The biggest day of the year is almost here. 6 short weeks after you watched your kids giddily rub their hands together in glee, before attacking your entire Christmas bonus in the form of a mountain of shiny paper wrapped boxes containing the finest in Sony, Apple, and Paw Patrol, roles have reversed and its now dads time to have some fun.
This coming Sunday, your brood is going to get to watch dad dive head first into a case of the finest libations that our local Labatt brewery has to offer, and listen to you tear into some hot sauce dipped and delicious wings of chickens.
One thing Dad Club London prides itself in is helping dads do it right. Super Bowl Sunday is no exception.
This Sunday, we witness the penultimate battle of two NFL titans. The best offence meets the best defense. The handsome QB with the Victoria’s Secret model wife meets the team where no one knows what any players look like with their helmet off. Atlanta will fling the ball around the field, Bill Bellicheck will scowl at people, and Lady Gaga will emerge at half time in some sort of clothing item that would be better suited feeding starving children.
I’m here today to provide some dad hacks to make sure you make the most out of Super Bowl Sunday, and are able to differentiate it from the other Sundays where your kids are likely driving you up the wall, and you’re counting down the hours until they pass out from exhaustion and you get to go to bed knowing tomorrow brings the sweet refuge of your peaceful cubicle.
The goal of any Super Bowl Sunday is the same for any dad with kids at home and the big game starting right after dinner. GET A CHANCE TO WATCH IT. The best way to do this is to follow our tried and true three step process.
Step One - Preparation
You gotta be sneaky with kids. Anytime they know you’re trying to get something for yourself, their first reaction is “what’s in it for me?”. I’ve spent many years instilling into my kids that coffee is gross and only for mommies and daddies. Anytime I am buying myself something they shouldn’t have, it’s now coffee. A Coke Zero on a hot day? Sorry, dad’s having coffee. Going to the beer store? Nope, this is the coffee store. Nothing for kids here. It works.
The only downside is that you just look like someone with issues that need 12 steps to fix when you have your kids friends and their dads over for a Sunday morning play date, and mention that you’re going to make some coffee, and your kid opens the basement fridge and hands you a beer. This happened. But dads understand, and we don’t judge.
Now that you have a plan of attack for your beer, here’s how you prepare for snacks. You wait until your kids are napping, in school, at daycare, or otherwise occupied with something where their reaction to anything you do is “yeah whatever old man, keep it down because we are watching Max and Ruby over here.”
You then go to the store, buy what you need, and make sure you’re wearing your roomy sweatpants. The ones you put on before eating Thanksgiving dinner. When you get home, stuff your snacks down your pants, and run down to the basement and hide them in places your kids don’t look. I suggest either in the dryer (warn your partner), or among the cleaning supplies, or wherever their toys would go if they actually cleaned them up when you asked them to.
Dad pro tip: You also are able to set up food delivery orders with a specific time on most pizza and wing provider’s websites, or by calling our friends at Revv Delivery. Ensure that they show up when your kids are already in the bathtub and will leave you alone. It’s normal for a kid to want what dad has. It’s not normal to respond by sharing your suicide wings with them.
Step Two - Tire Your Kids Out
If the kids are old enough to bundle up and spend a day tobogganing, playing road hockey, building snow forts, exploring the woods, or going for a long walk, take advantage of it. Gas them out. Make a grilled cheese over a fire if needed so that they don’t have time to rest up and rejuvenate. Just keep those kids moving for as long as possible. If they are small and being outside for more than 10 minutes is an express ticket to booger town and its mayor, Mr. Bronchiti, then take them to one of many indoor playgrounds in London.
There’s a north option called Kidscape in Hyde Park, a south option called Adventures on Wonderland, a far east option called Play Away, or you even can go to one of many McDonalds’ playlands and buy yourself a large coffee and sit and supervise.
Once the offspring are completely exhausted, feed them some sleep inducing foods. Maybe a large turkey if that's in your repertoire, Just don’t mention that dads not eating dinner because he's watching the clock and drooling over the thoughts of pizza, wings, nachos, m and m’s, and beer. Tell them a tall tale – “junior, I like watching you become full and happy so much that I don’t need to eat.”
Step Three - Don't Snitch On Yourself After Dinner
Start the bedtime routine early. Discuss with your partner your exciting night of reading books with no pictures in them in front of the fire, planning your tax returns, and going to bed shortly after the children.
Play with the kids some more – tell them you wanna see who can run around the house 20 times the fastest and time it. Take them up for a bath. Throw on some Kenny G and dim the lights. Douse their chests in Vicks Vapo Rub, even if they aren’t sick. That makes kids sleepy. Read them a few bedtime stories with sleep as a theme to them – just not Samuel L Jackson’s classic “Go The F**k To Sleep”.
Tuck them in, promise a big breakfast in the morning and as many cartoons as you can squeeze in before you have to leave for daycare or school, and cross your fingers that they’re buying what you are selling.
At this point, tip toe out of their room, cross your fingers, say a few prayers to whatever Deity you believe in, and head down to your game watching spot. Make sure your guests know to enter alternate entrances, text you, throw pebbles at your window, or anything else that doesn’t alert your kids super sonic hearing to guests coming over by doing normal things like having them ring the doorbell or saying hello when they walk in. Silence is golden. Move like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2.
Once the game starts, hope for the best. Cheer like crazy for whichever team you support, but do it quietly. And in your head if possible. If your kids sniff something fishy throughout the day and want to call your bluff and come check on you, have the super bowl party version of a boss button ready. Kill the main TV power source, have a super boring book in front of everyone, and have some smooth jazz playing in the background. And stay real still and focused on the stuff you’re fake reading until the kids decide you’re not full of it and maybe Santa is real after all, and saunter back to bed. If they ask about the snacks and food spread out? Tell them that they all taste like coffee, broccoli, and onions.
Take this advice with a grain of salt – it is going to work on any kid under the age of 8. In our school system, 8 is the new 25 in terms of things they understand and are aware of. If you want your 9 or older year old to let you enjoy the game with your friends, good old fashioned bribery always works. Tell them they can have a $15 iTunes gift card if they promise to leave you alone for the night, and if they break that promise you will change the wi fi password. Promise them left over pizza for breakfast and party on like Wayne and Garth. Every kid has to learn at some point that they gotta listen to some guy who is older and has more money than them eventually.
For more winning advice like this from dads that have been there before, make sure to check out our private group on Facebook. Dads only, unfortunately.