At first glance this picture looks like a poor harried mom with all of her rambunctious kiddos. Look again ! The oldest child waving his stuffed animal in the air really seems to be having a wild time. Wait a minute - that oldest sibling is actually sporting a five o'clock shadow. Maybe that is because he is not the older brother , but dad. Ahhh yes...we all know this scene, don't we ladies ? How many times have we as moms heard a ruckus in the next room and rushed in to stop the chaos only to find pillow throwing, bubble blowing daddy in the midst of the fray ? Right now just about every young mom that I know is nodding their head up and down saying to themselves " I can relate."

I will never forget the countless times that I would be in the kitchen getting dinner ready only to hear wild bedlam break out in the family room. Yelling, banging, bumping, slapping, then laughing and more battle sounds could be heard beyond the door where the kids were apparently killing each other. If my hands were in dishwater or if I was pulling something out of the oven, I would call to my husband " Honey, could you check on the kids please? It sounds like world war III in there?" No answer. I would call out again for help from my partner in parenting and again would hear nothing except more squeals and screams from the rumble in progress in the next room. Exasperated, I would drop everything and rush to the rescue only to find that the instigator in the all out war / wrestling match was none other than dad himself. Oh yes - daddy would have one kid pinned to the ground, another one laying on his back , while he was kicking wildly at a third to keep him at bay. Dad was also sucking in air and between exhausted gasps he would be sneering at the lucky child who was pinned to the floor with his hands above his head and daddy would be breathlessly whispering between gritted teeth " Say it, say it !" and the wiggling, squirming, laughing boy on the floor would yell " OKAY, UNCLE !!!" Big, brave, mature dad would then rise to his feet with the victor's smug look, flex his muscles and yell " I AM THE BEST , THE CHAMPION , THE VICTOR !"  Yay for daddy , my fifth kid !

Moms, have you been there ? Could you feel my pain as you read this ? Right now I am picturing a collective nodding of mom heads in the up and down vertical motion. Let's face it , much of the time dad is just one big kid. When the hockey game is unwrapped on Christmas morning who is whooping and jumping up and down along with the little ones ? Dad is - for two reasons. One is because he can't wait to be in on the very first game of hockey and second is because he had no idea what that present was until it was unwrapped. At least that was the case in our house while our gang was growing up. To dad, a miracle happened on Christmas morning. Beautifully wrapped presents that he had never seen before , either wrapped or unwrapped simply appeared under the tree on Christmas morning. How did that happen? Oh wait...that's right, Santa brought them. Ha ha...so great being a kid !

Guess what ? I am smiling right now as I type this. That is because as I remember all of these scenes I have such fond memories of what a fun and great dad that my husband was when our brood was young. He took them camping, hiking, ran through obstacle courses with them, and almost dangled off of a few cliffs with them. He wrestled, he blew on tummies and tickled our kids until they begged for him to stop. He was sometimes wreckless to the point where I was holding my breath and scared now and then yet he was a fun dad, a remarkable dad. He still is. He is also a fabulous "POP" to our seven, soon to be eight grand babies. He throws them in the pool for hours at time never seeming to tire. He plays army men, playdough, soccer and countless other games with them and they love every minute of it. I suppose the " big kid" part of him that sometimes had me tearing my hair our when our children were little is now reaping dividends with the grands and such fun it is.

So take heart moms, if your husband is sometimes getting in as much trouble for misbehavior as the kiddos, don't despair, just sit him in the corner for a few minutes ! Just don't make the timeout last too long because some day you will look back with a smile and will love that kid spirit that he still possesses. I know that I do. Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there , even if you are our extra kid !!! Us moms might complain now and then, but deep down we love it.