Thursday, July 30, 2009

The MIA Daddy

Today I took Jennifer along with me when I went to the grocery store. She wanted to use her allowance money to buy two dinosaur toys. She was a dollar short so I suggested that if she forfeit her allowance for tomorrow, then I would cover the extra. (I don't know if I'll stay true to that deal, though; she went above and beyond in helping me with the housework today. I was so proud of her for being so helpful. But I am trying to teach a lesson here, so maybe I'll keep the deal. But also take her out for ice cream tomorrow!)

Anyway, later in the day, I saw her playing with all of her dinosaur toys. She has five little dinosaurs and now the two big ones. I asked her if the big ones were the mommy and daddy dinosaurs and she said they were.

I asked her, "Is that why you wanted to buy those dinosaurs?"

She answered, "Yes, so that they can have parents now."

Ah, my daughter, the future adoption advocate.

This evening, I started getting dinner ready, unsure of if my husband was going to spend his "lunch break" having dinner with us. Still, I made enough chicken taco stuff for everybody. Unfortunately, he could not join us because he was so busy with his work.

When I informed Jennifer, she looked at Jesse then began to pretend crying like a baby and saying, "Dada. Dada."

I frowned at her, thinking she was trying to get him wanting his "Dada." And I said, "Jennifer, I don't think that's going to make him do anything."

Then she REALLY started to cry and say, "I want my dad!"

My heart just broke right then and there. At first I went back in time to when I was divorced and she would cry for him and say "I want my Daddy!" and he was not "there" there for her. And now she's crying for him again, when he COULD be here for her, but wasn't. By choice.

I calmed her down and explained to her that her dad had A LOT of work to do and could not have dinner with us. I was upset with hubby for not having dinner with his family and putting work first instead. I know I should be grateful he HAS work. That he has a job and everything. But he misses out on so much downtime stuff with Jennifer, like reading her a bedtime story.

I was also mentally kicking myself for opening my big fat mouth about it. I shouldn't have said anything.

Later, Jennifer brought the "daddy" dinosaur to me and said I could have it. I jokingly grinned and asked, "Are you trying to get your money back?"

She said no.

Then I said, "Are you giving that to me because that one's the daddy?"

She nodded. "I wish daddy would spend more time with me."

I told her to keep the dinosaur and don't worry about it. I comforted her and told her I would talk to her dad about this. (Just the other night, she was crying about how he hardly ever spends time with her. We were watching a show on TV and this father was fishing with his daughter. She started to really tear up over that. She is a Daddy's girl without the Daddy.)

I am trying to get my husband to actually spend that time with her. So far, I've managed to get him to take her to the park to fly her kite and I've also suggested he take her along when he goes on his outings. (He rarely does.) I will keep trying but I think I will also need to talk to him about this, too. It's been bothering his daughter for some time and he should be reminded that it's important he spend some quality time with her every once in a while.

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