Sometimes I wish that I could be the dad. I said to my husband yesterday, "Someday our little girl will be in her twenties. She'll be getting married and living on her own. And she'll still call you Daddy."
"Hmmm, probably," he replied. "And what will she call you?"
And in unison we answered, "Bitch!"
If you ignore that pesky earning-a-living-and-putting-bread-on-the-table thing, dads have it pretty good. They get to be the fun ones who are greeted with cheers and hugs every time they come through the door. With daughters especially, I think that the kids don't have to put so much time and energy into pulling away from a dad. So they can be closer as they get older.
Dads also seem to get to have these great teaching moments. Like today. We took the kids outside and finally got them riding their bikes. After some discussion, my husband got out the wrench and began that classic right of passage...teaching your kid to ride a bike without training wheels.
Now, truth be told, while he was doing that I was teaching my son to ride his "big kid" bike for the first time and silently begging my husband not to lose his temper and start yelling.
My daughter can be very hard to teach. And my husband and I are both a little wanting in the patience department. But after one rather harsh, "Why did you let go?" he reigned it in and was absolutely awesome with her.
It was the kind of scene that you see on television, and it was both sweet and poignant in its own way. But lately my husband has been struggling a little with his aging and his daughter's growing up.
In fact, we were watching The War at Home tonight. It's a new sitcom that deals with parenting teenagers. I shouldn't ever let him watch these types of shows, because he starts thinking about what it will be like when our daughter is a teenager. And he starts planning to get some time in at the firing range.
He seems to have trouble with the fact that I lost my virginity when I was 16. And I don't seem to regret it. He wants to know what I'm going to tell our daughter about sex when she's 16.
And since the sitcom was alluding to oral sex, he wanted to know when I gave my first blow job. He wasn't happy when I told him I was 16. No, he wasn't happy to say the least.
"And what are you going to tell her about that?" he asked in total exasperation.
"Well, honey. At least she can't get pregnant that way."
That's when he swallowed his tongue.
So I continued, "Besides, I'll teach her about women's rights." I banged my fist into my opposite palm. "I'll tell her to demand that she gets hers first before she dishes it out."
He found his tongue then.
"Get out. Get the fuck out. Get out of my house."
Aww. Poor baby can't take a joke.
So I went and bought him ice cream. And I promised that the first and only time he will ever know about her sex life is when she makes us grandparents.
I guess there are some good things about being the mom.