Ahoy, Arrr, and Avast! In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is to be celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 19, by all interesting peoples and pirates of the world, I have decided to muse upon the similarities of the duties of a captain of a pirate crew and the duties of the father of a toddler crew. (If you don’t know what International Talk like a Pirate Day is, shame shame, ye scallywag. Eyeball this site http://talklikeapirate.com.) Without further ado….
- Both Pirate Captains and Fathers of Toddlers work best if they have luxuriant beards.
- Both Pirate Captains and Fathers of Toddlers know salty sailors and lubberly toddlers are happiest when they know what is expected of them. They do not necessarily like clambering the rig to knot the fore’n’aft to the gaff or swabbing the tween deck, but they do like having a chore. They like regularity. They like schedules.
- The Pirate Captain is the spokesperson of their barque, as the Father of Toddlers speaks to strangers for them. (If someone is to swing in a gibbet, it will always be the Captain or the Father first.) And both consider it very important to prevent their subordinates from getting eaten by sharks.
- A Pirate Captain navigates a true course for his barque using a good compass, accurate charts, and a seasoned navigator. A good Father of Toddlers navigates the barque of his family with the help of the Holy Spirit, using the inerrant charts of Scripture, and assisted by good theologians like his pastor/navigator. Both have to guide their ships through murky mists and treacherous shoals.
- Pirate Captains have to provision the galleys of the barques with good vittles: like citrus to prevent scurvy, cackle fruit, hard tack, and lots of ham. Fathers of Toddlers know it’s important to provide the galley of their barques with kegs of cheerios, and cases of graham crackers, and buckets o’ goldfish to keep their crew happy and scurvy-free.
- A good Pirate Captain knows how to hobnob with the crew, to dance a hornpipe or belt a chanty with the best of them: just like a good Father of Toddlers knows how to have a tea party or roll trucks around in the sand when the time is right.
- Both can say to their crew, “if ye don’t like yer lunch, ye can just starve.” However, only the Pirate Captain can actually mean it without fear of moral twinges or of CYFD investigations for neglect.
- A Pirate Captain knows what 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep are like.
- A Pirate Captain generally can understand what his crew is saying when they’re angry, yelling, and on the verge of mutiny.
- A Pirate Captain can often finish a blog post without getting interrupted by pirates falling off couches or shouting at one another or trying to push chairs over to the countertop to reach kitchen knives. Arrrr!
Hm… Scupper me gunwales, I’m beginning to suspect a Pirate Captain has the easier job! Blimey, I’d best stop before I make meself too depressed. If you, father of toddlers, have the option of becoming a Pirate Captain for the day, take it, and enjoy the comparative lightening of your duties. Have yerself a restful and happy Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Here be some random ideas to do with your family on Talk Like a Pirate Day (TLAPD):
- Yo-ho-ho! Talk like a pirate, matey! Should be obvious. Do it as much as possible, lest you show yourself a lubber, matey, and no Jack Tar. Here’s a good glossary if you need it: http://reservationsbvi.com/thisoldpirate/glossary.html. Or even better, you can check the glossaries at the official webpage of TLAPD, here: http://talklikeapirate.com
- Have a pirate name. Make one up or use this handy-dandy generator: http://pirate.namegeneratorfun.com.
- Dress yerself like a pirate, bucko. In public preferably, where all the lubbers can laugh at you and give you an excuse to punch them. (Just be sure yer lads and lasses don’t see ye do it.)
- Watch a Piratical Movie. Some of me favorites:
- Muppet Treasure Island
- The Crimson Pirate
- Captain Blood
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits
- Read Gideon Dafoe, but not out loud to your kids, lest ye scar them for life. There are also many other fun pirate tales from authors like Howard Pyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rafael Sabatini and more.
- Dance the hornpipe or belt out a chanty right smartly.
- Listen to piratical music. Me personal TLAPD soundtrack generally consists entirely of albums from The Toucan Pirates (http://www.toucanpirates.com).
- Play pirate games. There be many a good piratical themed board game around if you plan ahead. You could also set up a game of pin the tail on the parrot (without, I must specify, using a real parrot), set up a pirate treasure hunt, or build a pirate ship out of Legos. (If ye want to do more, here be some fun printables: http://3boysandadog.com/free-international-talk-like-a-pirate-day-printables-and-activities).
- Eat lots of oranges and lemons so you don’t get scurvy. (I would suggest donuts too, but alas and alack, Krispy Kreme isn’t giving free donuts to pirates this year.)
- Visit a real pirate ship or museum if ye can. This is not generally an option for us landlocked desert lubbers.
A song to leave all ye on! “When you’re a professional pirate you don’t have to wear a suit.”