I am glad that Zoe loves her dad. Sometimes, however, I get tired of her stopping in the midst of what she’s doing, or suddenly taking on the Charlie Brown pathetic posture and saying “I miss Daddy.” Or “I miss Daddy so much. Or “I am so sad because I really really really miss Daddy.”
Yes, she can be a bit of a drama queen. But I always struggle not to take this personally. My husband reminds me that she spends a lot more time with me than with him, so it’s understandable that she misses him. But when we’re together and things are going well, why does she have to think about him so much? He also reminds me that when she’s with him, she often says that she misses me. I believe him, but of course I don’t hear her say that.
What may be worse is when I’m being the bad guy and that launches her into an emotional fit of longing. As in, “No, you can’t play with the blood pressure machine,” or “No, you can’t have another cookie.” She looks at me as though I’ve sentenced her to a time-out for the rest of her life. “When’s Daddy coming home? I miss Daddy.” It’s no fun being the bad guy.
There’s an episode of Modern Family where they talk about the idea that you can only have one fun parent. Although Zoe and I have a lot of fun together, sometimes I feel like that’s the case because I’m usually the one who says, “Zoe, let’s have a fun adventure. We’re going to Target!” or “Zoe, I have a special job for you. Can you help me fold the laundry?” Or “Zoe, I need help making dinner. Can you do the measuring?” Sometimes she falls for it and sometimes she doesn’t. I spend a lot of time creating fun activities for her (that aren’t always thinly disguised chores) and me to do together. But sometimes it’s just real life. What else are you gonna do?
I’m going away this weekend with a couple mom friends to the beach. While I certainly need the break and am grateful for the opportunity to take it, I already miss my husband and Zoe. And while I am delighted that Zoe is thrilled beyond belief to have her “Daddy Daughter Days,” as we’ve been calling the weekend, I kinda want her to miss me too. Because I’m kinda fun too. At least sometimes.