Yesterday was a new experience for me in the world of fatherhood. I picked up our 6 yo for school, and she asked if one of her school buddies (a boy) could come over to our house. So we get home and all 3 kids are playing nicely together. We decided to head to a park to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. The boy really likes to play on the skate park, and naturally our 6 yo follows suit. Everything is going smoothly. I had to deal with a sharing issue with our 4 yo. Once that was resolved, all hell breaks loose. The boy wanted to play with a golf ball, which our 4 yo had and they played together. This action of changing playmates, caused the 6 yo to become quite JEALOUS. I look up and she was gone, she was hiding from all of us. I found her and I could see she was upset. The boy kept trying to talk to her, but she was having nothing to do with him. She kept running away from him, and giving him the cold shoulder. If this is any insight into her dating life, i feel sorry for the boys who piss her off. I hope she always knows that daddy will be here to guide her, listen to her, and protect her. Anyway, we get home and watched a movie, by the end of the movie the friendship was restored and all was well.
Our 4 year old has been wanting to take a trip somewhere anywhere. It’s all that she could talk about. “Mommy and Daddy” when can we go on a trip on an airplane together just you and me. Finally I took this past Tuesday and we flew to Denver for a Daddy and daughter date. We went to the Children’s Museum, lunch at Olive Garden, and we took advantage of a free day at the Botanic Gardens. It was such a fun trip, and I hope she will remember these special little trips.
So, this morning our daughters have charged me with babysitting their stuff animals. We have been reading stories together, while the girls are preparing a play dough lunch.
You may be asking about “bathing sister”. While living in Montana we had to out source or babysitting to local girls we knew. The girls would get super excited about having a “bathing sister”. Hence the name and which I modified for me.
This morning our three year old stated,
“Whatever you say Dad”
I know these words won’t last, but right than it was the greatest thing she could have ever said. I love our daughters so much and I hope and pray that they will always treasure everything I tell them.
5 year old: I work at a hospital!
Daddy: What do you do at the hospital?
5 Year Old: I’m a Boss at a hospital and I don’t do anything because Bosses do nothing.
Daddy: chuckling to myself…
Why do my girls need Daddy so much? I don’t know.
I’m sitting here, completely available and the five year old has enlisted Daddy to write the story she is making up and that’s when the three year old completely ignores me and goes to DADDY to try and get him to play. He is busy writing with a leg up on the chair like Usher sitting on his Voice throne. The three year old, not getting the imediate results she wants forces her head threw his propped up leg and looks up at her daddy’s face saying in a whiny voice, “Dadddyyyy… PLAY WITH ME!” The five year old replies, “We are writing a story here,” in her perfectly 15 year old sarcastic, sing song voice. Mercy, we are SCREWED later…
Daddy looks over at me and comments on the three year old’s approach to getting attention (the crawling threw his leg thing) and says, “It’s like giving birth.”
I look him right in the eye and say, “No. It’s not.”
As a new parent, I gave in to the hormones every other day and made “absolute” statements all the time. Like most new parents, I was terrified and in awe of my new baby. She was perfect, she was innocent and suddenly, I had motherly instincts of protection and they were in overdrive. This instinct is where the “absolute” statement is born and it usually begins with, “My children will NEVER….” or, “We are planning to make sure our children always…”
Let’s take a look at some of these statements I made when I was a new mother and see how I measure up to my own expectations, shall we?
“My child will never eat at McDonalds!” – until I am on a long car ride and in a small town that I don’t know and there are only little local dives that look… frightening. McDonalds might be the only reliably awful thing around. I pull into the McDonalds faster than a Nascar racer. McDonalds, in all its unhealthy glory will be the only place I can find where my babies can run free in the play place and get out the wiggles while I refuel on a Caramel Macciato. Not only do I take them there on trips but whenever I need to get out of the house, have very little money and only want to have to watch one exit because when there are two of them and one of me, McDonalds suddenly becomes HEAVEN ON EARTH!
