Trust me, this isn’t by choice…by nature we both tend to be “wingers,” but when my first child arrived 6 weeks early—butt first—and words like “5-point harness” and “sleep training” were thrown at us before leaving the hospital, it was pretty obvious that one of us was going to need to start acting responsibly…and quickly. So I reluctantly stepped up. Over time I settled into my role as enforcer and “fun sponge” while he has continued to thrive in his role as “awesome fun one.” I’m not going to lie; he’s really good at it.
Here are 5 ways my husband is way more fun than I am:
1. Circus Meals
While I could easily survive on Skittles and Diet Coke, I make an effort to remind my kids to eat a well-balanced diet when possible: fruit, protein and vegetables. Huge snoozefest compared to my husband, who promotes a different kind of well-balanced diet, i.e., one you might follow if you happen to be a clown at a state fair: popcorn, corndogs and funnel cake. I can’t fault him for this; however, I think we fundamentally disagree on what constitutes a healthy meal. When I’m thinking “salmon and steamed broccoli,” he’s clearly thinking “Low-Fat Hot Pocket and fruit snacks.”
2. Clothing Optional
Neither one of us is very picky about what our kids wear. For the most part we just ask that they choose not to be naked in public. My husband tends to be somewhat more lax about this rule, however. For instance, there was that time when my son (then 5) forgot to wear shoes to a professional hockey game with his dad (“But don’t worry, Daddy carried me…except when we bought hot dogs and went to the bathroom”). And there might have been a time when I came home to find my infant daughter wearing her bathing suit backwards so it looked like she was wearing something you would find if Frederick’s of Hollywood designed infant swimwear. Girls Gone Wild at 10 months? Probably not a good idea.
I tend to be very traditional when it comes to our kids’ education. I emphasize books and homework, while my husband focuses on instilling street smarts…mostly via “epic fail” videos on YouTube. I’m OK with this though; we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of these real world lessons because you never know when you might find yourself roller skating down a flight of stairs. In fact, I’m hoping we are preparing our kids to be incredibly well-rounded, so on the spectrum of Bill Gates to Johnny Knoxville, they’ll fall somewhere in the middle. Who wouldn’t want to party with a savvy businessman who sometimes likes to be shot out of a cannon?
4. ‘The Amazing Race,’ Family Edition
On weekends, I tend to suggest a few laid-back activities we can enjoy as a family: “Anyone want to go for a walk? How ’bout a bike ride?” I then hear crickets until my husband suggests the alternative: “Oooooor we could go to the zoo, two museums, the mall, rock climbing, skydiving, tandem bike riding, parasailing, deep sea fishing, the movies and maybe late night glo-golf?” I think his philosophy is that parenting is like swimming: You have to keep moving or you’ll die. Needless to say, he usually ends up winning the vote. The good news is, nobody has been hospitalized for exhaustion…yet.
5. Bedtime…What What?
For me, bedtime is all about winding down. Think The Waltons on Xanax with a quiet routine of PJs, toothbrushing and reading. Cue the Debbie Downer music. If I say “bedtime,” my husband hears “Let’s wrestle,” or better yet, “Let’s see how many times we can ricochet this soccer ball off the ceiling fan!” YOLO!
Yeah, I don’t have a chance.
Does it bother me that I’m not the fun one, but that I am the one who constantly calls the cops in the middle of the raging keg party? Absolutely. Not at all. As much as it frustrates me sometimes, I must admit that his attitude helps remind me that it’s OK to take a break from the rules, the worries and the routine of parenting. It feels good to put down the laundry basket, grab a corndog, pull up a YouTube video and just chill the heck out. In fact, one day I might even roller skate down a flight of stairs. Just as soon as everybody finishes their homework. And their broccoli.