I saw this a couple of years ago but at nearly two years into parenting this is the truest thing I’ve heard about fatherhood outside of Chris Rock’s “Big Piece of Chicken” and girls that have daddy issues (reminder: two posts for another time). The way almost every man watches their and other people’s kids is just how Kevin Hart described: sitting on the couch and listening for stuff. When things get too quiet you yell for the kids to find out what’s going on. Kids get to do whatever they want to do with daddy leaving mothers everywhere upset thinking we’re being irresponsible when they return and children’s clothes are a wreck and hair matted.
There’s a method to the madness. As you do what you’re doing (watching tv; usually some game that you can’t get away from because no teams have timeouts and its like 15 minutes until the end of the quarter, inning, period, set, or hole) and you listen for the silence. Children are loud and other than the few like Ms. Cydney Moriah who run on their toes make a lot of noise when they run around doing whatever they’re doing. When you hear silence for too long, you yell for them. It abruptly makes them jump from whatever they’re doing. When Cydney is off having solo time and I yell her name, within ten seconds she comes running yelling “Coming!” Now normally she’s doing one of two things: sneaking cat food and thinks I don’t see it or playing in the toilet.
My nephew is six and he’s pretty good about playing by himself and I’d Cydney does something he’s quick to come and tell me. I’m not worried too much about him sneaking and doing anything especially since his ticket to getting popped or punished is not listening.
Dads are like this because mommies are overbearing. My mother gets nervous with Cydney sleeping with her because she’s afraid she’s going to fall asleep. I’m not worried because she won’t and I have no problem falling asleep is she’s going to stay awake. It’s balance. For all of the having to wear coats, scarves, and wool hats because its cold outside but its really 73 degrees (22 degrees celsius for my followers not in America-kept it relatable ;-)).
I used to tell my fiance all through our relationship I’m relaxed because she isn’t. Being that I was more flexible than she was I’d balance us out. If she was 76.4 I’d be 23.6 because there’s no real 50/50 in marriage except carrying the load. When she was stingy with money I’d be like “its only money,” and when she’d have those moments where she spends like crazy I’d be the one saying “hey babe, its time to be frugal here.” It’s balance. You’ll find most men are like this with children as well. They need that one to let them go wild and happily clean up the mess just as much as they need structure.
As a single parent I try to do some of both. I’m way more relaxed in the evening and more rigid in the am… Balance.