Studying In The Hallowed Aisles: Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

It's not easy for a mom to raise dads. We're not fully equipped to train our sons in all the nuances of daddy-hood.  So, like any responsible mom, I seek help. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

I’m raising four dads.

It’s not easy for a mom to raise dads. We’re not fully equipped to train our sons in all the nuances of daddy-hood.

So, like any responsible mom, I seek help.

I look for wisdom.

I study the experts.

I take them to Costco.

Costco sells everything you need for life, but the lessons it holds for Dads-Of-Tomorrow are free.  And, many of them are tasty, too.

I suppose the most obvious thing Dads-Of-Tomorrow learn at Costco is strength.  Let’s face it, that 50 gallon drum of mustard isn’t going to load itself.  Muscles are built and men are made loading up the provisions we purchase. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

I suppose the most obvious thing Dads-Of-Tomorrow learn at Costco is strength.  Let’s face it, that 50 gallon drum of mustard isn’t going to load itself.  Muscles are built and men are made loading up the provisions we purchase.

But, there’s another, more important, kind of strength Dads-Of-Tomorrow learn at Costco.  Inner strength.  They learn to walk past those X-box games without picking them up, and to leave the unneeded case of Snicker bars behind, all for the greater good of themselves and our family.

Dads in training learn that in life, just like in Costco, saying “no” requires the greatest strength, and is often more important than what they say “yes” to.

Costco also teaches great lessons to Dads-Of-Tomorrow about protecting one’s family, especially on Saturday afternoons and the week before Christmas.  I don’t know what it is about those times that turn shoppers into trolls.  Maybe it’s the extra crowds.  Maybe it’s stress.  But, whatever it is, Costco turns into a grown up version of The Hunger Games. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s DadsCostco also teaches great lessons to Dads-Of-Tomorrow about protecting one’s family, especially on Saturday afternoons and the week before Christmas.  I don’t know what it is about those times that turn shoppers into trolls.  Maybe it’s the extra crowds.  Maybe it’s stress.  But, whatever it is, Costco turns into a grown up version of The Hunger Games.

People push and shove and grab stuff out of each other’s carts.  I even had a cute, little old lady try to walk off with my cart, with one of my kids in it, and then argue with me that it was hers.  And, let me tell you, there was nothing cute or little about that woman’s mouth when I wouldn’t surrender my box of butter and 2 roast chickens to her.

Members of my class of Dads-Of-Tomorrow keep a watchful eye on our cart and its contents.  Protecting the cart, and the precious merchandise (and siblings) residing there in, is an important lesson Dads-Of-Tomorrow learn at Costco that will play out on a grander scale when they’re dads, and have families of their own someday.

They’re learning they must be ever vigilant, ever mindful to protect their charges from possible attacks from even the most unlikely sources.  Just like in life.  We all watch out for the grizzly bears.  But, truly great dads have learned to watch out for and to protect their families from trouble dressed as something small and seemingly harmless, as well. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

They’re learning they must be ever vigilant, ever mindful to protect their charges from possible attacks from even the most unlikely sources.  Just like in life.  We all watch out for the grizzly bears.  But, truly great dads have learned to watch out for and to protect their families from trouble dressed as something small and seemingly harmless, as well.

Costco is a great place for a Dads-Of-Tomorrow to learn about providing for their family.  It teaches them that providing for one’s family means making sure their family’s needs are met, and that there are many different ways to do that.

Nothing teaches the lesson of the importance of providing quite as well as attempting to complete a race against time from the line at the register to the back of the store (to grab the 3 boxes of milk we forgot to get while we were back there), and back to the register before the cashier hits “total.”  It’s worth the sweat and racing heart for our family to enjoy a balanced meal, centering around Lucky Charms.

And, by “almonds” they mean “those gourmet chocolate covered almonds that come in the fancy canister.” - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s DadsDads-Of-Tomorrow demonstrate they’re absorbing the concept of providing for their family as they ask me, “Mom, do you need more almonds?”

And, by “almonds” they mean “those gourmet chocolate covered almonds that come in the fancy canister.”

And, by “do you need” they mean “do we need to get you some more of those to ensure our safety and well-being for the duration of the upcoming school holidays, during which we will be home all day and torrential rain is predicted?”  Great dads know certain foods are necessary for survival.

Costco teaches Dads-Of-Tomorrow the importance of planning.  At Costco you’ve got to have a list, and to check it more than twice.  And, not just at Christmas.  And, not just if you’re St. Jolly.

Without a list, a trip to Costco is just a $400, 2 hour trip to buy milk and a bag of spinach, during which you fail to buy both the milk and the spinach.  Dads-Of-Tomorrow learn that you must plan for even the little things, as they travel those hallowed, towering aisles.

Just as one plans space for the bike and funds for the blueberries while shopping, great dads plan downtime for playing and cuddling and laughing and leading.  And, just as the milk doesn’t make it into the cart if it isn’t on the list, Costco reminds Dads-Of-Tomorrow that many of the important parts of daddy-ing will fall through the cracks, too, if they aren’t deliberately planned. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s DadsJust as one plans space for the bike and funds for the blueberries while shopping, great dads plan downtime for playing and cuddling and laughing and leading.  And, just as the milk doesn’t make it into the cart if it isn’t on the list, Costco reminds Dads-Of-Tomorrow that many of the important parts of daddy-ing will fall through the cracks, too, if they aren’t deliberately planned.

I think Costco gives out samples solely to provide additional depth to their Dads-Of-Tomorrow curriculum.  Discernment is a lesson quickly learned by Dads-Of-Tomorrow as they navigate the treacherous waters of sample selection.

