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10 Things Fathers of Small Children Can Do on Mother's Day That Don't Cost Diddly

05/08/2015 11:40 am ET | Updated May 08, 2016
Leyna Juliet Weber

Mother's day is coming! You want to make it a smashing success. The best thing to do is A-S-K the mother of your children what she wants to do. But in case you find yourself lost, simply do the following:

1. Allow Mama to have any and all bowel movements alone.
Do not request she declare whether she plans to pee or poo so you know how long you will be on duty with the kids. Just be on duty. Hand her a magazine to take with her. In fact, give her the iPad, your ever-loyal bathroom companion, and tell her to keep it. Do not allow the children to suction themselves to the bathroom door while she is in there, or to jam their sticky digits underneath it. Back away from the goddamn door.

2. Get the hell out of the house with the kids and do something.
Anything. Take them for a nature walk or wash the car using nothing but old toothbrushes. Then take a five-hour detour to the beach/park/local obstacle course and run them ragged. Once you believe them to be sufficiently ragged, challenge them to a race, even if all they can do is crawl or drag their bodies. Race them longer than you ever thought possible. Now -- here's the tricky part -- do NOT let them fall asleep in the car on the way home. (Unless your trip is at least two hours so they can complete a quality nap.) Act like a circus clown to keep them awake. Feed them something nutritious. Then bring them home and put them down for naps. Confirm they are sleeping. Now greet the mother of your children.

3. At some point this weekend, rub her feet without letting her know the task is laborious.
Use nice lotion. If you don't have lotion, use lube. If you don't have lube, use nothing. Just rub her friggin' feet. Note: This is a close-ended foot rub -- a massage for the sake of a massage. Look at the expression on your woman's face as you are doing this. Aspire to see that expression more frequently.

4. At no point this weekend let her know you are tired, might be getting a cold, have an aching toenail, or feel constipated.
Keep all ailments to yourself for a 48-hour period.

5. Claim full responsibility for the baby monitor(s) and sleep separately, so she doesn't have white noise blaring in her ear all night.
Handle all middle of the night wake-ups yourself without letting her know about them.

6. Make a list of 10 things that make her a remarkable woman and mother.
Be really specific: "I like the way you gently wash the shampoo from their heads," or "the sound of your laughter when you are playing with X." She will probably tape it inside a cabinet somewhere and look at it all year, so make it good. Do the same thing next year, and she will have tons of sweet things to look at when you screw things up. And let's be honest, you screw things up.

7. Late in the day, give her some bubble bath and a cup of tea/large glass of wine/liter of vodka, and order her to take an open-ended bath.
I will define open-ended: No curious little ones barging in and asking Mom to cut sandwich crust, clean a nose or wipe an ass. Such a bathtub sighting could be traumatic, as they may never have seen Mama this still before. As for Mama, the quiet might soothe her at first, but then frighten her, causing undue panic. Telepathically know this and send her a text that everything is going great. Send this text even if someone has a black eye or a carseat full of vomit. Deal with the vomit. Get it professionally cleaned while juggling the children. Slip the story in as an aside four days later.

8. Change every diaper, wipe every ass and supervise every potty check yourself.
Clean up all evidence so meticulously, Mama will wonder if her children have so much as soiled themselves all day long.

9. Do not combine your lady's special day with your mother's.
Your mother deserves to be honored big time, so this requires P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G. To each, her own. If you properly execute the instructions above for your Queen, she will not complain if she gets Saturday or Sunday. Hell, she'd probably be elated with a Monday.

10. After your journeys far and wide, take a hard look at the condition of your vehicle.
The mystery of leaky sippy cups, mashed cheerios and shredded tissues has now been debunked. Vow to stop questioning the condition of your woman's car, and consider helping her clean it regularly as a gesture of retroactive understanding. Should you bring the diaper bag with you, restore it to order from the chaos you have undoubtedly created. Replenish depleted supplies instead of getting cursed tomorrow for leaving her without wipes. Remember how convenient it was to have the spare pants/tissues /17 diapers? Promise never again to complain that we schlep so much crap everywhere. Marvel at her ability to anticipate the needs of your children.

All of the above must be planned ahead of time. Do not think of asking her on Sunday morning, "What would you like to do today?" If you do this, YOU HAVE FAILED THIS MISSION. There is a list of ways to repent for such failures, but that is a different, lengthy post. It also gets expensive. So consider yourself warned.