Father’s day isn’t just about ugly ties and dinner. It’s a recognition of what is an important lifelong commitment.
The worst part about being a Dad is not knowing if anything I’m doing is working. I gave up beating and screaming at the boys and threatening to pour honey all over them, hanging them upside down and letting the squirrels eat them. They don’t listen regardless.
I know if the boys are paying attention by how quickly they respond to my commands, which is usually not that quick. But, they eventually respond. I try to explain to them, at every chance I get, that I am in charge of taking care of them, providing for them, feeding them and disciplining them. Fortunately, Mommy is around and does those things too.
But, who am I kidding? I’m not in charge. I wish I had a nickel for every time I said, Hey, I’m in charge. They usually just laugh and tell me that they are in charge. The sad truth is, they are!
I’m a doting Daddy, hanging on their every word and fulfilling their every command, er, wish. I spend all the time that I am at home with them. I wish I didn’t work as many hours as I do and that I worked at home to spend more time with them. But, alas and alack, such is not the case, at least, yet.
I have grown as a man and as a Daddy for them, because of them. I use humor to diffuse their meltdowns and tantrums as often as I can. Usually, it works. Occasionally, it doesn’t. Then, I just talk them person to person and explain my perspective and the world’s harsh ways and they settle down.
I see other parents and other kids and when some of those kids meltdown, I feel for the parents. If the situation is appropriate for me to respond, I tell the parents, not how to handle their children, which is never appropriate, but that when I was pre-Dad, I used to feel annoyed at parents whose kids went off. Now, I’m just glad it’s not one of mine in public. Of course, when one of mine do go off in public, I try to be calm, cool and collected and address them accordingly.
I am becoming the man and Daddy I always wanted to be. But, it’s hard, and I never feel smug or complacent about it. Life is too diverse and ever-changing to sit back and relax.
It is nice to have Father’s Day. It is one day, but I’ll take what I can get. I spend a lot of my “free” time on social media and have discovered a lot of daddies feel roughly the same way I do, both about our roles and about society’s perspective of daddies. Our task has gotten bigger and more encompassing through the years. I see a lot of guys, not only stepping up to the challenge but embracing it and taking an active role in the raising of their kids.
I see an increase in attention to daddies by society, but a lot of people don’t view daddying as a noteworthy position or they discount it saying that daddy is just babysitting until mommy comes home. That hurts. So, daddies have reached out on social media to find active supporters for each other. It is, for lack of a better word, heartwarming.
Mommy supports me, and I feel valued because of her. The boys seem to appreciate me, though they don’t know that my Dad was nowhere near as involved in my upbringing as I am with theirs. I’m not blaming or condemning him. Things and times were different back then. I tell the rascals that they do so much more, learn so much more, go more places than I ever did. What do they know? They are only seven going on sixteen. They don’t know any different.
I’ve come a long way, baby. Haven’t we all? We still have a long way to go.
If I could change one thing, it would be my job. As I mentioned before, I would love to be a SAHD, Stay At Home Dad, to spend more time with the little buggers. I, also, want them to see and experience Daddy doing something he loves to do rather than something he has to do just to provide for them. I try not to bring home stress from the job, but it probably seeps through my personality and moods more than I would like.
Small kids, small problems. Big kids, big problems. I don’t know what the future holds for the development of the two cheetahs. Archibald (not his real name) is a special needs kid. Mortimer (not his real name) is co-dependent and follows and mimics and antagonizes Archie at every opportunity. I worry that Archie will need personal care and attention his whole life. If you met him, you would instantly love him as everybody does, and you’d never guess that he is learning disabled. Ok, maybe you would when you saw him try to read or not listen to Daddy. Morty has focus issues.
Will they “grow out” of their behaviors? We hope so. It’s still early yet, and we have taken appropriate interventions.
Does my daddying suffice to enhance their lives? I hope I am the role model they need, and will use, to gauge their lives in later years.
But, I don’t know. I am thankful that I was given this opportunity. Of course, that’s easier said sometimes than others! We have been blessed with two wonderful, beautiful, energetic boys. I still wish they would listen more.
In the meantime, I’ve conferred with the squirrels, and they like chestnut honey….