For That Special Father.

Here is one more from my treasured memory. This piece was published in an online magazine in 2008 on Father's Day.

They are Daddy’s girls inheriting most of his features, taste and attitude. Time spent with their Papa is a like a Disney ride- full of fun with no or minimal restrictions. Their whims are welcomed and answered and sometimes even promoted, as Papa loves to pamper them. Time with papa means wrestling on sofa and bed, going for fun activities and getting all their wishes fulfilled. Papa cannot see those melodramatic tears in his angel’s eyes. I am relegated to an ogre in their presence. With me, their treats are limited and their tantrums are unanswered. I have developed a thick cuticle for their melodramas. I am playful, but have to be strict and sometimes even go against my parental ethics and spank them lightly for their misdeeds.

Papa has long working hours, a lot of demands and pressures at work and those frequent business travels that makes him stay away from home for couple of weeks and sometimes even months. He has a tough fight to squeeze out quality time for his daughters and he always does that. But sometimes the treatment that he receives from his daughters leaves him hurt and in doubts about his bonding with his daughters.

I was busy cooking the elaborate meal for a special ‘Friday’ dinner. Friday is a special and enjoyable evening for my husband. From my kitchen, I had a warm feeling seeing three of them wrestling on the carpet in the living room. My husband was making noises of wild animals while they ran around him giggling. Suddenly the play was interrupted when my elder one bumped her head on the wall. Though Papa ran for rescue, she insisted on going to me. I came out of my kitchen and took her in my lap. Here the sibling rivalry was ignited and my two year old was not ready to share her mama with her elder sister. She also started crying and asking for me. Both of them refused the help assisted by their father and wanted a piece of mama at the same time. So I sat cross-legged on the carpet with both on each leg of mine. While I continued soothing them, my husband took care of the rest of the dinner. After feeding them and putting them to bed, I joined my husband for our Friday ritual of watching late night movie together without kids interrupting us. I could read his face. He felt left out when his daughters declined his assistance. “Why do they always demand for you? Even I love them.”- He said with a sigh.

I know my daughters do not realize it. He is not a man of words and gestures. So the message is not so well conveyed to those young brains. My daughters too love him but are not expressive about it. Despite of my occasional strictness, they still hug me and often will repeat, “ I love you, Mama”, but for Papa this expression comes very rare. They miss him when he is not around. They are too young to express it in words, but the unusual crying speaks for it.

Anyway, in a parenting scenario in our society, mothers come in front while fathers remain in the background. Moreover, we have our ugly stretch marks and our ever-increasing waistline to show of the pain and sufferings and to get the attention. Poor Dads! Have nothing to boast of their sacrifices and contributions.

I had my swollen belly, dull backaches, varicose vein, heart burns and sleepless nights. But he was the one who made things comfortable for me in that discomfort. His culinary extravaganza answered my unusual pregnancy cravings. He was alert for every single groan I made in the night. He gently pressed my back every night to relieve me of the discomfort. He made sure that I took fish twice in a week for baby’s developing brain and had my fruits and coconut water daily for her beautiful eyes and skin. The little kicks inside my womb excited him more than me. He rescheduled his business meetings to be with me for my doctor’s visits. He never missed those ultrasound sessions and kept guessing of little fingers and toes in those blurred images. He suffered my crazy hormone’s entire outburst and soothed me. He kept talking to me in the operation theatre to divert my mind from epidural injection.

Like every male, he might have wished for one son to do all the boyish things. All the Father-son rites go irrelevant when he is with his daughters. I could sense the gleam in his eyes when he held our second born for the first time. I have seen him holding them close, smelling their baby smells and treasuring the innocent looks on those unformed faces. He has been always by their side from ear infections to teething. He spent many such nights awake soothing them on his shoulders. He enjoys taking them for cycle ride and will never miss a chance to take them for  late night swimming lessons on weekends.

I hate taking him for shopping because of his disinterest and impatience. But Dad takes his sweet time shopping for his little daughters and can roam from one shop to other in search of perfect dresses for his daughters. He might forget to pick his much needed shaving cream from the supermarket but never returns home without his daughter’s favorite strawberries and cherries, though we might have enough of it already in our refrigerator.

They are his lodestars, the ones whom he looks forward to seeing at home after stressful work, whom he misses when away and calls home to find out what they are up to. It is warming to see the serene look on his face when he peeps into their room to see them sleeping in peace before he retires to his bed after a long day.

Only future will tell how well he handles his little princesses entering girlhood and then womanhood. How well he will tackle their inquisitions about birds and bees? How comfortable he would be with their choice of nail paints and lip colors? How will he react to the other ‘special man’ in their lives? But for now, he is comfortable and enjoying being in their little castles trying to learn their rhymes and songs and sing in tune with them.
My blog is for the boy I got married to, who matured to a man and still everyday I  witness him grow and groom as a Dad.



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