Thursday, June 18, 2015

Zoe vs. Daddy, the DFP

In honor of Father's Day, I'm dedicating a post to the long-suffering Husband.

Daddy is the Designated Fun Parent
Wrapped around her finger, literally.

Long-suffering because when all three of us are home and she's looking for a playmate, he's her first victim choice.
You see, The Husband is the DFP, the designated fun parent.
This was no surprise to me. If you've met both of us, it's clear he's the fun one. If you've met only me, you hope he's the fun one.
I don't mind. Especially since I've observed, and sometimes been the focus of, her "play." It's aggressive and terrifying.
Poor Daddy.
But he had it coming. He laid the groundwork when she was an infant by tossing her in the air and blowing raspberries on her belly till she practically exploded with laughter. When she was a toddler, he was the wielder of "the tickle finger." And he can sigh and act all put-upon if he wants, but no one made him do funny voices. So if he's now the go-to parent when she's looking for someone to do Hattie the Hippo from Doc McStuffins, he's got only himself to blame.
(Full disclosure: Sometimes I make him do Hattie too. Because it's hilarious. And because he does it grudgingly. Hmmm. This may be where Zoe gets her sadistic streak from.)
Another reason he's the de facto DFP is because I'm alone with her more, and by necessity Mommy's always "busy doing boring things," like making her dinner when we get home at night. And if The Husband's there, someone still has to make her grilled cheese, and so Daddy's the distraction/entertainment.
The Husband disciplines her, sure, but not as much as I do. In fact, here's a mantra we have her repeat: "Mommy makes the rules!" That's right. Because as Daddy can tell you, I have more of them, and each one has clauses and subclauses, and qualifiers. 
In general, I'm the heavy. The Husband has a sensitive heart and so, for example, doesn't "go far enough" for my requirements when washing her hair or brushing it. Zoe knows this, so she prefers Daddy to brush her hair. And runs from me and my merciless hairbrush. 
Daddy is wrapped around her finger. And though you'd think such a position would occasionally prove restful, it does not. Being the DFP is exhausting. The other night I saw him trailing after her in a defeated slouch, muttering under his breath, "Why is she doing this to me?"
And I smiled because I know it's because Zoe loves her Daddy.
Too bad her love hurts.
Happy Father's Day to the fathers out there, DFPs or otherwise!

P.S. You know what would make a great Father's Day gift? The new anthology I'm in, But Did You Die? Setting the Parenting Bar Low, the first in the New York Times bestselling Pee Alone series from Jen Mann at People I Want to Punch in the Throat to feature Daddy writers. So buy it, that way the Daddy in your life can believe Daddys are as funny as Mommys---he needs this!

Zoe: 97; Universe/Daddy: 0

If you like this post, you may like Zoe vs. Legos, i.e., Zoe vs. Daddy vs. Mommy vs. Legos.

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 
To show your sympathy for fathers everywhere, click here to subscribe.


  1. jocelyn @ the home tomeJune 18, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    Yup my husband is the DFP too. Yup, I'm always washing dishes, and if I try to be an FP ...well, my 2 year old sends me back to the kitchen. Love this and totally relate: "Mommy makes the rules!" That's right. Because as Daddy can tell you, I
    have more of them, and each one has clauses and subclauses, and
    qualifiers. YES.

  2. That's how the cookie crumbles around here too. If I say no, the boys immediately ask where dad is. ;)

  3. Elizabeth CatalanoJune 19, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Ha, it seems like a common thing! Sometimes the chores are preferable when I see how she's jumping on top of Daddy.

  4. Elizabeth CatalanoJune 19, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Wow, they don't even give it some breathing room!

  5. Oh yes, my husband is totally the DPF, and I am the "rule parent."

  6. I'm always the heavy. My husband gets to be the fun one.

  7. Elizabeth CatalanoJune 24, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    Really hate that this seems to fall along gender lines. Sigh.