Growing up, my Mum would always say “ask Dad” whenever we presented her with a challenging question. Dad was the bastion of knowledge and facts. He was also the dispenser of punishments, whilst Mum was the hugger, the advice giver. Perhaps because of their differing styles, they made excellent parents and I often try to emulate their example in my own parenting. I still ask Dad tricky questions from time to time, and I always go to Mum for emotional support and advice.
Although my husband and I try not to promote particular gender stereotypes, we do find that we parent our son in very different ways. My favourite activities to do with him are reading together, snuggling, chatting and going for walks. My husband’s top picks are taking him to the park, playing with cars, playing soccer and giving him a bath-complete with toy boats capsizing and lots of splashing!
And in that way Mothering and Fathering are very different schools of parenting, at least in our house.
Of course it’s quite sexist to suggest that all mothers are nurturing and all fathers are fun, but even if they are not traditionally different, parenting styles between the sexes do differ.
Something that brings me great joy is to spy covertly on my husband when he is playing with our son. I find their father/son interactions are so radically different from the way I play with him, and I am able to see my husband in an adorable role of doting father. Some things that they do together sans Mama, include:
• Laying on the floor, playing cars, complete with engine noises
• Gentle teasing- “Oh no-you don’t like going to the park, do you???”
• Chasing-around and around the living room
• Tickling and wrestling
• Making up silly songs (many include the word bum)
• Wearing empty toy boxes on their heads and calling each other “box heads”
• Watching classic Transformers episodes
In all these ways and more, I appreciate the balance, enthusiasm and affection my husband brings to our child’s life and activities.
So this Father’s day I am going to let Dad sleep in, while I take our toddler to the basement and try and take a leaf from Daddy’s playbook, get on the floor, make car noises and wrestle until we can’t catch our breath.
And then later we’ll treat Dad, by doing one of these awesome Father’s day activities right here in Ottawa and the surrounding area:
2940 Old Montreal Rd, Cumberland: Take a look at all the tools and trades. Participate in a carpentry activity, and watch blacksmith, woodworking, and sawmill demonstrations.
11 Aviation Pkwy, Ottawa - Get an up close look at all types of planes and helicopters.
2100 Cabot St, Ottawa - Father’s Day Antique Car Show, cars, BBQ, and live music.
270 Pinhey Point Rd, Dunrobin - Learn about traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, woodworking, and more.