There are no books out there that can adequately prepare a father for the joys of having a daughter. And while they can be the beautiful princesses that you’ve always dreamed of; they also develop a nasty side early on, that can be tough to tame. In my eyes at least, I have been a loving father who enjoys spending as much time as possible with my kids. Being that my daughter is only 20 months old and the fact that my wife runs a day care out of our house, I haven’t had to do too many full days alone with my little bundle of joy.
That’s not to say I can’t handle it or even get nervous at the thought of it, but Julia has a classic case of “Mommy’s Girl” syndrome. It affects about 9 out of 10 girls and it can wreak havoc on a Dad’s psyche to know that she’d rather be able to see Mommy at all times; and that if she can’t see Mommy, she’s going to look for her feverishly. Inevitably, when she realizes Mommy is no longer there and looks at you as the only option left, the water works will begin.
We tried having Kristine sneak out of the house, while the kids are playing, like a ninja. We even tried the “hey, look over there” bit, while Mommy slides silently out the front door, but nothing worked. Until I found JibJab.com.
There we were at Christmas time and a relative of mine thoughfully included me on the email of his family’s hilarious Bobble Headed rendition of Jingle Bell Rock. It was funny enough that I thought I would make a video of my family so I could show the kids their dancing faces on the computer andpossibly give them a laugh. What followed was an unhealthy slew of daily requests to watch the JibJab video. It became the response to every question I had, “What do you want for dinner guys?”, “JibJab” my daughter would say as she pointed at the computer screen. “What movie do you guys want for movie night Luke?”, “I wanna watch JibJab daddy” he’d reply. I’d created JibJab monsters and by the end of the first week, I had created about 7 different videos, including one where we were all characters from Star Wars and Luke had hilariously chosen me to play the role of Princess Leia.
It was becoming like groundhog day around the house in that I knew every morning I woke up, the first step, before even getting milks ready, would be to load up the JibJab so the kids could stay occupied. It was getting to be too much, until the day Mommy had to go out for a bit and Julia was on the cusp of meltdown, when Daddy suggested “Want to watch a JibJab?”. Immediately the quivering lip paused as she stared at me, contemplating my request. After looking back at Mommy for a minute (I’m assuming the look was her way of asking Mommy’s permission to let her go without throwing a fit) she happily ran over to me and took up her place at the computer.
I had done it! I had conquered the Mommys and on month later, that little trick is still my way of getting my foot in the door with my daughter. It may not be perfect, but when faced with a sad baby girl, you do what you gotta do to survive!!!
As a special treat, here’s a copy of my daughter’s favorite JibJab video. It stars her Mommy, which I’m assuming is the trade off for letting Mommy go out alone and leaving her with crazy Daddy.