Tonight, I was tested as a parent like never before.
Recently, during dinnertime, Hope has finished eating much quicker than The Civee or I. And she repeatedly lets us know she’s finished. Sometimes she will sit with us as we eat, but many nights, she wants to get out of her chair and play, often asking for us to leave the table and play with her.
The Civee and I usually don’t give in. We’re fine letting her down early, but it’s our goal to finish our meal, hopefully impressing upon her the idea that as a family, we sit together until everyone is done eating. I should probably also mention that one of her favorite commands is “come,” and she will say this as she reaches for our hands to take us somewhere to show us something or to play with us.
Well, tonight, she finished early. And The Civee and I were enjoying our pork chops and conversation, so we let her down. She stood by my chair and looked up at me, grabbing my hand. “Come,” she said. To which I replied, “Hope, I am not done. We will play when mama and dada are done eating.”
She went away and came back after a few moments. Still with a big smile on her face, she looked up at me; “Daddy…come.” This started to weaken my resolve. The Civee and I had always taught her to refer to us as Mama and Dada. I don’t know where she got it from, but within the last week, she’s started calling me Daddy instead of Dada, and it just sounds so cute. But still, I stayed seated and continued my meal.
She pouted a little, went into the living room and came back a minute later. She grabbed at my hand, pointed to the couch with her other hand and said as she smiled and looked into my eyes; “Daddy….come. Watch…..Weezer.”
And there it was. This little girl knows my weak spot. We don’t watch a lot of television with her (and I’m pretty sure that Weezer videos are the only thing she and I watch together), but we do enjoy the many kid-friendly videos Weezer has. The Civee was looking at me too and I knew I had to stay put. I could not give in at this point. I simply said, “Hope, no.”
She started to cry. Which made me want to cry. All because I’m trying to teach her a lesson. We’ve had a great weekend so far, spending a lot of time playing and even taking a trip to COSI while The Civee studied. There will most likely be a time in the future when she won’t want to hang out or want my attention as much as she does now. And as tough as it may be to believe, she may not always want to watch Weezer videos with me.
Still, she does have to learn about mealtime. And I can’t give her the idea that I’m putty in her hands. It’s tough, but I’d like to think that what I did tonight was good for both of us.