LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

"WHAT MEAN EXPENDABLE, RAMBO?": PARENTAL PREFERANCE AND THE BATTLE FOR YOUR TODDLER'S AFFECTIONS

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According to John Rambo, 'expendable' means "...going to a party... and nobody cares." Sounds about right. A bit sad, but a useful analogy, especially for first-time dads. And it begs the question: what's worse than being the be all and end all in your child's life? Answer: Not being the be all and the end all in your child's life. As Jim's Dad (from American Pie) would say, Mommyitis "is a perfectly natural, normal thing," and it's bound to rear its ugly head when you least expect it. One morning you're on equal footing with your wife. The next, you're dog doo.

And it's not so much that your kid wants his Mommy - it's that he emphatically doesn't want you. Case in point, I was changing my daughter's diaper the other day and she made it very clear to me that I was not very high on the list of people she wanted to see. As she struggled to break free, she went down the list of people she would rather have in the room... "Mom-my"... "Zai-dy"... "Bu-bie"... "Na-na"... "Ka-thy" (her daycare provider)..."Lo-Lo" (her aunt)... "Mam-da" (Amanda, another aunt)... "De-De" (herself)... "Baby" (any stuffed animal or doll)... and... "Kla-@#$-&^%*" (?????). It was comical at first, but then the reality set in: she didn't want me. And, to be honest, that kinda sucked. It hurt my feelings, and it wasn't even intentional on her part. It was just how she felt.

I don't know about other people, but I pride myself on being a hands-on Dad. Because my wife leaves the house in the wee hours to go to work, I'm the guy who feeds, dresses, entertains, and drives my daughter to daycare- every single morning. And when I get home from work, I happily take over dinner duty, story time, and putting her to bed. I lay out her clothes. I prepare her snacks. I put on a Hazmat suit and change her freakin' Diaper Genie... and for what? So her mother can get all the credit? No! Where's the fairness in that? I'm not saying my wife and I don't equally share the responsibilities of raising our child. We do. And I think we do it well, so every time I go within two feet of my daughter and she wails "MOMMY," I think I'm getting the short end of the stick... No.... I know I am! And it blows.

I've faced rejection in my life. There were more than a few House League hockey coaches that cringed when they saw me on their roster and traded me... for a two-dollar-and-fifty-cent pack of smokes.  There were numerous blind dates that ended with a handshake. There were a lot of "Don't call us. We'll call yous" in both my personal and professional life....The band teacher who told me I played the clarinet like "a Beaver" (actually, that was a friend of mine- great story). But, this is my daughter. The one person who I could count on to build me up, and (at least until she has friends that can put together a cohesive sentence) look up to me. WTF?

I know, there's a few of you, mostly mothers, reading and saying: "Well, what about your wife? She has to do everything now." Who says? Just because my daughter screams her name, doesn't mean she comes running each and every time. I'm still on morning, dinner and bedtime duty. The only difference is it's under protest... both from me, and my daughter. And, as annoying as it is for my wife to watch me struggle and hear my daughter call out to her, time and again, she loves it at the same time. It's payback for the fact that the first word my daughter ever spoke was "Daddy," and it pisses her off.

I don't know how long this will last? I don't know if it will come and go like Taylor Hick's musical career. All I know is I have one thing going for me, and that is this: girls love their Daddy's more than their Mommy's in the long run. It's a fact! And I can live with that. So, laugh it up Mommy. While your name's being called every five seconds, I'm catching up on the Hockey play-offs... and biding my time until, once again, I'm the favorite (I hope). And the next time you go to pick-up our daughter at daycare, and she doesn't want to leave with you, it will serve you right.

It will serve you right!

Here's some more information on Mommyitis. I hope it helps when the time comes:


http://www.babycenter.com/400_what-can-i-do-if-my-toddler-prefers-me-to-her-father_500158_0.bc

http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/parents/favoring.html

http://articles.familylobby.com/340-when-children-seem-to-prefer-one-parent-over-.htm

http://www.parentsask.com/expert-round-tables/mommy-over-daddy-when-your-toddler-prefers-one-parent-over-other

http://www.babyzone.com/toddler/toddler_development/whining_tantrums/article/toddler-prefers-one-parent

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out!!! Loved it!

    ReplyDelete