“We are planning to make sure our kids only watch a half hour of TV a day and then only after they have had educational blah blah blah blah and/or while I’m doing their hair so they will sit still.” – until I am crazy tired and one decides to wake up at the crack of dawn and ask for food. I get them a frozen waffle, a sippy of juice a nice long TV show and whew… back to bed for mommy. Not only do I allow them to watch outrageously more TV than I ever planned, but the happiest moment of my life was when my oldest could wield the remote on her own (thank you NETFLIX for giving me the ability to have a queue that I can fill with only children’s programing and no commercials) and make her own frozen waffles in the toaster.
“My kids are never going to have Disney Princess stuff. It gives them all the wrong idea of what’s important.” – until I go into Walmart. I live in a small town and sometimes there is no other option and after many purchases against my former statement, I noticed that although my girls are princesses, there is nothing wrong with it and whatever… they are not being abused or taught to be abusers so… I’m cool with it.
“We are planning to make sure our kids only go into school after they are 7 or 8 and never go to a daycare.” – until we both get jobs, need jobs and can’t afford the luxury of being stay at home parents. We were offered a slow introduction to school for our kids and free childcare by my mother and well… who can pass that up? It’s FREE! And who can say what is going to happen in the future? I’ve seen many a kid come out of daycare and be PERFECTLY HEALTHY! There is just no other way to do it sometimes. The luxury of being a stay at home parent isn’t always practical.
“I will never yell, spank, or freak out. I will always have a discipline plan that I stick to.” – until the first time my child back talked to me and then I was like, “My head is EXPLODING!” Do I make mistakes, change my mind constantly about what we want to do, and deal with completely unforeseen circumstances in the middle of an expensive theme park experience that cause us to think about letting our kid act out without the normal consequences just so we can get our moneys worth? You better believe it.
“We are planning to only have babysitters that we know very well and have had a thorough background check.” – until we haven’t had a date night in months and need to have a conversation without a kid using us as a jungle gym or interrupting us OVER and OVER! “Mommy, um…. mommy, mommy mommy MOMMY?!” “WHAT?! Can’t you see I’m trying to have a chat with DADDY?! Give us a second?! Now… what the hell were we talking about?” That’s when I called everyone I knew and finally settled on a friend of a friend who I had never met and said, “Have at it,” and we went out and never looked back.
I could go on and on about what I planned to have my child learn to read before the age of 3, or how I planned to potty train them to cut down on the cost of diapers (you don’t potty train them, they train you and when they are ready to use the potty, if they are 2 or 6 or 25, you will most likely not be able to MAKE them do it any faster than they want to), or any number of plans I had for them that were completely impractical.
I can’t tell you how often I have walked through the mall and seen children and thought, “Not my kid. They will NEVER do that.” And then they do. And what can I do but deal with it in the best way I know how? I am only human and so are my children and so are those other parents. I hope that parenting is teaching me something important that I never thought I needed to learn… to be less judgmental.
The conclusion I have come to is that I should just keep my mouth shut about the absolutes (usually spoken to a friend when watching someone else parent their children), communicate with the other parent in a fluid and constant way and realize that every situation will warrant a new way of “dealing.” Parenting is not right or wrong… usually. As long as there is no abuse, we are all doing the very best we can and what more can you ask from sleep deprived people growers?
When a father first lays eyes on his little girl he loves her more than anything on this earth,
When a daughter grows older her father is the first man she will love,
And the last one her father will have trouble letting go of,
In her eyes he is the closest thing to God, in her eyes he is a King,
To her father she means the world, she means everything.
When a daughter grows up to be an adult and mature,
Her father will always be there anytime she still needs dad to help her,
To give her advice or just-for anything she will ever need,
The bond between father and daughter is the most important bond indeed,
It cannot be broken when she finds a man, and become his wife,
It cannot be broken even in the ending of either ones life,
A daughter will always have the memories of her father, her best friend
This bond has a beginning, but there is never an end.
The bond between a father and daughter is so profound
The love shared is well renowned,
From the beginning of his daughters life, he is a changed man,
At that moment his life really just began.
From the moment their eyes meet,
two souls instantly become complete.
Of course I feel the same about both of my daughters. It’s amazing to me how love never runs out no matter how many children you may have.
This afternoon I was treated to a stage show by our five year old. It was really cute to see her create a story with princess magnets. Oh I just love the imagination of this child.