The guide goes by many names in our house. In their younger days, they all called him "Da-da." Now, he is "Dad" at all times, except when Daughter is feeling particularly cozy. At those times, he is "Daddy."
His roles are numerous and, like his name, have changed as the years have gone by. For Eldest, he was the Pacifier. From Eldest's earliest days, when Pacifier stuck his finger in Eldest's newborn mouth to let him suck it, to his colicky period, when Pacifier rocked and rocked and rocked him, to his travel times, when Pacifier walked him up and down the aisles of many an airplane to shut him the hell up.
When Girlie came along, our original nickname for Daughter, Pacifier was all she wanted by the time she was about five or six months old. When I was pregnant with Youngest and Girlie was about three, Pacifier sat at the top of the stairs with Girlie for hours on end, playing the animal guessing game, among other activities.
Youngest wanted nothing to do with Pacifier when he first arrived. It wasn't until Youngest was about a year old that he tossed me over and Pacifier was the only one he wanted to be with. Another couple of years of duty was required for Pacifier.
In addition to also being the sole Breadwinner, our guide takes on the role of Scientist Extraordinaire, required to explain all things science and nature to the kids. I am akin to the father in Calvin and Hobbes: I will make up an explanation as to why the sun rises in the east or why the ocean is blue. Scientist Extraordinaire actually knows the true explanation, and he will take the time to tell the kids the truth.
He is also Spider Slayer, the one we all call when a spider of any size happens upon our path. Living in the wild as we do, there are many spiders and he is called to answer to this higher calling quite often. Lesser roles along the same line include Skeeter Eater Slayer and Moth Slayer. [Don't worry: he often catches and releases the offending bug.]
He has been official Butt Wiper. He is the official Tub Master. He is Fish Cream Toast Maker. He is Spider Web Vacuumer. He is Patient Man, in sharp contrast to his counterpart, Crazy Impatient Mother.
This is the guide in our family. On this Father's Day, we all are thankful we drew him in the lottery.