What Dads Really Want This Father's Day

From a homemade card to control of the TV remote to a good night's sleep—this is what dads are really looking for on their special day

The one day a year where we celebrate Dad is almost upon us. Dads have some bullets to dodge over the course of a year…remembering the spouse’s birthday, the wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day are a few. And then there is the precarious choice of the Mother’s Day gift. It needs to acknowledge the Mom factor but must avoid all household appliances or anything that might possibly be associated with stereotypes. I am happy to say I am almost out of the woods once the Wedding anniversary is covered in June! Now we have time to focus on the important stuff. What do Dad’s REALLY want for Father’s Day?

Here is my top ten list:

1. I hate to start on a negative but I’m addressing a pet peeve. This may cause me to be blacklisted by the greeting card companies but let’s make Father’s Day a “store bought greeting card free zone.” No purchasing of pricey Father’s Day greeting cards for this Dad. A homemade card from the kids suits me just fine! Plus now that saved money can go towards a delicious steak for the barbecue.

2. While we’re on the topic, a big juicy steak triple grade A New York Strip loin or rib steak will fit the bill quite nicely. If the steak makes it to the fridge, I’ll even barbecue it! Add in a baked potato and some Ontario peaches and cream corn on the cob and we are on good terms.

3. For a perfectly cooked steak, a new Webber or Napoleon barbeque would be a nice addition to the back patio. You know the one… all stainless steel construction with multiple controls, porcelain cooking grills and 2 side burners? Get a nice cover for it while you’re at it!

4. While we’re outdoors, this Dad would like a new bike, not a motorbike (I’m being somewhat realistic) but a nice 29’er with decent wheels and suspension for cycling up North where the roads are even worse than those in Toronto! And with NO attachments for child hardware such as trailers, carriers or tandems—just a “grown up” bike and some time to ride it!

5. I’m clearly my father’s son when it comes to this request. Can we turn off some lights?! As a kid my Dad would march around the house shutting off lights and unplugging toys and appliances that had been left on and abandoned. This activity was often accompanied with some interesting commentary. At times it was more colourful than others. A common refrain was “What? Am I made out of money?!” Now fast forward 40 years, with hydro rates that are totally out of control!  Now I am the one walking around the house at all hours of the day and night, turning off TVs, lights, iPads etc. I’ve also been known to mutter familiar phrases.  What a gift it would be to walk into an empty room and find the lights, Nintendo and television turned off!!

6. A good night’s sleep! I don’t know what happens to parents when they have kids, but my sleep patterns have never been the same. I used to be an incredibly sound sleeper, rarely woke up before the alarm clock. Now sleeping more than four hours uninterrupted is a rarity. Perhaps having the baby monitor on all night for our first child was a mistake…do parents really need to know every time the baby sneezes or coughs? And having the kids rooms in close proximity to the master bedroom still means that the dad radar kicks in every time one of the kids roll over or knock on the wall.  Now this doesn’t even address the issue of having two kids that are EARLY risers…especially my son. There is nothing like that knocking on the door at 5:45 am on a Saturday morning followed by a whisper of, “Dad…Dad… is it wake up time yet?” Good luck falling back to sleep after that conversation… what a novelty it would be to go to sleep at 11:00 pm, and awaken 8 hours later!

7. I just survived a long weekend of commuting up North with the better half, a two-year-old and a soon to be eight-year-old, plus a Labrador. Its times like this, with a 4+ hour drive to the cottage, that I am grateful for choosing the most boring yet practical family vehicle, the Dodge Grand Caravan. The extra space is great to stretch out and to be able to carry half our home for the trip. However, the extra space also creates even more hiding places for the McDonalds french fry remnants, half eaten chicken nuggets, spilled salt and ketchup packets, discarded drink boxes, DVDs without cases and a few pine needles for good measure.  We have learned NEVER to order milk as a drink while on a road trip, as once spilled on the upholstery it can never be fully cleaned and inevitably goes sour. What would be an awesome Father’s Day gift is to arrive home from the next eight hour road trip with a van in showroom condition. Yes, I know…it’s impossibe!

8. Control of the TV remote control! First it was marriage and being subjected to HGTV and every home renovation show known to mankind. Than with the first-born I was introduced to Treehouse, and wonderful programming like “In the Night Garden” and “Max and Ruby.” Now with the 2nd toddler it’s “Paw Patrol” because Chase is on the case! One day I will again watch a show of my choosing from beginning to end…without interruption!

9. I am routinely amazed by our technological advancements on many levels. But if Amazon and Google were truly on their game they would create a golf shirt with a collar that DOESN’T curl up! I’ll take two!

10. If the truth be told, what dads really want for Father’s Day is...a TRUCK! Yes, that’s right. Forget the lame mini-van, the economy car, or the truck wannabe SUVs. I’m talking about a real truck! My seven-year-old is clearly on board with this one; I think he dreams about Ford F150s at least three nights a week. That’s totally okay with me, a nice crew cab F-150 4X4, any colour…as long as it’s black.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, I hope you get one of your wishes! 

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