New Dad

Last night my four-year-old Đán said to me “We need a new dad. The old dad is bad.” Yes, I am bad for giving him a bath and brushing his teeth. He went on, “Daddy, can I push you off the wall so we can have a different daddy.” I was not sure if I should laugh or cry.

I hate to be the one always making them do the mundane things like taking bath or brushing their teeth. They are not only thankless tasks, but the the kids hate me for making them do them. My new strategy has been that if they don’t want me to help them, they’ll have to do themselves. If they don’t them on their own, let them stay smelly for several days to see how they feel. They haven’t reached that point yet because their mom would step in, wash them up, and then get grumpy with me.

I am using that strategy with food. If they don’t want to eat, I put the food away. Not that I am being harsh, but they won’t die if they don’t eat in a day or two. These kids are so damn lucky that the take things like food for granted. Then again, if they got really hungry they would eat anything. Like last week when I came to pick up Đán from daycare in the evening. He pulled out his noodle, which he didn’t eat at lunch, and finished every last piece. I just sat next to him, watched him eat, and felt satisfied.

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