Jun 12, 2013

Tips For Tired Dads

I read this article today and thought it was kind of fun.All I write is girly stuff and girl power thingies ,etc.Here's something for the dads and I think they are just very very cute.
P.S. - There were a lot of cute illsutrations to go with these games but I couldnt paste them here.Sorry !

Tips 4 Tired Dads!!!+

Yes, you too can be Super dad from the comfort and convenience of your Lazy boy rocker recliner!
By Ron Wheeler
Written Sept. 6th 1993

Come on, dads, admit it. When your kids pounce on you as you walk through the door from a hard day’s work don’t you sometimes wish you could have stayed back at the office? Don’t you sometimes feel like Fred Flintstones when he opens the door and Dino tackles him on the sidewalk? Sure, there’s a part of Fred that enjoys getting licked by a baby brontosaurus but there’s also a big 
part that would rather be back at the quarry getting yelled at by Mr. Slate. 

Face it! It is hard to give your all to the company store only to find there is even more demanded of you back at home. I don’t know about you other dads but sometimes . . . sometimes . . . I don’t want my kids around. There! I said it, and I’m ashamed of myself. My dad always wanted me around . . . at least I thought he did. But I’m a baby boomer. I’m more transparent. I’m more honest with my 
feelings. I’m more . . . selfish. 

My dad never had a chance to be selfish. He had to milk cows, push plows, shovel manure, and then walk barefoot to school for 200 miles each way through blinding Nebraska snowstorms in July. He told me that when he went off to college his dad finally needed to buy a tractor. As for me? Growing up I whined if I had to vacuum 

the pool. I actually remember saying to my mom, “What! Steak again?” And if you guys are honest with yourselves you will admit that many of you also have it much nicer than your parents ever did, but you whine about things a lot more. And one of those things you whine about (maybe only to yourself) is, “I’m too tired to play with my kids.”

Those feelings are understandable (they’re not acceptable, but they’re understandable). A little over a decade ago I was tooling around town in a hot little convertible and my only concern was which of the multitudes of women would I impress with my pearls of Spiritual wisdom for that Saturday night. Today, I tool around town in an eight year old 100,000+ mile minivan, carrying twenty 
extra pounds of blubber and about 20 million fewer hairs on my head. Then, I was carefree and unattached. Today, if I am not working to make ends meet, I’m spending time with my family. Then, if I didn’t feel like it, I wouldn’t work. Today, I generate more money than ever, but it only glances off my checkbook briefly before it goes to mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and diapers. Then, I was beginning my interest in Christ. Today, I frequently cry 
out to Him for guidance and protection. Then, I was lonely and miserable. Today, I find it hard to go to the bathroom by myself, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else.

So I want to do right when it comes to playing with my kids, as I am sure most dads do, but it is practically impossible to keep up with their perpetual motion. That’s where I rely on my creativity to fill in the gap (I am a cartoonist after all). Here are some of the low energy things I do with my high energy kids when I am tired. You can take from these ideas, or better yet, use this as an inspiration for you to think of unique ways you can still interact with your kids when you 
yourself are completely spent.

Spider and the fly 

This is a great game when you’re really spent and the kids are 
ready to run. Our Lazy boy recliner sits in an open area of the living 
room. I am the spider and the recliner is my web. The kids take turns racing by in all directions while I reach out to grab them. The beauty of this is I never leave my soft comfortable chair.Occasionally I will catch one of the “flies” and I will try to draw him into my lap where I can “eat” him. The other flies are frantically pulling on the flies arms and legs trying to save their fellow fly. Sometimes when one of the flies stays a little too out of reach for me to ever catch her, I will playfully mock her saying, “Oh you’re not such a big brave fly. I’ll bet you can’t even touch my web without getting caught.” That usually sends her squealing with giggles at the prospect of actually getting that close. When I do catch one of the flies and reel him/her in, they will get “eaten” by employing one of the tickle procedures (see Tickle Spots).

Excess baggage 

This is another Lazy Boy recliner game. In this one I am sitting in the basket of a hot air balloon with my kids. To lighten the load, I need to throw the excess baggage overboard. The problem is, it keeps coming back. 
My kids are the baggage and I carefully flip them over the arms of the recliner, slide them over the top (sometimes I hang onto one foot for awhile for tickling purposes of course), or dangle them over my legs and drop them off the front. But no sooner do I drop them do they somehow make their way back on board. If my legs are crossed they like to crawl up between my legs as if that were the hole in the bottom of the balloon basket.

