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The other night Cecilia was all hopped up on play time. She turns to me and says,

pretend you’re my daddy”. I love the fact that make-believe is so important to her that she even wants to make believe reality.

Or maybe she knows something that I don’t know.

The other night a friend of mine watch Cecilia while I went to a law firm reception for an hour. After we got going, and Cecilia was nestled in the back seat of the car, she informed me that my friends cat was in fact a puma. Knowing, it didn’t surprise me one bit that he was trying to pull out my daughter’s mind. But then Cecilia says to me ”

they need to be careful and get rid of that puma before he gets too big because he might eat them

Love and attention

At bedtime tonight,

“Sometimes I don’t feel like people love me”

“When does that happen?”

“When people aren’t paying attention to me, but they say they are.  They say they are listening to me, but I can tell they aren’t”

Damn.  I think I am going to flush my phone down the toilet.

Bathtime

I don’t write in this nearly as much as I want to.  A handful of entries over the years.  I am embarrassed that I haven’t taken more time to capture what might be the single greatest gift ever entrusted to me.  Fatherhood.  Cecilia.

So, two things that stand out.  Unrelated I think.

The other night as Sissy went to bed, we were turning over for story time and she told me how her belly hurt with hunger.  Just  alittle hungry, she told me.  Now, we have a rule – you eat at dinner and then not again until breakfast.  Its not thoughtless.  When she is at my house, she eats sufficiently at dinner.  She sits at the table and we eat together.  And she goes to be and wakes with an appetite.  There is nothing wrong with snacking, of course, but I just want to teach her that food isn’t the backdrop of our lives, to eat ad litem, and graze.  food is a social thing, and a meal, and something for which to be grateful.  But her mom lets her snack in bed and she is used to it.  And that is hard for a kid- having two sets of rules.  But I try and gift her consistency.  So, I said no.  And she cried. She cried she wanted mommy.  And that hurt.  Of course.  I think anyone can feel that.  But the thing that was magical was that I just held her, and I felt anger rise up, and burn out, and dissipate, and I was still just holding her.  And it was fine.  Somehow my story didn’t enter into the moment with her.  She she was ready for a story and we went to bed.  I don’t know why that is special.  Or maybe I do.  Since I was a kid, I get angry when I am stuck.  It all backs up and I get angry.  And God knows I never wanted to be angry with my child.  But I get there.  We all do at times I guess.  But I looked back, and realized that I could be angry and my love her Sissy helped me leave it there, unengaged, and I acted with kindness and compassion.  Because my love for her, and for myself and the parent I want to be was greater than the need to reenact a story.  And that was nice.
So the other thing was in the bath.  Sissy called me in.  And she had emptied the whole conditioner jar into the tub.  And I was stunned.  I asked that question every parent since the beggingin of time asks- why?  All of it Siss?  Yes daddy.  Why?  I don’t know.  Well, I told her her self service conditioner privileges were over.  She had dumped the whole thing in the tub.  So the other day K was taking a bath and I went in to talk to her.  The new jar of condition was beside the tub, and when she reached for it, it slipped and fell in.  And I realized, oh lord, it was an honest mistake.  And the next night, Siss was bathing, and she dipped one tiny finger into the conditioner and asked – is this ok daddy?  I wept.  How sweet.  How unexpectedly honest and sweet.

Good morning

C slept late this morning. I checked in on her and could pick her out, twisted up in her blankets, naked, with her hair laid out like a mane.

I got her outfit prepared, got breakfast ready, then just went back to lay in bed. I heard her awake, and stumble down the hall. She turned the corner into my bedroom, with thick eyes, and without hesitating, walked to my side of the bed, climbed up, climbed onto my belly, stretched out, and fell asleep. She slept for about five minutes, then woke, rubbed her eyes, and told me about Frozen in unnecessarily high volume.

Kids are great.

Chicken Nuggets

Who Knew.

Tonight is the first dinner party for which I cooked Chicken nuggets. C had a play date with a girl from her pre-school. I thought it would be marginally more chaotic than my usual nights with C. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They ran into the house, into C’s room, and shut the door. That was the last I heard of them until dinner. Ok, not true, I heard a LOT from them. but mainly squealing, laughing and story telling. Its amazing. I have had one of my more quite evenings ever.

Good to know.

Hunger strikes

So here is a sticky thing.

Of course not so long ago, C drank from a bottle.  But the bottle went the way of the diaper, and with it has come C’s exploration of food and eating. She is a great eater.  Its always good as a parent to see your kids devour good food.

 

Relatively recently, I concluded that as a parent, a lesson I wanted to share with C was that meals are social things, and not just things we do because we are bored or anxious.  And to implement this, I started being more rigid about sitting down to meals.  So, I set a table. I cook, and C and I sit down to breakfast and dinner together.  No toys, and she eats what I eat, with respect for her preferences.  We have table rules regarding asking for things, and using a napkin, and she has to try everything, even is she doesn’t want to finish it.

Like I said, its relatively new.  Not terrible, but I want to give C more of a framework for life.  So you get to a recent problem.  C eats lightly, tells me she is full.  She sits at the table until I am done, then goes off the play. But when bedtime comes, she is hungry.

I don’t know if sheis hungry or tired. God knows its painful to hear your child cry “I’m hungry”.  But I am in a tough spot.  if you want to make a lesson, you need to be consistent, and I know she ate a good amount today.  She might actually be a bit hungry, but its not going to harm her for one night. So I opt to tell her No.  Man, that is hard.  I feel like a bad guy.  But that is parenting right?  Doing the right thing for your child, as best you can see it, instead of what is immediately easy for you or pleasurable for them?

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