I found a handwritten note on my pillow last night after Pea had gone to bed. This note was entitled “Dad: A Second Year Report Card” and featured a series of grades on my conduct as a Father.
This report card was written anonymously, but upon further inspection, there were a few telltale signs that point to Pea as its author. First, it was covered in macaroni and cheese, blackberries and pizza. It was also written in crayon, was all crumpled up and torn in parts, and was covered in Dora the Explorer and Winnie the Pooh stickers. It was definitely an authentic Pea production.
(Please note: this report card is in no way fictional. It is real, and is definitely not something I made up myself for the purpose of self-evaluating my performance as Pea’s Dad. Yeah, definitely not made up.)
Without further ado, here it the real report card my 2-year old daughter wrote for me:
Ability to produce attractive offspring: A
- Pea is without a doubt the cutest kid on the planet.
- She has the greatest smile, her laugh is contagious and her ability to receive compliments from perfect strangers is second-to-none.
- The only thing keeping you from an A+ is the fact that Pea is only 50% your doing.
- Most of your jokes hit the mark.
- They make Pea laugh heartily and often result in either a hug or a kiss as a reward.
- But quite often they are lame and fly way above Pea’s head. As a general rule, 2-year olds will not get philosophical humour involving Plato or Epictetus, so you should cut that nonsense out.
- You also rely way too much on tickling as a means of getting a laugh. This is low-brow and is frowned upon by the parenting community.
- Pea often turns to you when she is feeling shy or in need of support.
- Like the other morning, when she heard the air conditioner kick-in and got scared b the noise. She ran to you and jumped into your arms – a definitely sign that you’re progressing well in your attempts to shelter her from harm.
- She clearly feels comfortable in your arms and loves to fall asleep with you at night.
- That said, about a year ago you let her fall off the couch and this cannot be overlooked. You must do better.
Potty Training: A
- Pea is getting very good at asking to go potty and is routinely ‘depositing’ very large ‘installments’ at the Bank of 1’s and 2’s. In fact, based on the size of her most recent deposit, she is clearly holding back when she needs to go in her diaper… seriously, that most recent deposit wouldn’t have fit in a duffel bag.
- Pea seems to like you leading by example. Well done.
- You’re on track for Dora underpants in the near future.
- Pea has a very wide vocabulary, is extremely curious, and notably, knows almost all of the words to the Tigger and Pooh theme song.
- She seems to intuitively know how to do things on her own, with little to no explanation – case in point, the time you took her strawberry picking and she just knew what to do.
- You are, however, fluently bilingual and are not doing enough to teach her the French language. Un peu plus d’effort, ein, monsieur.
- When you read to her, you should also be doing more to teach her phonetics. Sound out the letters, reinforce the sound the letters make and ask her to repeat. You know this, stop being so lazy.
- She could stand to watch a little less TV. The Backyardigans aren’t educational, no matter how much you want them to be.
Artifact Collection: B
- You have been blogging to chronicle the early years of Pea’s life and your journey as a Father.
- You are certainly leaving an interesting collection of stories for Pea to read when she grows up.
- You might want to tone down the sexual references though – she isn’t likely to enjoy those posts when she gets older.
Bedtime Routine: D
- Pea’s irresistibility has you sunk.
- She often goes to bed way too late, and the shabby excuse that you want to spend more time with her doesn’t fly.
- Pea needs a good amount of sleep to grow and develop, and any deviation from this plan only does her harm. Get it together, you selfish jerk, Pea should not be going to bed at 10pm… like last night for example… no matter how much she may feign a desire to stay up and play.
Connection with Mom: B-
- It appears to me that you and Pea’s mom are, for the most part, a tight knit couple.
- You make your decisions jointly and do as much as you can to avoid arguing in front of her.
- You could, and should, be doing more to spend time alone with one another. Get out, see a movie, have a nice dinner with friends. Pea will use this time to produce wonderment with other members of your family and stay up much later than she already does (if that’s even possible).
- You done good, Daddy.
Alright urbanmoms, there you have it. A completely unbiased report of my conduct as a father, as written by “my daughter.” If your kids were to write a report card on your performance as a parent, what would be the “A+’s” and “D’s?” Remember – there are no F’s in parenting, so don’t be too hard on yourselves.