Circus

Sometimes “Excess baggage” degenerates into a “Circus”. 
As the kids get worked up they are no longer content to crawl up 
my legs to sit on my lap. They begin hurling themselves at me 
from across the room. As they dive in at me over one arm of the 
chair, I just let them gently flip over my arm and their momentum 
carries them over the other arm of the chair. Now I must warn you. 
As these games begin to get a little rough you need to be careful. 
Kids like to get thrown around but somebody sometimes ends up 
getting hurt. And that somebody is usually me.

Assume the position

Not all activities in the Lazy boy have to be active. 
Perhaps my favorite thing to do with my kids is for them to sit 
in my lap while we watch cartoons or read the funnies (I am a 
cartoonist, remember). When it is time to do one of those activities, all I have to do is shout, “Assume the Position!” and 
they dive into my lap. I have even been known to fall asleep 
in this position, in my Lazy boy, with a toasty human blanket 
on top of me rendered motionless by a narcotic called “Bugs”.

No more monkeys jumping on the bed

In this game I get to actually lie on a bed and pretend 
that I am asleep. Can you believe that? This game is based 
on the poem, “10 little monkeys jumping on the bed. One 
fell off and broke his head. 9 little monkeys jumping on the 
bed.” And so on. While I’m laying on the bed pretending to 
snooze (sometimes not even pretending) my little monkeys 
sneak up on the bed and begin bouncing up and down. I wake 
up in mock surprise, and say, “Wait a minute. What’s going 
on here?” Then I slowly turn and see my kids jumping up 
and down giggling their heads off. Then I shout, “Hey, you 
monkeys! Quit jumping on the bed!” And I grab them, pull 
them down to the mattress, and tickle or zerbut (see Zerbuts 
and Kisses) them. Then I go back to “sleep”, they sneak back 
to bouncing, and we go through it all again.

Other bed games

That big soft bed for dad’s weary bones is a great spot 
for some other fun kid games. One of my favorites is to sit on 
the edge of the bed and let the kids “attack” me. All I do is hold 
my arm up and let them flip over my shoulder. My other hand 
guides them so they safely land feet first on the floor. Another is 
to “thrash” them. I lay in the middle of our queen sized bed, hold 
one of our kids under his arms so he is nose to nose with me, then 
I roll from side to side crashing his head into the pillow, playfully 
yelling, “Take that! And that!” But the best game, especially in the 
morning, is to “hide from Mommy!” We all get under the covers 
and lay as motionless as possible while we wait to see if Mommy 
will see us when she comes out of the bathroom. This is a great 
way to catch an extra forty winks and still play with your kids.

Musical instruments

This is a fun lap game. All my kid has to say is “Aahhhh!” and I do the rest. I can vary the sound coming out of him 
by cupping my hand over his mouth in various positions like a 
trumpet mute. I can rhythmically push on his diaphragm, or I can 
grab him around the ribs under his arms and shake real fast. I 
can thump on his head and cheeks for different sounds, and I 
can wriggle my finger up and down across his lips for another 
sound. Now don’t misconstrue this into some kind of abusive 
situation. I do these things gently and my boy loves it. (I can 
just imagine getting a knock on my door from the Division of 
Family Services after this article is printed.)

Other lap games

When I am especially tired, and can’t get out of my 
Lazy boy, I enjoy making up little lap games with my kids. For 
example, we make up sounds for different body parts. Pushing 
a nose makes a “honk!” Pulling an ear causes a “ding! ding!” 
Bending an elbow goes “Creeeak!” Pushing a belly button makes 
a “beeeep!” Once when we were driving, I reached across the 
front seat and pressed on my daughter’s nose while I secretly 
honked the horn with my other hand. For awhile she thought she 
really had something to do with making that sound. Another fun 
thing to do with kids on my lap is to talk to them in a silly voice 
with a stuffed animal. It is amazing the fears and joys they will 
express to that stuffed animal that they may not readily say to me.

Rock-a-bye baby

This is a fun one. I love to cradle my sweet little offspring in my arms while I gently sing Rock-a-bye baby to them. 
Then, at the right point in the song, “when the bow breaks . . .” I 
open my arms and drop my precious cargo from a safe height onto 
the nearest couch, bed, or beanbag chair. The kids love it, because 
they never know where they will land. They can’t see what’s 
under them even if it is only two inches away.

