I came home from work one night and sat down to dinner with the family. Usual chaos, flying food, giggles, and squeals.
My wife promptly informed me that she would like to run to the store and do some shopping before the stores close. I have no problem with this, I have the troops on a regimented bedtime routine and should be able to clean the monsters up and march them straight to bed with maybe a little prebedtime rasslin match. No problem.
So she stands, rapidly grabs her purse and bolts for the door. At which point my 7yr old proclaims, “your leaving us with HIM??!! Really?!”
I wasn’t sure how to take this.
The more I thought about it, the more it was clear. It is a typical good cop, bad cop scenario in our house. Most nights, I start calling for them to get ready for bed and they typically scurry in the general direction of mom. I say general, because kids have no concept of straight lines unless cookies are involved. Mom, of course cuddles and coos with them, the kids stall, I push further to start getting ready for bed and they scatter again. However, I tend to find them again back at mom. Mom, of course tells them to get ready for bed, but somehow lacks the real “umph” of commitment and she cant resist the many child stall tactics of, “im thirsty”, “read us another story”, “can we cuddle”, and “I gotta cocka!”
I on the other hand tend to be the enforcer, ultimately I drag them to bed against repeated objections giving them the, “life’s not fair” speech.
It was clear, without momma around the kids would have much fewer viable stall tactics.
Maybe, I’m a little to harsh. So I decided to use this opportunity to “soften” my image.
I gave into several of their stall tactics and even spent extra time doing one of their favorite nighttime activities, rasslin. I sang them a song and then put them to bed. It was a good night and we were all feeling close and loving.
As I turned out the light, the same 7yr old who had exclaimed worry about being left with me, quietly asked, “daddy, when is mommy coming home? I want to cuddle.”
“Son, I can cuddle with you.”
“But Daddy your hard and spiky.” He then laughed and said he was kidding…. but deep down, I don’t think he was.
No matter how “soft” i ever try to be. I will never be mommy.
Thank goodness I don’t have to be.