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LOOMING VALENTINES: A Dad Offers Advice

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 6:00 am in Dads.

 Valentines Day (Laurie McAdam, MCT) Valentine’s Day… oh yeah, we know what we want. (Honey? Roses. Red ones. And dinner reservations at Va de Vi or somewhere equally fab.) But we thought we’d give you a dad’s take on the topic too. And since fellow blogger Ari rolls his eyes at questions like that, we’re bringing you dadly expertise from Paul Banas, founder of the Bay Area’s own GreatDad.com, an advice site for fathers.

“Comedian Bill Maher often quips that holidays were invented just so married people have a reminder to have sex,” says Paul. “(But) we know how important this day is.”

Love shouldn’t be in the air just because of the date, says Paul, but because dad and the kids took the opportunity to show what they feel every day. So if mom has already made some Valentine “suggestions,” dad now has some choices, he goes on, “You can sleep on the real or metaphorical couch once again this year, or you can take action to make this a Valentine’s Day you’ll all remember. You can do this by repressing your own cynicism and with a few simple steps.”

  • Plan ahead. Order flowers now, or take the kids to the farmer’s market and have them select flowers to arrange for mom.
  • Plan the unexpected. Make reservations at that new hot spot, pick a new “make out spot,” says Paul, or “reserve a spa evening for your wife and while she’s there, arrange to take the kids to a pottery studio to make something special.”
  • Make a mix tape. “Mix tapes have seen a renaissance,” says Paul. “While you yourself may not have a set of pipes like Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé or Chris Daughtry – this gift creates a mood and sings a message that might sound sillier if you were crooning it yourself. Ask your kids to dedicate a love song to mom, and include a song list showing who picked eaach song for mom and why.”
  • Bring out photos of the old days when you were dating your wife, and share those stories with the kids – “It help(s) them open up and learn lessons about love indirectly.”

Paul’s got more suggestions for Valentine’s Day, including some truly adorable ways to reminisce about those first, heady days of romance – and he’s got clever lists of Valentine’s gifts for dads too. Hmmm, conga drums … a hammock … ooo, spy lasers!

Moms? What do you think? What do you want for Valentine’s Day?

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No Responses to “LOOMING VALENTINES: A Dad Offers Advice”

  1. Ari Soglin Says:

    Whoa! Hold on and let’s roll back the tape. … No. Nope. No eye-rolling. My people will be talking to your people about this patently false accusation. … Our people are the same people? Oh, well, yeah, you do have a point. … At 7:30-ish a.m. the morning after a late night (for reasons having to do with the election, so wipe that smirk off your face), I’m not in any condition to be coherent. But that never stopped me before, so I’ll try with this one tiny bit of advice: Dads, let the kids do their own shopping for mom instead of buying the kids’ gifts yourselves and merely asking them to sign a card. Sometimes the latter is simpler, but when the kid does the choosing (or, even better, creating) it has two benefits. One, it’ll touch mom’s heart to know that her children put in some thought and effort. And, secondly, if the gift is a dud, it gives dad a totally legit reason to shrug his shoulders and give one of those “kids will be kids” looks. Why take the heat yourself if you can be insulated from it? (See, no eye-rolling.)

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