Hide and seek

The best way to get some rest during hide and seek is, 
when it is my turn to hide, I try to hide in a really good spot so 
it will take them a long time to find me. I know. That sounds terrible. But if the kids didn’t seem to enjoy themselves I wouldn’t 
do it this way

Peek-a-boo
After playing competitive soccer for twenty years, after being a die hard Nebraska football fanatic for most of my life, I am convinced that the greatest game in the world today is peek-a-boo. The fact that the mere act of holding one’s hands across 
one’s face and peeking through the fingers brings gales of instant laughter from a toddler should be illegal, immoral, and unethical. Why? Because just about every other easy road in this life usually is. It’s part of the curse of the earth isn’t it that good stuff 
like chocolate is bad for you and yucky stuff like broccoli is good for you? Life is supposed to be hard, but playing peek-a-boo is too easy. I can be totally exhausted, but if I can manage to lift my fingers to my face I can keep my kids entertained.

Alligator in the swamp

This game is similar to “Spider and fly” except I’m 
lying on the floor (preferably carpeted) face down, like an 
alligator. As the kids run by I make occasional grabs for them. 
When I catch one, I hang on for dear life as the kids try to pry 
my jaws (my hands) off and pull themselves away. What makes 
this fun is when one kid gets too close trying to pull her sibling 
to freedom, I will suddenly let go of him and grab hold of her.

Following are a few tools 

I use when playing with my kids. I 
use them as “punishment” when the 
spider catches the fly, the monkey 
is caught jumping on the bed, the 
alligator nabs his victim, etc. I also 
make sure I do plenty of tickling, 
hugging, kissing, and zerbutting 
throughout the games as well.

Tickle spots

With a child in my lap there are many things I can do to bring howls of laughter. All I have to say anymore is, “Where are those tickle spots?” and that usually gets them started. Under the arms, on 
the ribs, along the neck, on the tummy, inside the hipbone, and on the bottom of the feet, are the usual torture centers. Tickling works best when you move from one spot to another in rapid succession staying one step ahead of their defenses. Or you can dwell 
on one spot. Sometimes it’s fun to just start counting ribs. You do this by poking your finger between the bottom two ribs and begin working your way up the ribcage. It doesn’t take long to get ‘em squirming. Another fun thing is to start looking for the “soft 
fleshy part”. This is in reference to books we’ve read where animals such as porcupines and alligators are vulnerable on their soft fleshy underbellies. Sometimes it is fun to pretend I’m a doctor and I need to remove a spleen. Talk about tickle opportunities! 
Now when I want to really drive them crazy, I pin their legs down, grab both wrists in one hand, and just wriggle the fingers in my free hand like I’m looking for a spot to tickle. It’s the anticipation that drives them nuts. Doesn’t this sound horrible? I would never 
want anyone to do to me what I do to these kids. I hate to be tickled. But there is something in little kids that enjoy it. There is one rule of thumb we keep though. When it comes to tickling, when someone says stop, we stop. There is a fine line between play 
and cruelty in this area and we want to keep it fun.

Zerbuts and kisses

What are zerbuts? Who knows how to spell the crazy 
things anyway let alone give them? Zerbuts were made popular 
on the Cosby show when Cliff Huxtable gave Rudy one. It’s sort 
of the opposite of a kiss. You press your lips on someone’s cheek, 
neck, or tummy and blow. It usually sounds like someone sat on 
a whoopee cushion. Giving zerbuts are especially fun when the 
recipient is expecting a kiss. As for kisses, there are many types - 
loud kisses, wet kisses, machine gun kisses, and windshield wiper 
kisses. For windshield wiper kisses you need two kids on your 
lap, one for each knee, and you act like a windshield wiper, kissing each child back and forth, back and forth.

Hugs, hugs and more hugs

The bottom line in a lot of these games is kids need lots of attention, physical attention (I need it too, but I don’t often admit it). So, throughout these games I try to get in an ample supply of big daddy 
bear hugs. Also when moving from room to room, it is automatic that someone has to ride on my back, shoulders, in my arms, wherever. When it is time to move, I simply shout, “Assume the position!” and the nearest child will leap up on the closest chair or coffee table so they can be in position to climb on my back. Sometimes I will carry a child by his ankles so his head swings about two inches above the ground. I will then playfully (and gently of course) bump them into furniture and walls until 
we get to our destination when I dramatically swing them up and plop them down on a bed, couch or beanbag chair. Now you 
may wonder, how is carrying kids around saving energy for tired dads? Believe me, it takes more emotional and physical energy 
to keep the kids off of you, than it does to carry one on your shoulders. 

Tips for Tired Dads - Copyright © 2009 Ron Wheeler. All Rights Reserved. May be copied for individual personal use only. Contact ron@cartoonworks.com f


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