Father’s Day Stories: Tales of Great Dads in the Hudson Valley

How one dad’s quick thinking saved a mom — and finicky toddler — from frustration

When Coraline and I go for a walk, this is what usually happens: I ask if she wants to walk, ride in the Ergo, or in the stroller. She says she wants me to push her in the stroller. And while I know this is not true, she won’t have it any other way, so off we go. Two minutes later, she wants to get down and walk… which means push… which means carrying her like Superman while she tries to maneuver our Uppababy Vista (not a light stroller by any means) over the ramshackle sidewalks of Rhinebeck. I end up frustrated, she in tears — and in the stroller, since I can’t carry her and push it at the same time. Not fun.

Last week, we were walking into town with her dad when she started with the “Coraline out, push the stroller” again. I sighed and unbuckled her, handing her off to her dad so he could facilitate. But he did something unexpected and very, very cool: He put her down, then adjusted the stroller to created the perfect Coraline-height push bar. The result of this 60 seconds of MacGuyvering just thrilled her to bits. I was in awe.

A few months ago, Parenting magazine ran an article about what moms can learn from dads — mostly letting things go and going with the flow. It’s sort of a cliché: the micromanaging, stressed-out new mom hawking over the eager-but-clueless new dad who can’t seem to get anything right. It’s unfortunate — especially now in the era of super-involved fathers — because we do have so much to learn from one another. So in honor of Father’s Day, I want to know: What awesome parenting moments have you witnessed with your partners? Jot your stories in the comments box below.

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Green Living Tip of the Week:
To air condition or not to air condition, that is the question. Floor fans do use less energy than air conditioners (especially old, inefficient units), and ceiling fans use even less than floor fans. But fans can seem totally impotent in super high temps and humidity, which makes air conditioners a beautiful thing. If you’re thinking of installing A/C, or already have, just be strategic about how you use it to keep your electric bills low. Consider that furniture can retain ambient solar heat, so darkness is your friend. Cool a room with A/C just before use (like your bedroom an hour or two before bedtime) and then turn it off and leave your windows open with fans going to draw in the cool night air and keep the room comfortable.

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