You Know You’re a Dad If…. 1 of 10
You own a real shovel
Everyone knows that at the beach, Dad's the poor clown who's loaded down like a sherpa, shuffling along the hot splintered boardwalk which leads to the sandy utopia. So if you find yourself doing just that while hauling a mesh bag full of beach toys and carrying a plastic shovel? You, my friend, are probably a dad. But if you're carrying a real shovel, there's no "probably" about it. You are a dad. Because all dads know that every drip castle masterpiece needs a perfectly dug circular mote. And that calls for a little beefier hardware than that of the plastic variety.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 2 of 10
Your car is an entertainment center
Remember when all you needed for a long car ride was a solid mixed tape or three? It was just you, the open road and your tunes. Oh the good old days. But now? Now your car has state-of-the-art entertainment — satellite radio, DVD screens — and toy storage. Its the only way you will get peace in a car full of kids.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 3 of 10
You know who Big Time Rush is
Big Time Rush, The Fresh Beat Band these are the new New Kids on the Block. And you know all their lyrics. Sometimes, you even get caught humming their tunes. But thats okay because only other dads (or tweens) will know what youre doing.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 4 of 10
You own and use picture frames
You never used to be into pictures, especially not enough to frame them. But once you met your lovely, you added a couple to your living space to show off your catch, er, and your commitment. Now you have a desk adorned in picture frames of your progeny. Is anything cuter? Seriously. You know your kids are smarter and cuter than all others and worthy of the best display. And that 8 x 10 that houses the Crayola-crafted masterpiece littered with backward Ses? Its evidence that you havent yet reached the point where you feel okay about tossing any of your little ones artwork in the round file (rookie).
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 5 of 10
You don't leave home without a camera
The aforementioned presence of picture frames is a pretty obvious indicator that documentation has become a priority in your life. But not quite as obvious as that bulky SLR Camera with the big-ass lens hanging around your neck. And is that a video camera tucked away in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? For both our sakes, Im gonna assume the former. Because, lets face it, bringing a regular ol digital camera to a soccer game might make you a dad. But running the sidelines, screaming (a bit too loud, for what its worth) as you get your Steven Spielberg on? Oh yeah. Youre a dad, bro.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 6 of 10
Your DVR list is at max capacity
Everyone knows that the living room TV can be a hotly contested commodity. The winners enjoy their shows. The losers? At least they can take solace in the DVR. And if you show me one thats almost maxed on memory, then Ill show you a dad. But for his sake, lets just hope that the shows the DVR has recorded are iCarly, Victorious and Shake it Up. Because if theyre NCIS, Modern Family and The Office? Then you need to man up, Dad, and pry that remote out of your kids hands. While youre at it, make em clean up all those crumbs they left in your chair.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 7 of 10
You wear some pretty weird stuff
Getting strange looks and wondering why? Could be the laminated purple tie thats hanging around you neck — the one your daughter proudly presented you with during Donuts with Dads. Dont worry, youre not alone Ive made my share of unusual fashion statements as well. Like the nametag that read Mr. John in crayon that I accidentally sported for hours after my stint as kindergarten volunteer had ended. Or the tri- colored, braided necklace I once wore to the gym. So next time you see a poor fella making such a fashion statement, cut him slack, will you? Hes just a dad.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 8 of 10
You proudly display artwork which borderline demeans you
See that monstrosity? Its a drawing of yours truly. Forget that the left side of my face is bulging out as if experiencing the gravitational pull of a large planet. And also forget that the zipper on my breast pocket looks like Uncle Jeds shotgun. Take a gander at the top of my head, and disregard the fact that my real hair isnt six inches off my ears. See that flesh-toned circle surrounded by a halo of hair? Its a rather unflattering depiction of my bald spot. Yet it may be my favorite detail of my favorite drawing EVER. Its hanging in the kitchen.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 9 of 10
Theres poorly made pottery on your tables
That brownish lump of whatever it is (fossilized Play-Doh? Clay?) sitting amongst the picture frames on your desk? The thing thats holding all those pencils, well except for the one that keeps slipping out of the massive hole in the bottom, is called pottery. And it was created by little hands eager to convey the love inside their big hearts. So yeah, it might look more phallic than you care to openly admit, but you couldnt be more proud.
You Know You’re a Dad If…. 10 of 10
A Worlds Best Dad coffee mug
... or an iron-on t-shirt with your kids faces alongside #1 dad, or, if youre lucky, a beer koozie that assigns its holder the moniker worlds greatest daddy ... you get the drift. If you own anything that advertises your parental prowess and/or touts your superiority in the ways of fatherhood, youre definitely a dad. Now, obviously, the word dad is a dead giveaway. But thats not the point here. The point is 20 years ago you never thought youd be that guy. Yet now? Looks like things have changed. Welcome to the club.