Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


As some of you may already know, I have a terrible track record when it comes to buying gifts for my wife. Let me rephrase that: I'm terrible at buying gifts for holidays that I deem to be b.s.- like Valentine's Day and, more specifically, Mother's Day. I'll give her Christmas, her birthday, and our anniversary, but I draw the line at holiday's created by big business to increase the bottom line (again, I'll let Christmas slide because it's for the big kid in all of us). Nothing bugs me more than being told that I have to do something nice for my wife just because the calendar says so. These holidays put both husbands and fathers between a rock and a hard place, and every flower shop, card store, jeweller and chocolatier knows it. And it angers me. I have a mother. I buy her flowers. I do my duty. Why do I have to buy a Mother's Day gift for my wife? Is it not my kid's responsibility to buy a mother's day gift? Is it my fault she's only 13-months-old?

Having said that, I do like to sleep in my own bed. And, although my contrary nature incites me to "fight the system," from time to time, my need to avoid frivolous philosophical arguments with my wife trumps that. And, if I wasn't such a procrastinator, I'd probably get my wife the kind of gift she'd like, but when you combine my hatred of these holidays with my half-assed approach to shopping for gifts, it creates some problems.

Case in point: last year my wife gave me three months warning that a mother's first "Mother's Day" was the most important. I could screw up all the Mother's day's for the rest of her life, she said, but if I screwed up this one, I was dead meat. I had ideas. I had plans. I had good intentions, but, of course, I left everything until the last minute. I can blame it on the baby and tell you that it's hard to find the time to shop with an infant at home, but we all know if I made mere mention that I was going to buy my wife her Mother's Day "award" she would have given me the entire weekend to shop for it... night and day... whatever it took. Instead I decided to wait until she was going to the mall with her dad and her sister to shop for a gift for her mom and asked if I could tag along. Did I mention this was the day before Mother's Day? Ya. Bad idea.

Looking back on it, I should have done things a little differently. For one, showing up at a mall with your wife the day before Mother's Day tells her two things: 1) You haven't gotten her a gift yet, and 2) you have no idea what you're going to get her. So I split up from my angry wife, her dad and her sister, took the baby and went in search of the perfect gift.

I hit the card store- there was a line-up out the door. I stood in line at the engravers, but the woman at the front of the line was taking too long to get the right words out that I left in utter frustration. I found a small gift at the photo shop, but it was just a teaser, and I knew it wouldn't go over well without a bigger, better, gift to accompany it. I scoured the mall, but every where I turned there was a line-up. Mac, Coach, you name it, all the stores that could have saved my sorry ass were filled to the brim with other schmucks with the exact same plan as mine, except they were smart enough to get an early start on the day. Some stores I could have squeezed into had I not had the baby and her massive stroller in tow. It was fruitless. It was hopeless, but I couldn't return home empty handed- I had to at least try. And there it was... a certain body and bath store that will remain unnamed; the only store with aisles wide enough for both my sorry ass and my little girl's big ass stroller. There were soaps, and aroma therapy oils, loofah, and creams. It was a sea of choices, not the right ones, but what else was I to do? I figured a hundred dollars worth of something was better than a whole lot of nothing. Boy, was I wrong.

I hid my purchases beneath the stroller and made my way back to my wife. With an evil eye, she stared me up and down. "How did it go?," she asked."Did you get me something I'll like?" I said: "Define like?"

Needless to say, the next morning was extremely uncomfortable for me. There was yelling, and screaming, and stuff being thrown at the walls... and that was just the baby. My wife, opening her gift of measly bath oils and bubble bath salts was none too pleased. She pointed at me, her finger trembling with anger, and said: "If you love me, you will make this right. You will not ruin my first Mother's Day! You will not!" Apparently, I had her all wrong. My wife wasn't after anything expensive. She wanted something from the heart. For a quarter of the hundred bucks I spent in soaps, she said, I could have just as easily bought a nice frame and filled it with a Sears portrait of me and my daughter. I could have painted a picture with my then three-month old's help, framed it, and she would have been happy (until the next day when she found out what her friends got, of course).

So, I did the only thing I could think of... I went to the balloon store, bought about twenty helium filled balloons that read: "I love you. Happy Mother's Day," and hoped for the best.

Now, it didn't get me out of the doghouse, although it softened her own heart, a tad. But, she forgave me, and said: "There's always next year. Hopefully, you've learned your lesson?" Only time will tell - seven days and counting to be exact. So if you're like me and you'll be out shopping for the Mother's Day present to end all Mother's Day presents this weekend, save me a place in line... I might be a little late.

Happy Mother's Day from Fodder 4 Fathers!

Mothers, may you get what you deserve (or was it want? I get confused).

For the guys:  Here's a rather extensive list of the gift's your wife won't be accepting this year:





As far as good ones go... who are we kidding? I can't help you.


  1. Live and learn. The first one is hard because you have no idea what will make a good gift and she is probably still a little hormonal and lacking sleep. Just tell her what a wonderful mother and wife she is, especially if she works outside the home because she is doing at least three jobs to your one. She deserves recognition.

    Bath salts and stuff suck because really, when was the last time she had time to soak in a bath?

  2. ...Actually, every night, when I'm watching the baby before her own bath time. And, I understand that in many situations Mom's do a disproportionate share of the work when it comes to babies, but I pull my own weight, and if anything the scales tip my way because I like to do all of the cooking (for the baby as well), a fair portion of the cleaning, and I'm the one who wakes up with my daughter in the morning and gets her off to daycare. All I'm really guilty of is being horrible at buying gifts, and a procrastinator when it comes to shopping for others.

    You'll be glad to know that I have redeemed myself this year, but it's up to my wife to tell you what she got. I think I did pretty well?

    Thanks for the comment.

    Fodder 4 Fathers