Sometimes I don’t want to be a dad.
Well, okay, I love being my daughter’s father, and I love my daughter. Being a friend to her is easy. Being a friend to her is fun. It is the being a dad part that is sometimes difficult. You know, doing all the dad (and mom!) things like cleaning up after her, getting up in the middle of the night to see what is wrong, and punishment. Punishment, I think, is the hardest part of being a dad.
Tonight, Ms. Kaz was at her book club, so it was daddy-daughter night. For 90% of the night it was fun. We ate dinner. We made some popcorn. We watched some Peter Pan (I know, I know — TV — but it was just 15-20 minutes. Besides, what else is there to do while eating popcorn?!?).
Then it was time to start the bedtime routine…
Lately, the part of our bedtime routine which has been most difficult has been feeding the cats, which our daughter loves to do. We’ve warned her to use the scoop and not her hands. We’ve been working on it. For the first cat, my daughter even proudly said, “I’m not using my hands!”
When it came to the food for the second cat, however, in went the hand, the hand scooped up the food, and dad said, “ah! don’t use your hand!” Well, the hand continued to come up despite a couple more “don’t use your hand” and a “if you use your hand, you don’t get to feed the kitties!”
The final warning was a bit
loud stern. In retrospect, I think she was a little startled. She threw the handful of food on the floor. At that point, I was a little fed up, and I said pretty loudly sternly, “that’s it. go…” Okay, dad, you have to think fast. The downstairs Time Out area is filled with stuff. What do we do? Where do we send her? “…go stand in the corner!”
This is the first time I’ve had to have her stand in the corner. I felt like, I don’t know, some old-fashioned dad or something. My daughter started to complain. “I don’t want to stand in the corner, da-da.” Now I had to clean up the food, so I was still not in a great mood. “Stand in the corner and be quiet”
Well, that did it. The tears started flowing. “I don’t want to stand in the corner and be quiet.” This is when I realized how difficult the punishment part of being a dad was. I started to feel bad. As if sensing this, she threw in a couple, “I want momma!” (see above for location of momma)
Things finally settled down, and a normal daddy-daughter night resumed.
Okay, so it isn’t that I don’t want to be a dad, I just find certain responsibilities of being a dad difficult. But I keep reminding myself that doing them is what makes me a good dad.
As I put my daughter down for bed, I said to her, “I had fun having a daddy-daughter night with you, sweetie.” My daughter rolled over a bit, looked at me, and said, “I had fun playing with daddy, and eating popcorn with daddy, and watching Peter Pan with daddy.”
I love being a dad.