me. As Popeye says, "I am what I am." And I am inspired by Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Vedder, and sometimes even Homer Simpson.
Today's post will be a lesson from Homer about toys and playing with our kids. Watch the video and then read on for my dissection of Homer's teachings.
The first lesson here is that Dads should play with their kids as much as possible. One of our main jobs as fathers is to be the entertainment director for our children. The best way to do that is get right down on the floor with them. Get in their little world and play with their toys. There is no substitute for time spent with your children so follow Homer's lead and start playing.
The second lesson we can learn from Homer is that we don't have to buy the most expensive toys for our kids. If you have the means to buy every toy in the store then by all means do it. Kids, however, are not always entertained or occuppied with a toy box full of toys. Sometimes you have to use other things around the house for entertainment. I use water bottles and the remote control nearly every day. A box works great as well. As any parent knows, kids often like the box, bow, or wrapping paper much more than the actual gift that is found inside. Apply this theory to your everyday play time. I read yesterday over at my friend PJ's blog Real Men Drive Mini Vans that he recently used a box to lure his son back into the play area. He wondered if he was a bad father. I say heck no. You are a great dad.
Finally a lesson for all us dad's that are really just big kids. Never let the joy of playing with toys again lead you to an unhealthy attachment to said toys. We should never runaway with our kids toys like a crazed Homer hiding under the box. I know it is a great amount of fun to play with your kids. Sometimes I admit to having too much fun with Braden's toys and he is only a baby. I am sure I will get more than carried away when he gets older. I already covet the little Star Wars figures I see in Wal-Mart. No matter how much fun we have let's always remember it's about the kids.
My thanks to Homer Simpson for departing his wisdom on us today.