No. 1. Daddy Turns Out The Lights "Someone Else" Always Leaves On. Such an event occurs on daily basis as long as children live at home. Turning off unneeded lights is best done when no one else is home and there is absolutely no reason why they were left on. My personal record is twelve in 5 minutes.
No. 2. Daddy Puts Away Tools Before They Are Eternally Lost. This may not apply here because when I realized I could have either tools or sons, I chose sons.
No. 3. Daddy Eats Up The Leftovers Nobody Wants. This being particularly true in the case of the more healthy of foods -- which never seem to hold the attraction of junk food. Have you ever even seen left over junk food?
No. 4. Daddy Is There To Say, "I've seen worse." Mothers make better nurses, and doctors are needed in about 1 percent of childhood injuries. A good daddy's approach to most accidents is to assure the hapless victim that daddy has "seen worse. This is an especially useful thing to say when there is profuse bleeding and no more gross image can be imaged.
No. 5. Daddy Assures New Moms "He's a beautiful baby." I learned this with our firstborn. He was a holy mess when he came out. My wife was not yet conscious enough to recognize her own name when she asks, "Is it a pretty baby?" The new father's reply is the first step toward becoming a daddy.
No. 6. Daddy Tells Stories Instead of Teaching Lessons. Children do not necessarily appreciate or apply these stories; but they are frequently recalled years later, when the lesson entailed becomes most painfully clear.
No. 7. Daddy Teaches Safe And Lawful Driving. This works, too. None of our children have ever had a ticket they deserved or an accident that was their fault. At least none they've told daddy about.
No. 8. Daddy Is There To Worry About Stuff. My rule is to worry any time, any place for any reason whatsoever when it comes to our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and godchild-types. Mostly I worry about them when I don't know where they are. Even if they are half-way around the world I don't worry about them if I know where they are (UNLESS I DON'T HEAR FROM THEM OFTEN ENOUGH, MATTHEW!).
No. 9. Daddy Is Who Daughters Are "Going To Marry When I Grow Up." This actually works, until they discover boys, at age six. Our daughter says: "I do remember basing my decision on whom to marry on the strengths, personality and overall character of my father. I think daddies provide daughters with a basis for what they want (or don't want, as the case may be) in a husband. In other words, they set the standard by which women chose their husbands." But, that's just my little girl's opinion.
No. 10 Daddy Can Turn Into A Decent Father. A few Christmas celebrations past our oldest son purchased for me, apparently after some effort, a sweatshirt which reads: "Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy." Suppose the trick is to be remembered as both.
So, what's your excuse -- I mean reason -- for keeping daddy?
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.