Thanks to The Muskrat for letting us pick his brain a bit!.
1. What's the best part of being a dad?
I used to think it was the tax credit, but that gets fazed out at higher income levels, apparently. The unconditional love is nice, but my dog was giving me that. I think it's the humor...little children don't understand how the world works yet, so they ask some ridiculous (and often pretty stupid) questions that are great entertainment!
2 What has been the most challenging part of being a dad?
Trying to be a good example. I have to work to avoid using my usual profane metaphors and expletives in front of them.
3. What's your "they never told me THAT" story?
I had no idea that the 2yo little girl would want to yank on the 4yo little boy's johnson in the bath tub. No matter how many times I tell her to quit -- and how many times I tell the boy not to let anyone yank on his member-- it happens every time I look at my phone or walk out of the bathroom for a minute during bath time. Children are gross.
4. What's one lesson you could pass on that you've learned about being a father?
Buy the "booty camp" DVD for potty training, give it to your spouse, and then volunteer to take the other children somewhere fun while she does the potty training.
5. How are you able to find time for yourself, or as a couple?
I have to go out of town to unwind. I also try to "network" a lot, which means going to a bar with a bunch of people I like to go to bars with. As a couple, we try to go out of town 1-2 times a year without the babies.
6. How have children altered life's game plan?
I had planned to live in the city indefinitely and spend extra money on travel and perhaps a vacation house. A year ago, we moved just outside the city to be away from crime and sh$#!y schools. All my extra money goes to fixing issues with this f@#!ing house.
7. Do you have any tricks for eating or bed times?
I threaten to beat them if they don't obey. It works most of the time.
8. What's your escape from the chaos, be it a hobby, tech gear, etc?
Traveling and drinking (most of the time, both!).
9. What lessons do you feel like you're passing on well,...and maybe not so well.
I try to emphasize making good choices and have some self discipline. I'm not that old or that wise, but I've been alive long enough to observe that the happy, successful people I knew aren't necessarily the smartest or most talented people, but are instead the ones who are intentional about their lives and are willing to delay gratification, take a risk every now and again, and avoid following the crowd into mediocrity. I'll talk to them about things their older (17) sister is doing well or not well; I do the same for other members of the extended family they meet. I'm brutally honest with them.
10. Mini Van or SUV?
With 4 children, a minivan is much more useful for us than would be an SUV. Better mileage and more room to pack suitcases and people (plus the dog) when we travel. That said, we plan to get an SUV in a couple years when the oldest is away in college, and the younger ones are no longer in bulky car seats. Only my wife drives the minivan, I'll add.
Thanks again to Moe at Father Muskrat. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for a taste of one of the good 'ole boys!
Be on the lookout for future interviews, Q & As, interrogations and
so forth on "Ask A Dad".