SuperDad: Todd Smith
Todd Smith is a SuperDad. I know this because he’s a great dude, has a cool kid and they both always seem to be smiling from ear to ear. When he’s not hanging out with seven year-old Murphy, Todd writes the “Spazz Dad” column for METRO Magazine. In search of some useful advice, I sat down with Todd to talk fatherhood and the shattered hopes and dreams of a new dad.
What’s the best thing about being a dad?
For me it is has been watching my son grow from a babbling little blubber ball to a second grader who reads Harry Potter. To see the big and little moments all along the way has been awesome: When he learned to read, when he first rode a bike, when he ripped a fart and said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”. It’s all good.
I hate baby talk. Do I have any other choice than to speak to my infant like a Muppet on morphine?
Baby talk is inevitable. How can it not be? But it sucks. When my son started talking I would point at every item in the world and said the name twice like some sort of mental drill. Then to spice it up I talked to my son like I was a character on The Wire. “Shortie got a fat stack, son. Omar Coming!”
As soon as Rosalie was born I expected to have Dad Strength, but I still can’t build stuff or open pickle jars. When do these super powers kick in?
I don’t know when they kick in but they will. My dad skills slowly came upon me and now I can smell fear, clean a Molotov cocktail of poo-vomit-snot without flinching, and can hog tie a scrappy second grade boy with a Rodeo respectable .12 seconds.
How do I get my kid into sports and cool music?
The only rule I have here is you should expose your child to a little bit of everything and let them sort it out. In my eyes, nothing is worse than seeing a dad forcing his beliefs and interests onto the kid because, in the end, your child is not you. They are their own person. But as parents we carry with us certain expectations of what our kids are going to be like. That one book “What to Expect when your Expecting” kills me. For example, I grew up a total sports kid and was into punk rock from an early age. My first concert was Soul Asylum at First Avenue during the “Hang Time” tour. I played hockey in the winter, soccer in the summer, tennis in the spring. So, I naturally expected my son to follow. Wrong! My son doesn’t play sports and listens to the Muppets! And thank god for that. The world didn’t need another me.
What’s the one piece of advice I need to heed immediately? For the future?
My son had heart surgery when he was 12 days old. Then he got colic really bad and would cry for hours on end. My wife went into a deep post partum depression. One day when I was trying to hold my fragile family together but the walls were coming down, I called my brother in desperation. He said, “As long as no one is throwing poop at the walls it will all sort itself out.” That was pretty sound advice.
Are we in agreement that Todd is all kinds of awesome? Assuming so, you should read his two February columns that tackle the hilarious differences between boys and girls here and here. If not, I can’t help you, you’re on your own on this “not thinking Todd is awesome” limb you’re on.
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