I was a big fan of Disney’s Duck Tales and Uncle Scrooge’s life philosophy of, “Work smarter, not harder.” Sure, that advice is not exclusive to that particular cartoon, but it was repeated enough on it that I associate the quote with Scrooge. I try to take that approach in raising my kids – particularly when it comes to playing with them. You see, I’m getting older and don’t have their energy level when it comes to play time. So I decided, if I can sit and still participate in playtime and the bonding that comes with it, that is precisely what I shall do.
Case in point – my 6-year-old came up with a game in which she pretends to be reading when I come home from work. I’ll be sitting in the recliner, she’ll hold a book or piece of paper in front of her. Then, she lowers the reading material, looks at me, gets a great big smile on her face, then runs to give me a hug. An easy game to play with little to no effort. At first. You see, as she gets more and more into this game, that run and hug turns into a run and jump on Daddy. Problem is, she likes to lead with her left knee on those jumps. So, the first time I played this game I regretted not wearing a cup.
“Mommy, why is Daddy crying?”
Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson and sit in a more protective position when playing this game.
Although my name is not Jim I’ve often become the jungle gym of my little ones. This is a pretty easy game as I just sit in the recliner and let the 2-year-old climb over me and slide down repeatedly. The other night we had our typical jungle gym Daddy groove on. She would climb up the side of the recliner, flop onto my lap, slide down my legs, run to the couch, jump and flop on the couch then repeat the whole thing again. I was in no danger in my positioning and her landing – all was good. But, I’m assuming she got a little tired towards the end.
Keep in mind that I was wearing sweat pants. Sweat pants, for those of you who don’t know, do not offer ideal testicular protection. On her last round she must’ve needed some extra leverage to make it over the side of the recliner. She reached out and grabbed onto anything which would give her such leverage. Now, imagine the length of a 2-year-old’s arm and the average width of a recliner. Next, imagine where Daddy’s manhood would be in relation to a tiny, but strong, grasping hand…
Yeah, not fun. But she was having a ball – and I hope she returns them as I’m not finished with them, yet.
In essence, playtime is never safe for fathers unless they wear the proper protective gear. Perhaps I’ll head to the sporting goods store to stock up on such equipment…after all, we have a Dick’s in town!