I considered adding the food DS1 was throwing (but he doesn't have that kind of range) and his screams, but it would look as though DD 10 was throwing a fit about practicing piano... which wouldn't have been far off.
I am in the kitchen making dinner, Mister was starfishing to my leg like it was a clam on a cliff, for the prior 59 minutes. So I put his adorable food throwing, back arching, vocal protesting self in his chair so I could pull dinner out of the oven without adding a trip to the burn unit to my busy night.
Fast forward 11 years and I am rapidly falling in love with DH (he was a student at the time). Knowing my plans and hopes for a large family where I am a stay at home mom I considered his qualities and determined he was going to be an excellent father. Two short years later he becomes a father and he is super cute with DD10. As she gets older and "more durable" his father of the year skills shine. My kids love their daddy. The first several months they tolerate him, but he lacks boobs and the ability to change midnight diapers in the dark, so they prefer me. But by a year, it quickly changes and dad is the hero.
When DS6 was a year old DH got his current job and left for 5 weeks of training. It was rough on us, but DS6 struggled more than the girls and I did. DS6 needed man time. His behavior was terrible and would escalate until I summoned my brother who is 16 years younger than me. He would come over and fill the man time void with DS6. His anger would subside and he would be much more pleasant for a few days and the cycle resumed... until his daddy came home.
Fathers are not easily replaced, but positive male role models do help the situation. DS1 has recently reached the age where Dada has become as cool as the boob and now prefers to spend as much time as possible with his dad.
My girls also love their Daddy. They request that on his days off work that he do all the taxi driving. He must make breakfast, tie their shoes, zip their coats, take them to school. I still do their hair because DH was banned from touching their heads 6 years ago.
Daddy is the better listener to their heartaches. He is emotionally removed via gender and therefore more sympathetic than mom.
Endless studies show that Fathers DO matter, anyone that tells you differently are just trying to convince themselves that they didn't miss out by not having a dad.
Some quick facts about Dads*Girls that have a good relationship with their father are less likely to go looking elsewhere for love, ie: promiscuity at a young age.
*Boys that have a good relationship with their father are less likely to go looking elsewhere for belonging ie: gangs, drugs, etc.
*Both genders do better in school & in extra curricular activities.
*Boys grow up to be like their dads, Girls grow up to marry men like their dads.
*Girls that are raised by or live with a non-biologically related male reach puberty at a younger age.
*Boys that have a poor relationship with their father are more likely to live a homosexual lifestyle, a poor father/son relationship mystifies the male/male love relationship and the son seeks it from another male, which regardless of your feelings on homosexuality, is not the right reason for anyone to choose a partner.
*Being able to depend on your parent creates confidence and security at a young age that builds self-worth. See Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs levels 2 & 3.
Fathers Matter "Now" More Than Ever
Paternal involvement with adolescents in intact families: The influence of fathers over the life course
Why Fathers Matter to Their Children's Literacy