surfing Maui dad

Before we had children, our good friends Sue and Raphael described to me about their practice of having “Dadderdays.” Dadderday, they explained, can be any day of the week and is basically when Daddy manages a way to take the children, every once in a while, before Mommy loses her mind. Non-stop feeding, changing, cleaning, cooking and so on can make you loopy. You will know this if you’ve tried it for a few minutes, and your wife is no different after doing it for hours/days/weeks on end.

Let’s face it, a Dadderday is a good thing. It’s good for Daddy, good for Mommy and good for your kids. If you don’t believe me, try it and see how it pays dividends. It can be really bonding and meaningful for your Dad-child relationship to figure out how you can both survive without Mommy – and also have a ton of fun! Not to mention how the improved mood of a Mommy, who has had a break, can lead to increased bonding from the woman you used to see so much more of than you do nowadays.

I know what you’re saying…where do I go and what can I do for cheap? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’m on my own with the kids this weekend while my wife attends a family funeral and I’m having to come up with some new and exciting options for my own kids so read on my brothers…

Before we get to the list of activities, there are general must haves for any Dadderday, regardless of what food you think will be easy to find, or how easy it will be to deal with poor planning. Get serious. You need the basics. Water and portable food your kids like and that won’t make you nuts or mama cringe Is A MUST! Diapers, wipes, change of clothes, bathing suit and sunscreen. Listen to me here or learn the hard way. The general must haves can make or break your Dadderday. Bonus points for favorite toys or special treat foods stowed away. These can bring you back from the brink of disaster. Trust me, I won’t do you wrong.

Now, this will need to be continued next month, so without further ado, here is the start to my Top 10 list of Dadderday Activities…

1. Go Beach: Kids love the beach and Maui totally rocks this category. Clearly there’s some logistical concerns but take some sand toys and a boogie board/surfboard or just go scavenger hunting for sticks, shells and coral or build a sand castle or combine the two. You’ll get bonus points if you dig a hole that you can sit in while you get buried by munchkins.

2. Hiking: Okay I have the awesomest of home-field advantages writing this as Maui provides you tons of things to do outside, all year long. Great kid friendly hikes are found at Iao Valley, Olinda, Hosmer’s Grove, Twin Falls, Bamboo forests, and on and on. Take your time and explore your surroundings together. Explain what you’re seeing around you and field the questions like the sage you are.

3. Cruise the Harbor: Yeah, I know this sounds rough but I’m including all of Maui’s Harbors and you’d be surprised the fun a kid and their father can have just looking at boats or huge ships or bringing along a fishing pole for a fun experience that you know Mommy isn’t gonna be likely to have done before. Buy fish on the way home and pretend you caught it…or rock the hunter gatherer mode if you actually catch something. Vegetarians, read on…………………………….TO BE CONTINUED

Image Credit: Meredith Richmond

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