Ask Steve what the worst Father's Day present he ever received was, and there will be no pause before he gives his answer. There will be no hesitation at all, unless he is too embarrassed to admit that his wife really bought one of these for him. There's also a chance that he might still be so upset by this thing that he refuses to verbally call it by its name.
So I will say it.
Two years ago I bought Steve The Daddle for Father's Day. It was, unequivocally, the Worst Father's Day Present Ever.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. I had a couple of kids who adored their father and a husband who liked to play with his kids. I was aware that it was a little on the cheesy side, but I sure didn't expect the reaction I got when he opened it. He acted like it was some grotesque crime scene picture and emphatically refused to even look at it. My hopes for a cute picture of Steve with his daughters on his back were quickly dashed.
I should have learned my lesson from the previous year when I gave him this really neat remote-control sailboat for Father's Day. I had mental images of him with the kids at First Dam on beautiful Sunday afternoons, chasing the ducks with the sailboat. But instead it spent a year under our bed, unopened and unexamined, until I finally sold it on craigslist.
Since Father's Day is approaching, I thought I would share this somewhat shameful story with you in hopes of preventing similar blunders in your lives. There might be times when you can give people gifts that you want them to have, rather than giving them gifts that they actually want. But Father's Day in the Ballard House is clearly not one of those times.