Adventures of Darth Daddy

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Lone Daddy

Maybe it was modesty - maybe it was not wanting to turn on my own gender. However, 2 replies to my last post have been right in line with what I kinda felt in my heart. When all those kids start gathering around..and talking about what they did that day... I get a sense that they don't get enough Daddy Time at home. I know that mine is a unique situation. My day starts at son up and ends at son down. I don't take for granted the gift I've been spend all this time with my little ones. But I really get a feeling that most kids are not only attention starved - but are primarily attention starved for Daddy Time. After I read the coments, and reread the post, I remembered that at one point, 3 of the children started callign me "Daddy". I didn't think much of it - passing it off as simple kiddie stuff. But the more I thought about it ..

While us full time dads may not be mainstreamed - or accepted - or even scoffed at by women and men alike - but we sure do have access to a special gift. We are there when our children do such wonderous things .... like babble about whatever they dream about - or create a masterpiece with Crayons and construction paper ... or simple grow up. When I think of the relationship that I have with my sons - I can't help but wonder how a father could want/accept anything less.

My own father was a putz. He was never mean to me - he was never abusive to me (although he was both to my mother). I spent only 2 weeks vacation with him each summer, and often looked forward to it. Until I started to get older, and realized that not only was he absent from my life the rest of the year, but during those 2 weeks - he'd go hunting, or make other plans that didn't involve a little kid - I spent time with him on a boat (fishing a lake - that was fun, I admit). But for the most part - he was neglectful. He wasn't there most of the 2 weeks (my memory may be faulty about that - but I do remember feeling left behind several times, when I was "watched" by relatives, friends, or even his bosses family). He was never there to ask me how my day went. He wasn't there to inspire me when I had a big project due. He wasn't there to comfort me when my prom went to shit. I have no idea who his heros were, or who he wanted to be when he grew up. His favorite song in highskool, his first love, his first car.

Which raises an important question : does coming from a family with an absent /neglectful father make you double your efforts to be everything that you own father wasn't? In my case, I believe this to be true. I can also see how a pattern can develope, over generations, of assholes not knwoing how to connect with their kids, because of lack of rolemodels. (in my own case, I was fortunate to have a wonderful grandpa, and a loving Uncle, who stepped up to the plate - and were excellent role models for me).

I can only hope that my children will learn by my example. I want them to think back on their time with me, and think great things. I want them to one day be playing with their own children, and never give it a second thought - that there is nowhere else on earth they'd rather be.

Just a curiosity - how many of my stay at home dad readers came from homes with strong "father figure" role models? How many came from broken homes? What factor in your life (growing up) would you attribute your abilty to do what you do? Was it just thrust upon you and you're doing the best you can? Are you detemined to do a better job than you father did with you?

In my own life, I find many factors - insistance to be a better father than my own was (not too high a goal there), modeling after my uncle and grandfather, and embracing those traits/ qualities that are typically "male gendered". When there's only you and your mom... cleaning, sewing, laundry are not feminin tasks..they are gender neutral.

Okay - enough of the serious stuff

Walmart had a few tvs on clearance. They were Batman tvs. 13inch, color, and have rca input jaks in the front, and the remote is shaped like a bat symbol! Originally $100, they were marked down to $75. I waited. Then to $50. I waited. Tonight, they had only 3 left, and 1 was broken. I figured I'd better make my move. I compared "regular" 13 inch tvs at Walmart, and they were about $10 more expensive. I'll have to post a picture of it when I get it set up tomorrow.

We were driving around in the car, when Logan wanted the song changed - he wanted what he calls the "OWWww" song. "I love rock and roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. After listening to him sing along, he said "At my fayrot un, da" (That's my favorite one, dad). I may be wrong, but I think that was the first time he's ever used the word "favorite". We spoke it to him..asked him which one he wanted...which one is yoru favorite. It was just so cute to hear him use it in his own sentence.

We started focusing on his ABC's. He pretty much can sing the song by himself, so I decided that each day woudl be dedicated to a letter. Today was "A" day. As we went thru our day to day things - I tried to point out things that started with the letter A. This was harder than is sounds. There aint much that begins with A out there. Not words on a 3 year old level, at least. I started the day with
"A is for apple - aardvark - angel - apple - shit I said that already - ok - let me think - avacodo - azure, that's like blue..nevermind , that will only confuze you - analogy - alagarky, nope wait - that's Oligarky with an O. Let's just stick with apple for today."

I sure hope the "B"s tomorrow are kinder to me.

Well, off to bed.


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