Monday, June 18, 2007

Daddy v.2.0

When I was still married to my ex, I didn't think he was a very good father. We had two children together but he was too busy at work to help me raise them. He had a restaurant to run and he was never home. During the delivery of the second one, when I called him to tell him that the contractions have started and he had to take me to the hospital, his answer was: «Does it have to be now?». He was completely useless in the delivery room (both times) and the nurse had to prompt him (in vain) : «Mr. X, help your wife with the breathing!». And of course, he didn't help with night feedings and insisted that we use cloth diapers until I forced him to wash the diapers, and that was when we switched to Pampers. He didn't want us to buy a car, even with two young kids, so I had to just go ahead and buy my own damn car. Once I came home from work to find the eldest son (he was three or four at the time) locked inside the car, screaming and red in the face, his hair dripping wet from sweat - he was sleeping when they got home, so rather than waking him up, his dad just locked him in the car and went inside the house to take a nap. When we traveled, he would just find his seat, buckle his seatbelt then go to sleep and let me fend with two toddlers. If we had to go anywhere, he would get dressed and go wait near the door. Once he said: «I don't understand why I can get ready in ten minutes, but you can't.» That's when I exploded and started blasting him: «I could get ready in five minutes if I had only myself to take care of!!». I could tell you more anecdotes, but you can see why I had a very poor impression of my ex's fathering skills. I told everyone who asked that I was a single parent. And when I finally decided to leave him, I asked the children how they would feel if I divorced their dad and they wouldn't see him that often anymore. They said: «What's the difference, he's never home.»

Then after the divorce, he hooked up right away with another woman. They immediately had a little girl and my ex was completely transformed. He became a doting father, taking his daughter everywhere with him. She was thoroughly spoiled, running around in restaurants, knocking glasses, hitting people, making a nuisance of herself and he would just look at her adoringly, saying: kids will be kids. I used to invite them over for Christmas dinner, but when asked to use a fork, she would deliberately touch everything with her fingers, taking food from other people's plates and he would defend her each time. It got so bad that one Christmas, I had to tell him: «Look, I'm inviting you to our Christmas dinner, but not your daughter. My mother will not come if you bring her.» I don't know if that was a wakeup call for him, cause he was really shocked. Or maybe it's the fact that they soon had a second child, but things got better after that. Now he still takes his children everywhere, and apparently he takes care of them, cooks for them, and I heard him say to someone that he's retired so he can spend more time with them.

I'm bringing all this up to show that it is possible for a man to develop a nurturing instinct. For his first set of children, the transformation came a bit too late, but I'm not bitter or envious, because I really enjoyed the time spent with my children, just the three of us, through good times and bad times, and I think they turn out great, even though raised by a single mother. So to all the men out there who think that a man's job is to make money and that children are a woman's department, my message is: Enjoy your children while you can, cause they'll be all grown up and gone before you know it. Take it from a woman who didn't want children to start with and who still find babies mildly annoying.


kca said...

Tes pots deviennent de plus en plus personnels.

Pour ton ex, il etait tout de meme plus attentionner que mon pere. A ma naissance, il etait pas la, Mama m'a dit qu' il etait busy avec une de ses meufs, et qu' il n' a pas oser me prendre durant mes 2 premiers mois, car j' etais trop blanc a son gout. Ce qui supposait que j'etais pas son fils... Apres le reste est tout de meme desastreux. Sans rancune tout de meme.

Buddhist with an attitude said...

"Tes pots deviennent de plus en plus personnels." ... et ça dérange un peu, je sais.

Je ne sais pas pourquoi, j'ai le sentiment que je vais mourir bientôt (sans blague) alors je veux tout dire, pour mes enfants et la postérité. Les gens n'aiment pas être confrontés à la vérité. Quand je dis quelque chose de pas flatteur sur quelqu'un, non pas de la médisance mais quelque chose que je n'aurai aucune hésitation à dire à l'intéressé, mes interlocuteurs essayent soit de défendre machinalement la personne, soit de changer de conversation... une sorte d'auto-censure. J'ai toujours trouvé ça bizarre.

Tu étais trop blanc? J'ai du mal à l'imaginer... ;-)

kca said...

Non non ce n est pas une critique.

Si tu as le sentiment que la fin approche (bizarrement on devrait l avoir des le debut) alors dis tt ce que tu as a dire, mais n oublies rien.:)

ps: j ai de la creme a bronzer dans la salle de bain

Buddhist with an attitude said...

C'est très libérateur. C'est comme purger la mémoire d'un ordinateur.