Before grabbing what looks like a tempting tart, think it through.  Is it cinnamon and sugar wrapped in a flakey crust?  Or, is it asparagus disguised by a layer of pale, stinky cheese?  Should you down that plate of chips and salsa now, or wait until you come upon a drink sample?

Think before you act.  Consider your actions.  Make sure you have a napkin.  All valuable lessons for Dads-Of-Tomorrow.

Patience is taught in many departments at Costco, but I think the lesson is most strongly conveyed while cueing up to pay at the registers.

Patience with the clueless people in front of us who somehow didn’t realize they need to unload their merchandise onto the conveyor belt.

Patience with the new cashier who’s having trouble spelling “banana” correctly, so she can look up the proper code to ring up the bunch we’re buying. - http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

Patience with the new cashier who’s having trouble spelling “banana” correctly, so she can look up the proper code to ring up the bunch we’re buying.

Patience with the whiney kid behind us who keeps poking our croissants and popping his gum.  Dads-Of-Tomorrow can pick up a giant, barrel sized pack of this valuable daddy-ing commodity at Costco.

Lastly, Costco teaches Dads-Of-Tomorrow the most important daddy-ing lesson of all – to play.  Granted the giant swing sets, big screen TV’s, and massive kayaks displayed in Costco pointedly hammer this point home.  Nonetheless, the true lasting lesson in the value and priority of play found at our local Costco is delivered with finesse, and makes a lasting impression with a much more subtle delivery.

At our Costco there are 2 yellow concrete pylons outside one of the main freezers.  I suspect they’re there to insure that overly zealous fork-lift drivers don’t damage the door to the behemoth ice house.  But, whatever their intended purpose, these 4 foot high yellow cylinders are used by the Costco employees as coat racks for parkas that, I’m guessing, they wear while in the big, deep freeze.

Unless they’re in use, the coats are zipped and slid over the pylons.  The hood at the top keeps each parka from sliding to the floor, and creates the appearance of a face in the hood.  Except that for the first few months after they started doing this, there was no face.

Every time we walked by them we’d joke about how sad it was that they had no face, and how someone should bring a marker and give the poor things faces.

I’m not saying I drew those faces on.  But, if you need one of those cool, thick Sharpie markers, I’ve got one in my purse. http://dadsroundtable.com/ - Studying In The Hallowed Aisles:  Raising Tomorrow’s Dads

Someone did.

They have faces now.  Happy smiling faces.Everyone who walks by smiles right back at them.

My class of Dads-Of-Tomorrow has the biggest smiles of all.

Only they know how those faces got there.  But, everyone who sees the faces sees fun and play and silliness, the most important skills a great dad must have.

I’m not saying I drew those faces on.

But, if you need one of those cool, thick Sharpie markers, I’ve got one in my purse.

It’s one of my favorite tools in, and fondest memories from, my Raising Dads-Of-Tomorrow Tool Kit.

-gina valley

What tools are in your Dads-Of-Tomorrow kit?  Where do you take your Dad-Of-Tomorrow to teach him about being a great dad?   What do you wish someone had taught you while you were in Dad-Of-Tomorrow training?

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Gina writes about the humor in parenting her pack, marriage, relationships, work – you know – life.  She’s not your typical soccer mom.  She’s fluent in sarcasm and has no patience for bad drivers. Don’t give her any crap- she’s out of chocolate!  Get new laughs daily from Gina at ginavalley.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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The Beginning
About gina valley

Gina Valley is a humorist who lives in Los Angeles, California with her dear husband (The Professor) & her always adorable seven children (The Pack). She loves to cook, if someone will put the ingredients in those little glass bowls, & spends much of her time carpooling and inventing new curse words (at the same time!). She’s not your typical soccer mom, loves ridiculously high heels, & is addicted to her smart phone. If she’s out of chocolate, run and hide! Connect with Gina at ginavalley.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Comments

  1. Daddysincharge says:

    I always knew that a trip to the grocery store is the best learning experience a child can get.

    • ginavalley says:

      It is a good learning experience for kids, and an amazing test of patience for parents! :o)

  2. If it’s OK with you, Gina, I’ll drop my son off with you. Feel free to return him when he’s a successful dad. Oh, and could you pick me up a case of jelly beans?
    Thanks.

    • ginavalley says:

      Go for it, Barmy. The more the merrier!
      I’ll get you that case of jelly beans this weekend. I think they come with a free barrel of whipped cream.

  3. Great to read that you are teaching your boys how to plan and strategize.

    • ginavalley says:

      Thank you, Dominique. It is important to me to guide them into responsible men.

  4. Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun says:

    LOL – who knew Costco could help raise husbands of tomorrow? Funny! Lessons can be found everywhere right?

    • ginavalley says:

      Always happy to share some giggles, Leigh! Costco really does have everything! Lol! :o)

  5. Lexie Lane says:

    LOL! Mine has trouble just grabbing the right outfit for our son!

    I do take my little one shopping everywhere I go and I let him (when there’s one available) have his own cart and pick out food that are good for him, let him pay so he can begin to understand the meaning of money.

    This is an absolutely great post!

    • ginavalley says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it, Lexie!

      Great idea to let your little one handle his own cart and selections. Wonderful lessons for him. Teaches him how to handle interactions with others, too. Plus, he probably has a lot of fun doing it, too!

  6. What a fantastic way to teach kids the value of money and learn how to stock up on items such as toilet paper. I always enjoy the humor and outlook on life. Thank you for sharing.

    • ginavalley says:

      Thank you, Christy! Always great to get to share some giggles. We do love to stock up on toilet paper there. A couple of their giant cases of TP can be used to build an awesome TP fort, too!

  7. OMG. I am dumbfounded at the little old lady who took your cart, kid included!

    • ginavalley says:

      Sometimes I think people just don’t think before they act! Actually, lots of the time!

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