Saturday, November 20, 2010
I was watching a show about the proverbial absent father who comes swooping in after a few months of visitation cancellations to the excitement of the children. The kids get dropped off late with candy bars hanging out of their mouths and toys in their hands having just spent the day at the circus. Then the father goes into hiding only to parachute back a few months later into the loving arms of the children. The next Monday I decided I was going to be that father.
We started out with Halloween candy for breakfast and moved straight toward dressing up in whatever clothes they chose. They chose to wear T-shirts, that were in the dirty laundry, even though it was cold and rainy. After a couple of hours of cartoons we drove to the gym where they were watched by people who helped them make crafts. They were quite excited about showing me. We drove straight to McDonalds where they ate Happy Meals and played in the indoor playground.
But then the wheels started coming off and I became the responsible parent once again. We needed to get into the car but Beast wanted to climb on top of the car. I had to take Fire to the bathroom but he didn't want to. I needed Fire to lay down for a nap or else that evening we were going to witness a child who may be mistaken for a meth junkie. Beast didn't want to be in his room for quiet time but on my back while I checked my business e-mail.
I'm not saying any of the things I did were irresponsible or that I wouldn't be happy to do them again. But my attitude and behavior was child directed toward what they thought they needed and possibly deserved. Short term pleasure is fine but long term does not translate into any more excitement or love for me which was what I was hoping for. In fact, the only reason why it may have been exciting at all was because it was a special treat from the otherwise responsible father who doesn't always give in to their demands.
So what was the final lesson I learned? Daisy and I need to separate so I will have them only for a couple of hours each week. Then I will then undermine whatever silly rules she has in place so I become the favorite parent.
Beast & Fire: Mom says we have to do our homework.
Goose: Not at daddy's house.
Beast & Fire: Mom says we can't watch this show.
Goose: You can at daddy's house.
Beast & Fire: Mom says we can't east this, can't drink this, can't jump on this, draw on this, play with this, run on this, lift this or say this.
Goose: Mom isn't very fun is she?
Beast & Fire: NO!!!!!!
Goose: Tell her she is making daddy poor and I shouldn't have to pay more money for chi.......uh, support.
Beast & Fire: OK
Goose: Cry if she doesn't.
Beast & Fire: OK
Goose: Now let's go slash her boyfriend's new tires.
Beast & Fire: YEAH!!!!!!!!