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Color Him Father

This morning Smoochy called me while I was driving in to work.  Somehow the conversation turned to Lovegirl and the fair.  I told him that I was planning to take Lovegirl to the fair tomorrow since it has finally stopped raining and this is the last weekend the fair will be in town.  I asked what time he’d be home Saturday and did he want us to wait for him so he could go with us.  He was like “nope, I don’t want to go, y’all go ahead.” 

So, I got mad.  Not screaming, cursing mad – ’cause really, that’s not my style – but straight silent treatment mad. (And yes, I realize this may be a little passive-aggressive)

I told Smoochy that I thought it important that he and Lovegirl do more during their time together – remember, he drives trucks and is home for about 1.5 days a week – than sit on the couch and watch Noggin.  That he needs to do things with her, take her places, etc.  His reply?  “But I don’t like the fair.”  Dude, really?  I’m not a big fan of the MS State Fair (no offense) but I take Lovegirl because she likes it – not out of any desire I have to smell deep fried dough and ride rides operated by less-than-savory-looking folks. 

Anyhoo, I got to thinking about my father and the time he spent with us.  And I’ve got to say – it wasn’t much.  My parents have been married for 38 years.  My dad has always worked hard and is and was an excellent provider.  Even in what I now recognize as lean years financially, we were good – my father worked two jobs for a number of years to ensure this.  However when I think about fun family times I primarily think about my mom and my brothers.  Vacations?  With my mom and brothers.  Weekends?  Mom and brothers.  Sitting up late at night tripping out?  Well, you get my drift.  My father has always been present in our lives, but he wasn’t really involved.  And now that we are all adults it is very obvious.  When we all get together and start tripping out – he’s kind of an outsider.  We’re all very close to my mom.  We love our father, but the relationship just isn’t the same.  And I want more for Lovegirl and Smoochy.

Lovegirl is very much a daddy’s girl – she would kick me to the curb in a heartbeat to spend time with him.  And I guess for her whether they are out and about or at home on the couch watching Noggin doesn’t matter.  I’m just wondering if it will always be this way.

I don’t want to project my issues on to Lovegirl and Smoochy’s relationship, but I also don’t want Smoochy to be sitting around looking crazy in 15, 20 years wondering why he and Lovegirl don’t have more of a relationship.  I’m not sure I’m articulating this the way I want to, but does that make sense? 

What, if anything, would you do in this situation?  Should I just leave Smoochy alone and let the chips fall where they may?  Am I trippin’ and projecting too much?  Whaddya think? 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts – have a great weekend – we’re off to the fair!  🙂

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9 thoughts on “Color Him Father

  1. I thing you should let him decide how he spends time with his daughter. I would suggest to him that it not be spent watching television, but if he doesn’t want to go to the fair then that’s okay. There are plenty of ways they can spend time together outside of the house.

    Also, I would express to him your feeling about your relationship with your father and let him know that you want more for your daughter. He might show some understanding.

  2. I’m stepping out of lurking mode, even though I follow your blog, and have it on my google reader. 🙂

    My father was one of the biggest impacts in my life, having had him there was such a blessing. We did so much together while I was growing up, fishing, playing games, making things, yard work, going out together just us. Those memories are definitely valued, and helped to bond us.

    I would suggest that you ask him to find things he enjoys and start involving Lovegirl and teaching her at the same time. Of course my dad did things with us that he didn’t want to, simply because we liked them. However, he also involved us with things he liked, and we liked it because we were spending time with our dad, so it was a win-win. Lovegirl is happy now, but as you know the older they get the more their interests shift, so while this is a happy medium for the two of them, within a few months she might no longer be as happy just sitting there watching tv.

    You definitely should express your concerns to him. I think part of it is that he’s away so much, so he might not really feel the connection, he probably feels somewhat detached from his role as a father. It is extremely important for you to allow him to come in and give him his time to spend with Lovegirl, but ask that he find some other things to do. Take it from me, their bond will be one that will last a lifetime. Fathers are extremely important, and valued, so do all you can to allow him to continue to cultivate their relationship.

    Sorry for this being so long 🙂 best of luck with everything, I’m sure everything will turn out just fine!

  3. I like Babs’ advice a lot. When I think of my dad, the one memory that always comes back to me is when I was like 9 or 10 and we were sitting on the couch and he was cornrowing my hair one night because my mommy had to work late. After that I really can’t recall any fun times I had with my dad. He was always there, but I don’t remember doing anything enjoyable with him, it was always my ma. I’ll be back to finish this thought later…

  4. I’m admittedly a little sensitive to this subject from growing up sans present father, but I see where he is coming from. Although, to me parenting is doing stuff that you don’t want to do. I said all that to say, that I’m gonna go head have no opinion on this one until I have kids of my own. LOL

  5. I applaud your honesty with your husband. I have a challenged relationship with my dad and work hard to foster a relationship between him and my kids, and even though he’s been present throughout my life, my memories of he and I doing things together are limited. My husband is very active with our kids and I’m so grateful. It’s not about what he “wants/likes” to do, it’s about exceeding your comfort zone to engage your children on their level, explore their interests at least some of the time… and that’s not just your job as mommy.

  6. I agree with your first 2 commenters wholeheartedly. Talk to him about what your relationship was like with your father and how that makes you feel. I would think that’d speak loud and clear.

  7. All –

    Thanks for your comments/input. I really do appreciate it. I did talk to Smoochy and basically told him that I want he and Lovegirl to continue to have a wonderful relationship and that I feared that his limited activities with her was going to have an impact on their relationship. Not now – because TV is the hotness for her – but later on down the line. I also told him that the fair itself wasn’t really the issue.

    Anyhow, he agreed to try and do more with Lovegirl and I agreed to let them cultivate their own relationship without bringing my issues into theirs.

    Thanks again 🙂

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