I have the kids every other weekend. My son is six, my daughter’s four, and it’s just the three of us for 48 hours. This will be my second summer as a single dad, and I think I might have it down. It’s like making chili: you have your stock ingredients, like meat, tomatoes, and chili powder, but you also add in extras, depending on your mood — ketchup, black-eyed peas, or a little processed cheese. Here’s my recipe that will allow newly single dads to not only survive the weekend, but earn major cool points from the kids in the process.
— Matt O.
When we were together, my wife did all the kid-related planning and interacting.
I scuffled during those first few weekends alone with the kids like a man swatting
bees. There are only so many books to read and board games to play before the kids
ask to make contact with other humans. Find out who your kids like and introduce
yourself to their parents over email. Ask about possible playdates. Narrow it down
to the parents who allow Doritos at snacktime and have a trampoline; I find that
these parents tend to be easy to talk to, which is essential to socially awkward dads
like me. Along the same lines, I usually try to ingratiate myself by bringing fancy
beer. Nothing says, “Let’s do this again” quite like an ice-cold six-pack.
Photo Credit: Veer
Matt O. is a Brooklyn writer and father of two. Follow him at guerreotype.tumblr.com.