The post below is by my husband Shaun, my very favorite Father's Month contributor.
In honor of Father’s Day, Nathalee asked if I would write something for MommyBeta from a daddy’s perspective. I had no clue what to write about. Then I was telling Nathalee about this article about roughhousing that I had just read on Yahoo! (sadly, my main source of news).
She immediately said, “That’s what you should write about!” She was right, it seemed like a perfect topic for me as “roughhousing” is one of the things I enjoy most with Nic. Now let me begin by saying that I was mostly making fun of the article. Roughhousing workshops? Really? If you need to attend a workshop to either know how to roughhouse or figure out what roughhousing is, then you probably shouldn’t be roughhousing in the first place.
Nic is usually super energized right when he wakes up at 6am or so. As he has started to become more mobile, stronger, more of a little boy than a baby, our “playtime” has become more like roughhousing. I’ll usually pull the large pillows off the couch and put them on the floor and cover them in blankets. He’ll immediately run and jump on them, then I’ll join and we’ll wrestle. His belly laugh makes me forget that I’m tired and it’s 6am.
Before Nic was born, these were the kind of moments I imagined having with my son, although not because of the many benefits that this article points out:
“Roughhousing does more than keep kids physically active. "There are clear signs showing that it helps kids' academic success, it's associated with being more flexible behaviorally, being better able to deal with unpredictability," DeBenedet says. "Play—especially active physical play, like roughhousing—makes kids smart, emotionally intelligent, lovable and likable, ethical, physically fit, and joyful.”
I may be 30 years old now, but I still feel (and act) like a kid much of the time. I think that’s why having a little dude is so much fun—I get to act like a kid under the guise of a parent. But hey, turns out I’m making Nic smarter, emotionally intelligent, lovable, likeable, ethical, physically fit and joyful. Yeah, I’m pretty much the best dad ever.