Four Reasons Why I’m a Shitty Dad


Okay, I’m not the shittiest dad in the world. There are plenty of deadbeats out there that make me look good. I don’t beat my kids. I haven’t turned my basement into a meth lab. And not once have I ever seriously considered leaving one of my children at WalMart and just driving away. Not seriously. Nope. Never.

But I don’t deserve that World’s Greatest Dad mug, either. I screw up a lot. I forget to put mittens on my kids when it’s cold. I rely heavily on Disney Jr. for a few minutes of peace and quiet. And I’ve got a prison-style “notch in the wall” calendar running down the days until my angels start kindergarten. I’m not proud. I know I have room for improvement. I’m trying, honest, I am. And in the spirit of AA-style full disclosure, here’s a list of the top four reasons why I’m a shitty dad. Judge me if you will.


1)   I cooked an entire meal for my children using only the microwave.

The meal consisted solely of cheese-like products and a cornucopia of preservatives. It was like a science experiment–can children subsist entirely on ingredients no one can pronounce? Yes they can. They’ve stopped growing, but they’re still alive, so…


2) “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to drink beer.”

That’s a direct quote from my son. My beautiful, impressionable, 4 year old son. Yeah. That happened. It was like a fucking after-school special (I learned it from watching you, dad!). We were heading out for a walk with another family. It was a long walk, like 500 yards around the block, so I brought beers. My son looked at the cans in my hand and asked, “why do you have 10 beers, daddy?” First of all, I didn’t have 10 beers. I had three. But the impression on my kid was the same: beer=fun. More beer=more fun. Awesome.


3) I’m not good at teaching my kids stuff.

See the above anecdote about counting cans of beer. Yeah, they can’t really count. They don’t know their ABC’s either. They used to know their ABC’s, when my wife took care of them every day. But since I took over, they’ve been dropping knowledge like a punch-drunk boxer. They can name every character on Jake and the Neverland Pirates (even the obscure, one-episode mermaids), but ask them what state they live in and they’ll probably say, “Cheese.” Sometimes I try to teach them things, like new words, or how the earth rotates around the sun, but usually, my daughter just interrupts me and gives me the definition of some word she makes up on the spot. It typically goes like this:

“Daddy, do you know what Simisimiwanka means?”

“No, honey, what does simisimiwanka mean?”

“It means give me a cookie.”


4) You gonna eat that?

We’re sitting in a crowded restaurant and my son’s sandwich shows up and he looks at the plate with this puzzled expression, holds up a piece of celery like it’s a god-damned moon rock and says,  “Daddy, what is this?” He says it really loud, so everyone can hear.

Awesome. Vegetables are so foreign to my kids, they literally don’t recognize them.

An awkward exchanged ensued where I had to explain to him what celery is, how it’s a vegetable, and why it isn’t coated with sugar and processed into a substance that can be squeezed out of a tube—like the only other vegetables he’s ever had in his life.

Just another day in the life of a lazy, shitty dad.

12 thoughts on “Four Reasons Why I’m a Shitty Dad

  1. Eh, vegetables are overrated. Just ask my 5-year-old. Last night my wife laid a gorgeous serving of garden-grown, pan-fried zucchini and onions in front of him, but you would swear he had just received a plateful of grade-A uncut kryptonite. When he was done recoiling in horror, he just asked, “Mommy, where’s the meat?” (he said it with extra emphasis on the letter T, to let her know how displeased he was.)

  2. I think it was after my husband’s 30 something birthday (one of those, can’t recall which one now), we had friends over. We danced, drank and acted like we were in college again, great night. While this was going on our kids and our friend’s kids were off playing. Anyway, the next morning we wake up to beer bottles covering every counter top we own. My beautiful little girl standing there looking at the mess says, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to drink and curse.” Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only horrible parent out there. 🙂

  3. My two-year-old (when not yet two) told me “I want a beer!” I tell myself that we are teaching a healthy attitude toward alcohol in this house. That’s it, right? He also knows all of Ninjago characters and Power Rangers, but not his colors. Those characters are only recognizable by COLOR! But, my first one is in school now and does extremely well so I must not be that shitty at parenting. I’m just hoping the second one does the same. You can’t really tell until they’re out in the world.

  4. I am cracking up over this post, because me and a friend of mine always kid each other about who gets the “mother of the year award”, and will compare stories. Some of them might involve instances like your #2. lol

  5. Pingback: If you think you’re a bad parent, just read this and you’ll feel better | I'll drink to that

  6. Right now, I’m waiting for my husband to get home so he can cook dinner. Because I forgot how to make rice. If it weren’t for the microwave, I’d die.

  7. My proudest parenting moment was at my girl’s Mother’s Day tea her first-grade year. All the moms sat primly in our lovingly colored paper crowns listening to our kids recite lovely sentiments about us. My girl actually gave me a thumbs-up after she told the entire room that my favorite thibg is alcohol.

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