My Prince Did Come…

Categories:Preschool Years

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s my June submission for She…

We don’t shop as a family. That’s a no-no for us; it’s just too nutty with a six year-old and a three year-old. Some families do it masterfully, and they make me want to run over them with my shopping cart. In the interest of our sanity, we just abstain from family shopping. So, one Saturday we whizzed through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A. I inhaled my lunch, so I could run in to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy a birthday gift while Chris and the girls finished lunch in the car (restrained eaters can be a good thing). In the store, I dashed around, searching for the gift, hoping all was well outside.

When I crawled back into my seat, everything seemed peachy. No one was crying; lunch was done; each daughter was playing with her kid’s meal toy, and Chris looked calm – a little glazed over – but nothing major. I had the gift, the last of its kind on the shelf, and our mission was successful and complete.

There was more, however, to the story than I, or even Chris, had been aware of. As we were driving home, Carson began to elaborate on the events that transpired in the car while I was shopping. “Momma, while you were in the store, Campbell snatched my toy and wouldn’t give it back.”

“So what did you do? Did you tell Daddy?”

“Yeah, I tried to, but he didn’t do anything. I called him and called him, but he wouldn’t pay attention. I finally yelled, ‘What’s a parent good for?’ and he still didn’t listen.”

I swallowed a smile and glanced over at Chris, who was hearing all this for the first time too, and commented to her, “Well, you guys must have worked it out okay, huh?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

My husband’s ability to tune out the noise generated by the sassy women in his life is an attribute that probably serves him well. It has probably evolved as a defense mechanism – his psyche’s way of protecting his sanity. ‘Cause he’s the lone male in a house with three girls (two little, one big – all bossy).

He is our protector, provider, our resident comedian and fix-it man. He bears sole responsibility for anything we deem man-related like pets, grass, leaks, light bulbs, oil, trash, tires, wires, insurance, retirement, plants, and so much more. Little stuff like affirming our beauty, reading our minds, rolling with our mood swings and contradictions, pacifying our whining, speaking reason and peace into our lives, looking courageously into the face of pure, full-blown female meltdowns, and surprising us with tokens of his affection. We’re not an easy crowd, I know.

So what’s in this arrangement for him, you might ask. He is adored by us. Our daughters dig their daddy. He was just away for two weeks, and Carson cried every day. Campbell was ticked at him for leaving, and I was somewhere in between those two reactions.

They love to climb on Daddy, attack Daddy, tickle Daddy, and slide down Daddy. They like to pretend to be baby jaguars and Daddy is the zookeeper. They like to pile on the couch and pretend they’re on a boat in a terrible storm where crew members and supplies keep falling overboard. They like to play Roly Poly car where they drive this car and make lots of imaginary stops on their journey to nowhere. They stand on their princess picnic table in the back yard and chant a gazillion times, “Go, Daddy, go!” as he competes in one volleyball game after another. They invariably say, “I want to go show Daddy” when we’ve done something different with their hair or when they’re donning some new duds. They’ll just run and stand before him without saying a word, and he perceives how tickled they are with themselves and understands that they are awaiting his admiration. And he gushes – much to their delight. They like to date him, dance with him, and devour his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I am not allowed to make them if he is anywhere on the premises).

We have a plaque in the girls’ bathroom that reads, “My prince did come…His name is Daddy.” And he is just that. So, though his life may be filled with more prissy and pink than he might prefer, there’s no shortage of female adoration either.

Earlier in the school year, Carson was sharing about a flirtation between two classmates that was blossoming during recess on the playground. I stifled the urge to rant against romance in 5K, and quizzically asked, “Do you have a boyfriend?”

My heart sank when she replied, “Yes…..” in a coy tone.

“Who’s your boyfriend?”

Totally unprompted and never having had this conversation before, she replied very confidently, “Daddy’s my boyfriend.” And I breathed a grateful, grateful sigh of relief…

Mr. Principal

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