Sometimes being a parent is a joy. This usually takes place when the children are out of the house, perhaps sleeping over at a friend’s, at summer camp or college, fighting in some foreign country or orbiting the earth in the space shuttle.
But I have to say that I do my best parenting when I let my wife do the parenting. She’s everything that I’m not. Patient. Kind. Well-liked among the children. Don’t believe me? Read the results of the latest Gallup poll. My wife scored quite high in likability while I came in a distant third behind a doorstop we used to have.
I have to admit, however, that doorstop was pretty special. I miss it.
I recently enlisted a (very cheap) P.R. firm to study this very issue and make recommendations. They said I could increase my likability index with my kids if they just would like me more. You get what you pay for, I guess.
Anyway, with that nugget of wisdom, I have set out to improve my relationship with my kids. And I think it’s working, too. Whereas once I was deeply loathed, now I am merely ignored.
But not always!
That’s right. My children do fervently seek me out when they need me to drive them places or give them money. Particularly when it’s my birthday, Father’s Day or when I am indisposed in the bathroom. But I am happy to oblige just to see their little eyes light up when they say, “Mom, who’s that guy using our toilet?”