There will be days when dads all over the world will be responsible for young children all on their own. You might be a single dad, you might just be giving your partner a bit of time away from the kids, you might be craving for some extra daddy time. I’m sure there are a myriad of other reasons, but no matter how it comes about, you need to be prepared.
All three of my kids are under five years old and trying to organise and prevent them from death or kidnap is a real challenge. Undertaking whinge prevention is a constant battle, which ironically their kidnap would deal with quite effectively. However, having been told that this is not an option, I’ve learnt that there are some essential preparatory tasks that make life a lot easier and in some cases help you survive the Daddy Day Out. Here are just some:
1. Take wipes, lots of wipes…
It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, one universal truth is that they will need wiping. They may be one month old or 18 years old and starting uni, it doesn’t matter. Wipes are an essential resource that needs taking on any expedition, great or small. Wipe the kids, wipe you, wipe seats, wipe tables, wipe strangers, just don’t be without them or you’ll have a wipeout (…see what I did there).
2. …and snacks…
You fool! What do you mean you didn’t take any snacks? When the little blighters start to flag or get grouchy, a well timed pack of Bear Fruit Paws (don’t ask) or some breadsticks can suppress their urge to go ballistic for no reason other than “that boy said he doesn’t like my t-shirt”. True story. Not only that, but they can also act as a temporary bribe to secure about 23 seconds of good behaviour. And, that is worth it.
3. Strength in numbers
I guess this defeats the point of this blog being about dads going out on their own but reinforcements are helpful. Try and join forces with other dads who are also on Daddy Day duty. This enables you to tag team with other dads on critical actions like sharing resources, watching over your other kids whilst you take one to the toilet, discussing how great you are as fathers and planning the next night out when you’re inevitably going to be rewarded by the mummies for giving them a few hours of peace.
4. Go somewhere spacious
Wherever you go, try and go somewhere with lots of calorie burning space for the kids, tire those suckers out! Whether it’s penning the kids in at a big soft play centre or going to the local woods, it’s all useful to get them running around and causing the havoc they want, away from home. Somewhere with toilets and food nearby is also a plus as it means you can make a day of it within one place and not get faeces and urine all over the place, but there are no guarantees in life. Hours will pass in no time and you’ll be returning home to a heroes welcome…
5. Get the other half to help
Okay, okay, it’s not all about us daddies being able to do everything. I’m not ashamed to say that my missus has a cyborg-like precision in preparing for anything child related. So, if you are lucky enough to have someone as thorough and adept in thinking of every eventuality, why not take advantage of it? It’s not cheating, it’s being resourceful… just remember that.
Just remember: Who Prepares Wins.