15 IOUs Every Toddler Needs to Give to His Dad This Father’s Day

image: Shauna Younge

My husband is an amazing dad. He’s the kind of father who happily engages with our children when he is home. He will often get up with them in the early morning hours so they can watch cartoons together while eating Pop-Tarts dunked in milk. He is happy to take on the tasks that I avoid like the plague (like the library with three small children—yikes!). He’s the fun parent: the one who wrestles and isn’t afraid to make messes.

I like to think it’s because he loves our kids so much, but the truth is that he knows that when I am suffering from exhaustion, sex is the first thing to drop from the priority list. Regardless of what motivates him, I am grateful. Our children benefit from his involvement, and I desperately need the mental and physical breaks. However, fathers face unique challenges in parenting. Toddlers always seem to know exactly where to step in order to smash Daddy’s right testicle, for example, and if there is something that he doesn’t want the kids to touch, that is probably the first thing that they’re going to cover in Play-Doh. Because toddlers live by Murphy’s Law.

Recently, my husband decided to take our toddler on a fishing trip. “He’s potty trained!” I assured him. “Everything will be fine!” I was so happy to get a break from the nonstop chatter of our child that I forgot to include a change of clothes in the bag that I hastily packed before I kissed them goodbye and shoved them out the door. But everything was definitely not fine. Our boy got diarrhea, in the boat, in the middle of a body of water. What are the chances? During the second bout, Robbie was holding him over the side of the boat as our child simultaneously peed all over him and shat down the side of the watercraft. It was probably at this point that my husband hit rock bottom.

“I sowwy I peed on you, Daddy,” our son said.

“You owe me,” replied my husband.

Children can be total jerks and toddler life can be challenging, but they sure are cute when they apologize. Here are fifteen IOUs every toddler needs to give his dad this Father’s Day. Grab the free printable for these IOUs all in one file right here.


I’m sorry that I interrupted your sexy time with Mommy last night, but I was so thirsty. I needed water right away. I know you flossed and shaved in preparation for the encounter, because I played in the bathroom garbage can yesterday.  IOU one night of staying quietly in my bed until morning.


I apologize for pretending that I ate a flashlight battery, causing you to spend $300 on emergency care that wasn’t actually needed. By the way, the battery is actually under the couch cushion. IOU a prescription for blood pressure medication.


Sorry I ruined every pair of pants you ever wore. It’s not my fault my hands reach precisely your crotch height when I stand up. IOU one pair of comfy new khaki pants.


I’m sorry for removing all the knobs on the outdoor grill and hiding them in my sandbox. It took you all winter to notice, and I kind of thought you’d be okay with it. IOU a new gas grill.


I’m sorry I crept underneath the stall next to you when you were doing your business in the Home Depot bathroom and started up a conversation with the man next to us. He seemed like a nice man. IOU an economy-sized pack of antibacterial wipes.


Sorry I flushed a toy down the toilet and you had to spend your guy’s night out to fix the plumbing problem instead of having fun at the bowling alley. IOU a night out and a free game of pool.


I apologize for dropping your iPhone in pancake syrup—you caught me just as I was starting to lick it off. You left it right there on the kitchen table, and you know how much I love gadgets. IOU a new phone case.


I’m sorry that I crammed sidewalk chalk into the exhaust pipe of your car. Where does that pipe even go?! It looks dark in there. IOU a tune-up at the auto repair shop.


Sorry I jumped on you without warning, causing you to spill hot coffee all over your bare chest. You said it hurt like a motherf*cker and Mommy yelled at you for using that kind of language in front of me. I IOU fancy man lotion that soothes burns.


I’m sorry for announcing “Daddy has big balls” in the checkout line. You really do, but I guess strangers aren’t supposed to know that. IOU a case of beer.


I’m sorry I peed in your golf bag. I was standing on the stairs and it looked a lot like a toilet from up there. I was pretty proud of my aim, though. IOU a set of new golf clubs.


I’m sorry I smeared diaper cream all over your iPad. I thought it was a unique form of expressive art, but for some reason you didn’t appreciate my creative genius. IOU a new iThing.


I sincerely apologize for decorating our hardwood floors with a Sharpie, causing you to spend your entire Saturday experimenting with different cleaning products. I gotta hand it to you, Dad—you can’t even tell where the marks were. IOU one free Saturday to watch football in peace.


I’m sorry I grabbed hold of your chest hair and refused to let go. I was pretending that I was playing with a gorilla at the zoo, and it was really fun until you started that high-pitched screaming thing you do when you’re experiencing pain. IOU some personal space.


I’m sorry I ran Mommy ragged today, leaving her so physically and emotionally spent that she was basically catatonic by the time you got home. I just love her so much that I want to be with her ALL THE TIME. IOU a date night with mom.

IOU coupon images: Shauna Younge // Photos in coupons: Getty

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