Originally published 4/15/2010 on Momaha.com
Dads are like superheroes: if there’s a problem, we can swoop in and solve it!
Frisbee stuck on the roof…
POW! Got it.
Doll house broken…
THUMP! Kissed and bandaged.
Training wheels needed to be taken off the bike…
Training wheels needed to be put back on the bike…
SPLAT! No problem.
We dads can get to feeling invincible sometimes; like there’s no problem too big or too small that we can’t fix. We can feel like superheroes in the eyes of our children! But then our child gets really sick or really hurt and we discover there is a lump of kryptonite in our pocket.
Last week, our 22-month old, Rachel, had minor surgery to put tubes in her ears. She did great going with the doctor to the operating room and didn’t cry or fuss at all. About 10 minutes later, the doctor emerged and told us everything went well, but warned us that she would be very crabby when the anesthesia wore off.
The doctor assured us that she wouldn’t be in any pain, but more like mad from getting woken up right in the middle of the good part of a great dream.
Well, I’ve dealt with many a cranky kid in my 7 year career as an at-home dad so I was ready to swoop in and…
DA DA DA DAAAA! Get pushed away?
Somehow a giant piece of kryptonite had been shoved in my pocket and I was completely powerless to help our little angel. She wanted nothing to do with me, even to the point that my wife had to take her out of the recovery room and down the hall so Rachel couldn’t see me because every time she looked at me she started screaming and crying and flailing.
I am the one who is with her almost every hour of every day. I cuddle with her, read her her favorite stories over and over, kiss her ouchies and have to carry her with me anytime I try to leave a room without her. But on this one day when she needed comforting, I was the last one she wanted.
It was almost a surreal experience listening and watching our angel cry while being utterly powerless to help her. I paced back and forth in the recovery room doing everything I could to not rush over to her and hold her and make her feel better.
When I started staying home, I had thought our kids would bond with me more than the average dad. I thought that would mean that they would want either mom or dad when they were really sick or hurt instead of just mom as it is in most traditional families in which moms are usually the ones who are home more of the time.
I learned last week, as I have countless times before, that no matter how much I am with our children and how great of a dad I am, they still prefer mom when they don’t feel well.
And I have to accept the fact that sometimes there is kryptonite in my pocket.