Modern Dads Like Me Finally Get Their Moment
In the future, everyone will have a reality show made about their lifestyle for at least 15 episodes. If nobody's done a show about the way you live yet, just wait. I promise it's in development somewhere. Well, the good news for me is that my time has come, because A&E is about to premiere a show called "Modern Dads," about guys like me who can change diapers, grill cheeses and rock double strollers like nobody's business.
So the way military wives devour each new installment of "Army Wives" or creepy shut-ins look forward to "Hoarders," I was dying to check this show out. Thankfully, Lifetime Moms gave me a sneak preview, and "Modern Dads" did not disappoint.
What I love most about the show is that it illustrates that fatherhood is funny without falling back on the old cliché that dads suck at raising kids. If these guys are Mr. Mom, they're the Michael Keaton from the end of the movie, when he finally gets his you-know-what together. They take pride in what they do, and they screw up exactly as often as every parent does, but in ways fellow dads like me can relate to.
As I watched the first episode, I saw so many things that I recognized from my own life.
In one scene, stepdad Sean gets frustrated because his daughters' Hello Kitty backpacks aren't where they're supposed to be. Turns out their mom moved them. I can feel Sean's pain, because that's not Mom's job! In our house, Other Daddy never leaves the diaper bag where it's supposed to go. Can you imagine if somebody came to your office and rearranged your desk without your permission? OK, don't get me started...
Then there's the old pro Rick, who has four kids, the youngest of which are one-year-old twins. His wife jokes about how much he loves his bathroom time. Hell yeah he does, and I know why. It's not because he enjoys what he does in there so much. It's more because it's the only time he's not doing everything he does outside the bathroom. Being a stay-home dad is like being a doctor who's on call 24/7, except instead of getting a call once in a while when you had tickets for the symphony, you get called every five seconds. Going to the bathroom is the only break I get. I lock the door, turn on the fan and shut out the world outside. I'm not saying I go in there just to hide, but it's so relaxing in there that I certainly don't hurry out. I'd take naps in there if I could. How else could I have gotten to level 89 on Candy Crush?
Single dad Stone uses his kid (and sometimes his friends' kids) to pick up chicks. Personally, I'm not exactly in the market for a chick, but I can relate to all the attention he gets from women. Nothing gets me more attention from the opposite sex than when I'm out with my kids. Mostly they just want to talk to the kids or applaud me for being a good dad, but if I were single and straight, I could definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Kids are good wingmen, no doubt about it.
Nothing resonated to me quite as much, though, as how much fun the guys had at a kiddie birthday party. My twins just turned 4, and we had their party at a play place that was full of oversized inflatable bouncers. I'd venture to guess that no one bounced more or had more fun than me... or if anyone did, it was one of the other dads. The kids had a blast, but the dads owned that place, and I think I know why. As "Modern Dads" puts it so perfectly, "Being a dad gives you permission to be a kid again." It's probably the best part of the job, and it's the best part of this show, too.
So many stay-home dads hate the Mr. Mom label, but I have a feeling no one's going to mind being called a Modern Dad. I sure don't.
Catch the series premiere of “Modern Dads” on A&E, Wednesday, August 21 at 10:30/9:30c.