I’m having the dilemma of potentially earning the stigma of “Disneyland Dad” (DD) with my would-be ex-wife. While there are a couple of definitions out there such as a dad who only takes weekend/vacation hours, but I’m meaning being the dad who caves to his kids every whim and treats them as though time with dad is purely fun time. This label could appear to be on its way to well earned. I took the kids snow-tubing yesterday evening. Today, we went to go see the latest and last installment of “The Hobbit” (although this was with the ex-wife in addition to the kids). The previous “dad” weekend was my son’s birthday (again celebrated as a family of four) and the one before that I brought them to a science and engineering family day at the University of Minnesota, combined with feeding them ice cream for dinner.
In writing this I’m finding I have a long way to go to be a card carrying DD. I still enforce bedtimes, insist the kids are respectful and behave, make them bathe and (aside from the one ice cream incident) do try to make them eat healthy. My son is a little easier going than my daughter and is less prone to meltdown or a battle. Unfortunately, I sometimes overuse his accommodating attitude to get my daughter more quickly pacified. I have to admit going to war with her is not my idea of a fun time. As much as I’d love to be the center of my kids’ entertainment universe their growing up being smart, strong, good natured individuals trumps every weekend being playtime.
There is still a lot of adjusting going on. I’m not permanently settled, emotions range from near meltdown to excitement at the prospect of getting to be my own person and having some new adventures in life. I am very much looking forward to sharing in many of these with the kids (even a few of them with my ex-wife still, at least until it’s time to full move on and find that new life partner). My son even has some big plans as he wants to go to Greece on account of the Percy Jackson adventures. My daughter’s world is still small and she’d happily take Disneyland :).