WHAT’S IN A NAME?
With sincere apologies to Bruce Springsteen, Martin Sheen, Terrence Malick, Sissy Spacek, the residents of South Dakota and Nebraska, I would like to explain this blogs chosen label. According to Funk & Wagnalls badlands is “a barren area characterized by numerous ridges, peaks, and mesas cut by erosion.”
If the esteemed scholars at F&W were to include the noun Dadlands in their reference work, the definition would probably go something like this: “Barren of all privacy and sleep, this lifestyle is characterized by constant emotional swings ranging from joy to sorrow to concern to worry, cut by human beings no taller than three feet.”
WHO WANTS TO READ “LIFE WITH HOLDEN”?
So why Dadlands? This is the term I have created for the world I live in. I felt it was necessary to explain my title because I personally hold great value in the written word and the classification given to things. Think about it, would you have been as inclined to go see “Raiders of the Lost Ark” if it had been called “The Stolen Grail”? What transcendental quality would there be in “Catcher in the Rye” if it carried the designation “Life With Holden”?
I went through a myriad of titles before I settled on Dadlands. I was actually very fond of “Paternal Instinct” but I thought it sounded like a Michael Douglas-Sharon Stone movie. “Life in the Stenches of Parenthood” was in the running for a while but it frightened even me. “Popstots” had a shot but every time I thought about it, it made me hungry. “A Father’s Home Is Their Castle”, “Moonlighting” “And Baby Makes…Insanity” all had real possibilities, but once I came up with Dadlands, I knew no other title would suffice.
To me Dadlands captures the essence of male parenthood. It sounds fun, maybe a little daring, it probably conjures up an image of a wide expanse. In my world, if you fill those open spaces with noisy toys, screaming kids, soiled diapers, stacks of laundry, and a sink full of dirty dishes, the Dadlands image is complete.