In our house, "Daddy Time" holds some pretty exciting connotations. And while I know that I'm so so lucky to be blessed with a husband that's as good a daddy as he is a lover, I still know that no matter how 'hands-on' a dad is or isn't doesn't matter when it comes to playtime - all dads play with their children differently than moms do. In a good way. Moms are wonderful for lots of things; warmth, snuggles, food, nurturing etc. But there's just something awesome about the physical way dads play with their children...
I've always noticed this since I was a kid. I think men and children have a similar wavelength for thinking, and women are a bit more objective. When I was a little girl I definitely thought of my mother as more the serious adult (even though she played with me non-stop) and my father more the funny/goofy/playful parent (even though he was working everyday). My mom would play with me at the park, be involved in lengthy imaginary tea parties with me, play "house" etc. but it just wasn't as physical. Sure, she taught me how to do the monkey bars, and how to throw and catch a ball, but there is something so practical about the way moms play, and something so down-right fun and nonsensical about the way dads play. Do you know what I mean? When guys get goofy, they get seriously goofy.
I have this hilarious daddy-time moment caught on video: Freida was 18 months and sick with the flu. Manasseh had strapped a belt through the slots of a cardboard diaper box and was dragging it all around our apartment with Freida in it. She was flushed from the fever and laughing hysterically; I ran to grab the camcorder before I missed the moment. Of course, he picked up speed now that he was being videotaped, and as the box started to ricochet I shot out warnings "be careful. please. she's sick - slow down!" at that moment the box topples over, I curse, and while Freida continues laughing, the camera lays at a crooked view of the dining room with me huffing mumbling and puffing. :)
Yes, they're more reckless. But this also means they lend the child some care-free playtime experiences. Mothers are never care-free - even the granola-chomping, hemp-wearing hippy ones! - all moms have much on their mind; if it's 4:30 playtime, somewhere in the recesses of their mind they are thinking about baths, dinners, homework, bedtimes, dishes etc. It's just the way we are programmed! Men on the other hand seem to be able to focus on one thing, and only think about that one thing. It constantly amazes me.
I know when my kids need a good dose of daddy time (because it's usually when I've been super stresse out), and thankfully he's always happy to give them some fun-loving attention. Which they adore!
And while I know why women are given the ability to compartmentalize their thoughts and think about many different things and/or people simultaneously (if we weren't able to do that - we'd likely wind up with lots of loose ends on the homefront), sometimes I just wish I could learn how to focus a bit more like a man....
They really seem to get their kids, when we think they are just "playing" with them.
So here's a shout-out to the pappas! For being so there. And so fun. We love you.