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November 18, 2009


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I think you become cool when you stop trying to achieve it.

It sounds like you're also a cool dad. What's important though is knowing when to stop being cool and start being a parent.


Very well said. I think trying to be cool is a rite of passage, especially when we hit our teens. Like you said, that's one great thing about getting older: Not giving a shit if people think you're cool or not. Which is in itself very cool.


And fatherhood is for bad asses. And you, my friend, are a bad ass. This was great. And that photo is priceless.

Lena P.

I love this post. I always see these disaffected parents at the playground who never engage with their kids and it always saddens me. They're too cool to jump in the sandbox, wear Halloween costumes or paint their faces.

And you're right. Kids need discipline but they need fun too!


It always puts a smile on my face to come to work and see that you've written a new post. Thanks, MD!


Dude, you're still cool. You always have been.


Ah, I love this post. I see way too many forty-something parents in SoCal trying to out-cool their kids. Love that picture.


very true. if you try to be cool, you just never are. i wish i had known that as a teenager.

Soccer Dad

Before my son was born, I'd look at the disheveled dads in line at the grocery store and think: That'll never be me. I'll never wear mismatched sweats and flip-flops out! I was walking the dog the other day and saw my reflection in a glass window: 3 mismatched sweat items. I don't have an alibi.


Sure, wait a few years. Then try skipping down a NYC street singing a made-up song. She'll be like 100 feet behind you saying, "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!" and acting like she doesn't know you.

I'm not even allowed to put my hands up when Miley sings "Party in the USA." I do it anyway, but whatever.


but your hair is still very cool


There is always someone cooler than you. My motto.

Heather B.

I will give you a million dollars if you post a photo of your face painted as a lion!


I've always loved that you've never cared about being cool. You were like that way before the Peanut was born. That's what makes you so damn cool.

SciFi Dad

Most people (yes I'm generalizing, but I think it's true of any age group) would argue that the core of cool is being comfortable as yourself. If you have that quiet self-confidence, that you know who you are and are OK with that person, then you are cool, and people will think you are cool.

Ergo, sir, you are cool.

A Quick Remark

I definitely agree!! I was exactly the same way and now I have three wonderful kids that I would do anything for.

I just hope my 7 (soon to be 8) year old daughter doesn't get too cool for me in the teenage years. :)


Now see I have to disagree, but then I think we have different definitions of cool. Or rather you and my kids have different definitions. I have a 14 and a 16 year old and they tell me I am cool. I don't try to be cool. What makes me cool in their eyes is our relationship. I treat them with respect. I listen and we talk about EVERYTHING. NO subject is off limits. They know that if they have screwed up they can come to me and I will listen and they can count on me to help them. And they have, and I have.

On the other hand, I am also a complete dork. There is so much evil fun to be had knowing that you have the power to embarrass your children.

Kat James

I've noticed this disturbing trend now that my kids are teenagers. I see all these parents wanting to be cool and be best friends with their kids. I don't know why but I see this a lot with mothers and their daughters. Like you said, these are not goals to aspire towards. Parents should always be parents.


"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool." (lester Bangs, Almost Famous)
And yes, Uncool is the new Cool. Embrace it, brotha.


Amen to this post brother.

Being cool is all about perception, determination and being happy with yourself and your chosen cause.



I liked this post. It made me smile.

Julie Kang

If it matters at all, *I* think you're cool, MD! :) I don't know what kind of parent I am, probably a mean one, which keeps me safely away from "cool mom" territory.

Daddy Geek Boy

My kids think I'm cool. But they are both think that firetrucks are cool too.


"Parenting and coolness should be diametrically opposed. Cool is just simply not a legitimate child-rearing paradigm. Just as I would never want to be considered the Peanut's best friend, I would also never want to be known as "the cool dad."

I love that. Well written, MD. Great post!


If there's one piece of advice that I always try to pass on to my kids, it's that they should forget about being cool. It's something we all (hopefully) realize and appreciate as we get older. I wish someone had taught that lesson to me when I was younger. Could have saved me a lot of time and energy.

Restless Mama


amy sue nathan

I <3 you.

You cool with that?


misinterp of cool

so .. ure a sucker ?


