What’s Manlier than Singing to Plush Toys?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | | |

Putting the kids to bed is admittedly easier than it used to be now that our youngest can dress herself, sorta.  (We still mostly believe that wearing Dora underwear on your head is super-funny)  Still, if you have children or have observed “bedtime with kids” from a reasonably close distance you know that this is not for the faint of heart.  (or maybe it’s just my kids that are trouble)  A few nights ago I found myself bathing uncooperative girls (meaning I got wetter than they did), reading books about princesses, and singing “Goodnight Sweetheart” to a toy sheep.  In and of themselves, none of these are real burdens and I’ll probably miss it all someday.  Still, after 3 of the four kids had melted down and were throwing small, but deadly, objects at my head I walked away.  My wife asked me where I was going and all I could spit out was,

“I’m going to do guy stuff.”

Not sure why that was the reaction, but it came out.  Let’s be clear, by most reasonable definitions of “guy stuff” I don’t do much.  I remember a Jan 5th night a few years ago where, after saying our bedtime prayer, I opened my eyes and realized that I HADN’T WATCHED A SINGLE COLLEGE BOWL GAME.  Wow, kinda crazy how life changes things.  Here are a few of the “guy” activities I very occasionally do:

  • Chopping wood – never felt more “guy-like”
  • Playing basketball – this is fun, but inevitably depressing since my skilz here peaked well over a decade ago…
  • Watch TV Sports, but never live, that takes too much time.  I DVR so I can skip commercials.  Also I usually have to turn down the volume so low that I sit 6 inches from the screen to hear (kids are “sleeping”)
  • Loud rock/rap music – I’ve corrupted the kiddos with this one.  (i’m good with that)  But the volume is a constant battle with the Mrs. HTF.  I don’t need to tell you who wins…

So I’ve been racking my brain for what kind of “guy stuff” I’d do given the time . . . and I’m coming up emptier than I’m comfortable admitting.  Since most of you readers are very much not guys, I’m not sure how much you can help, but do you have any suggestions?


  1. Traci says:

    Are you sure you want suggestions? You know you just asked for a "honey-do" list!!! Let's see...
    1. Rake up leaves (it's never going to dry up enough)
    2. Clean out gutters
    3. Clean grill, then you can grill a big steak (look in freezer)
    4. :)
    I'm just teasing you. Quoting from one of my favorite movies "He's not a lad, brother, he's man. He's a man! The man from Snowy River" (or in your case- The man from Bothell! Or is it...The man from Kansas City! Either one works for me. :)

  2. Traci says:

    P.S. I love a man who sings to his children and/or stuffed animals.

  3. My Three Sons says: This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. My Three Sons says:

    That's ok. I was telling Brent how disappointed I was that I wasn't going to make it to my book club. He responded,"Yeah, now you know how I feel. I never have time to go out either." Taken completely by surprise with this statement, I asked (with a little bit of guilt,) "Oh. I didn't realize you were wanting to go out. What aren't you able to go do?" His reply, "There actually isn't anything. I was just saying.....if there ever was something I wanted to do, I wouldn't have the time."

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don't talk to Rick...
    Sarah G. :)

  6. rlsecor says:

    I don't know if reading is considered manly but I saw a friend reading this book the other day and I thought of you .... I'll have to see if I can find the exact name but it was this super thick book about Basketball by uh "the sports guy" yeah I know, so helpful.

    I would also recommend
    -a dart board in the basement
    -anything involving power tools
    -there's nothing like raw meat
    -you could always build a half pipe and take your board for a spin

    Ok and here's another thought - when I think about the basic behaviors that distinguish boys from girls both noises and intense movement come to mind....

    So, maybe next time you are caught sweetly singing goodnight to a stuffed sheep - try letting out a random grunt or a woop and rub your tummy a lot.

    Maybe you could bargain that you don't read stories until they all drop and give you 20...

    Or you could think of it as a pre-game performance - pay heed to Tracey's suggestions & make her swoon as you perform your fatherly tasks and maybe you'll find something VERY manly to do together after the kids are all asleep... giggle giggle.

  7. rlsecor says:

    The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
    ~ Bill Simmons

  8. Emmy says:

    Lifting weights-that is guy stuff... reading about football, reading about Apple stuff.. that is what my husband does.

    And I am so glad to read this post as we just got done have a screaming/ tantrum throwing, it took way too long to get the kids to bed kind of night.

  9. CM says:

    Be passive aggressive

  10. Alan says:

    Install a garage door opener or go hang out in the wood section of Home Depot. I'll do either one with you.

  11. The Texas Bakers says:

    I despise bedtime most nights and simply cannot understand parents who claim it is their favorite part of the day. All I can think is they must have one quarter of the children to bathe, read with, sing to, pray with etc. that I have. Especially when all I really want to do is sit on the couch in a catatonic stupor. I do enjoy singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to a Cinderella doll on occasion, however...

  12. Spot On Your Pants says:

    Well, I'd still take my worst phobia over (up)Chuck E. Cheese any day of the week. I did love the part about the bathroom being in the back by the anaconda. Sorry to laugh at your pain!

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