Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tribute to Avey's Dad

I have often heard that in general, mothers are the nurturers of children. The parent that listens, offers support, teaches, and what I sometimes call the person who offers the “mushy-gushy feelings”. However, in our family, this is not accurate. In memory of Father’s Day, I proudly proclaim on the worldwide web that Eli provides Avey with excellent support, validation, empathy, patience, respect, and dignity. Yet, he does this without losing his manly identity. If the truth were told, I feel much closer to him in the moments I see him being the tender, kind parent he is. He teaches me daily by example of how to treat a 2-and-a-half year old with respect by listening to her endless requests, and about patience by repeating the same phrases again and again, or talking in a requested character voice. He teaches me further about patience when he offers her several ways of accomplishing a task, or waiting and giving her every opportunity to comply with a request. In fact, if Eli had a possible fault as a father, it might be that he is too patient and generous. By Eli’s daily interactions with Avey he reminds me that she deserves and requires just as much respect, validation, and needs to be listened to as much as any adult would require to feel loved and supported. So, thank you, Eli for your great example to me of what a father, and parent should be. Thank you for being my equal companion in bearing the heavy, but completely fulfilling responsibility of being a parent. Here is to many more fulfilling years in our journey of parenthood. Love, Kira

Then....
And now.

Fathers' Hats

As another Father's Day comes around, I have begun to reflect upon the many different types of work that are associated with fatherhood, at least around our home. Here are a few of the "hats" I have worn over the past few years, in no particular order:
  • Chauffeur
  • Interpreter
  • Salesman
  • Hostage Negotiator
  • Diplomat
  • Law Enforcement Official
  • Sanitation Technician
  • Hair Stylist
  • Fashion Designer
  • Pedicurist
  • Manicurist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Actor
  • Voice Talent
  • Life Coach
  • Personal Therapist
  • Bodyguard
  • Dietitian
  • Phonetician
  • Crayon Art Critic
  • Movie Screener
  • Imaginary Food Taste Tester
  • Singer/Voice Coach
  • Physical Therapist - specializing in walking development
  • Teacher
  • Mentor
  • Confidant
  • Teammate
  • Storyteller
  • First Responder in Crises (mostly kissing "owies")
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Punching Bag
  • Personal Chef
  • Janitor
  • and, my favorite role, Playmate
For time's sake, we sum all of these roles into one word: "father." With all of the many roles a father must play, and the thousands of "hats" they wear day to day, I tip my hat (pun entirely intended, and probably awkwardly worked in) to all of the men in the world who have been any one or more of these things, or thousands of others, to me. Happy Fathers' Day!

As a part of our celebration, we went to the Wishing Star Petting Zoo on Saturday: something I've been waiting to do for a long time! Here are a few highlights:
video
When we got in the car and asked her what her favorite animal was she said, "The cow statue." It was a little plastic cow head stuck on a bale of hay. Oh well... at least I enjoyed petting the bunnies...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heroes

Earlier this week I spoke with a father of two. His children are now 25 and 16 years old, and when he learned that mine is nearing 3, he reflected aloud on what a wonderful age that is because the child still believes her Daddy is Superman. "You're enormous to her at that age. You're the strongest, most admirable person in her world. She really believes you're invulnerable."I reflected upon his statements later in the week after Avey watched The Great Muppet Caper for the first time. With her habit of assigning names of characters to the rest of the people she knows, I assumed she would do the same with this movie, an old favorite of mine. True to form, she fell in love with the muppets and was about to assign me a character. "What's Isaac's [an uncle's] name?" she solicited my input. "Gonzo?" I offered. She agreed. "And what's your name?" she tempted. I went out on a limb with, "Um... Kermit?" I was met with laughter. "No!I'm Kermit! You're Miss Piggy!" This was the moment that the gentleman's words rung in my mind's ear - Daddy is Superman. For several minutes I tried to find some way to liken Miss Piggy to Superman, and then hung my head in shame.
This was quite the week otherwise too. Kira was at Girls' Camp most of the week, leaving us with plenty of daddy-daughter time. Turns out our modem was the culprit in our inability to upload pictures, so I got a new one (hence the pictures). We're loving the nice weather, and doing our best to relax a tiny bit this Summer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Too Much Fun

Our financial institution loves us. Just to show us their appreciation (and promote the grand opening of their new building), they had a big party on Saturday. We received an invitation in the mail a couple of weeks ago and it didn't really sound terribly appealing, but Avey and I were home alone for several hours and it was a lovely day, so we decided to attend. It ended up being much bigger than I expected! Avey got a balloon animal - a tiger jumping through a ring of fire - and a little spray-on tattoo of a flower. She and I also sat and ate popcorn, hot dogs, and tried a snow cone!
There were four of those inflatable slides, bouncing rooms, and an obstacle course. I thought Avey would love those for sure. We went to the first slide, where she looked around for a couple of seconds before reaching for me and requesting to get down. I thought maybe it was because there were some bigger children on it. So we tried the next one - just a place to bounce. She didn't even want to crawl through the small door to get in! So we tried the next one - another bouncy room. The entrance was bigger, so she entered, and then just sat down and sort of rocked back and forth. She didn't even try the fourth one.
Even if I thought it was a bit odd, she insisted that it was lots of fun. I suppose that's all that matters.
(We're still having bizarre internet problems [we can't upload anything], so we'll have to save pictures for another time. Sorry)