$22 for a cocktail? That's why I could never live in Manhattan. I'm a $2.00 Budweiser guy myself. Great post, man!

Jessica Carter

Sadly, my kids are 5 and 9, and they already know I'm nowhere near cool. They taunt me with that fact daily.


Am I sensing an incident re: Peanut's non-mermaid costume?


Cool never dies.


Personally what I think is cool is catching up on NPR podcasts after an extended honeymoon and then hearing about METRODAD during the podcast! You probably already know about that though. :)


I heard about you on NRP too. Didn't want to say anything because I know how you hate to self promote. Nice!


(Whoops! Obviously meant to type NPR.)


I think confidence = cool. You could be the nerdiest person ever, but if you exude confidence, you're cool. And I don't mean that fake "I'm better than everyone else" confidence. Damn. I just noticed that SciFi Dad already said this. In any case, it seems to me that the Peanut has tons of confidence due to all the love and attention she gets from you. I'm sure it'll carry her through those tough teen years.


No matter how funny or dorky my dad is, he's always cool in my eyes. He's my dad! He raised me along with my 4 sisters! He looked after his younger siblings while he had a growing brood! He had sideburns in the 70s! He nicknamed his best friend "Black Cat" 30+ years ago just because the best friend wanted to be a cool "Black Jaguar."

But the coolest part about him? He never stops letting me know that he loves me, my mom, and my siblings, and we're each others' biggest cheerleader.

You MetroDad, is just as cool as my dad.

Keith Wilcox

You are right. Cool loses all meaning when we have kids. We just don't care anymore, and our definition of the word completely changes anyway. It's not about clothes or cars anymore; it's just about being a good dad!

Maternal Mirth

"Cool" is when you are ok in your skin... even if that skin sags past your knees and you can't make it past Letterman without snoring. It's like being a pimp who ri-i-i-i-ides even when it's in a mini-van.


The pretense of cool is a facade best left to others. Amen to that!


I can't tell you how much I envy your lack of concern about your behavior in public. I was raised by a very self-conscious mom and also had the shit beat out my self esteem constantly by my older brother. I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin now, all in all, but still have some hang-ups that hold me back. I am too self-conscious to really let loose and dance in public. The other day we went to an Oktoberfest thing at a local pavilion. It was just packed with people that the average person would deem to be dorks. I referred to the event later as "Nerdstock". My 5 year old got me to take her out and waltz around to the goofy oompah polka band. About 1/2 way through the dance I became very embarrassed, as I suddenly realized that we were the only people out on the floor, and we were being watched by about 200 pesudo-Bavarian nerds. I kind of wound it down and left the floor. I felt bad, since my daughter was having a great time. I probably should have faked an injury.

We dance like maniacs at home though. I even sing!!! That's one of the great things about being a dad. Kids don't give a rat's ass about cool - at least not the little ones. I'm sure I'll be a dork once they are teens though.



$22 buys me a bottle of cheap whiskey. Although I still pay that much for booze at bars.

I think Hank Moody does a pretty good job at being a cool father.


Hell yes. That is all.


I usually identify and agree with your posts, but not today. I'm too cool.


God, you're hot....


Amen to that -kids these days *are* over booked. I see it all the time at the high school I teach at. My advisees balk at me when I "prescribe" 30 minutes of down time which amount to not learning a single thing and eating chips and watching Sponge Bob. They really do balk at it. I wish more parents would see and appreciate how important it is to have down time and to just "be".

BTW, if you've mentioned it, I missed it, what did Peanut dress up as for Halloween anyway?

Gray Matter

Sorry to break it to you, but I've met you and I am still awash in your unaffected coolness. I love this post. Seriously great one. Thanks.


I love this post. My husband and I like to waltz down the supermarket aisles sometimes and I've been made fun of by many friends when they learn of this. You know what? I'm so thankful (little Thanksgiving tie-in there for ya', haha) that we're able to do that. We're in love and enjoying each other. I'm sad for my friends that will never experience that simply because they're too worried about what others will think.

Gloria Mc

MetroDad, you "are" cool.


When my wife and I walk around our neighbourhood we point out parents who have lost their cool, most likely in the realization that we have probably lost ours. My guess is some parents just give up and focus all on their kids leaving themselves in the dust. There's some definite sad sights out there though.


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