Daddy Daughter Day

Filed under: family,funny,moments — by Lex on August 14th, 2008 @ 8:01 am

This past Sunday, Lauren went into NYC to visit a friend. I told Anya that because Mommy was taking the bus to New York, that Anya and I would have a very special Daddy Daughter Day.

I had her at “bus.”

“Mommy take the bus! Mommy go to New Jork!” (Anya has an interesting accent sometimes.)

Now, spending time with one’s offspring isn’t a special event. I hate when it’s implied that because I’m home with Anya, I’m “babysitting.” No; I’m parenting. Spending an hour or a day solo with kid is part of Dadhood, and doesn’t suggest that I’ve achieved some milestone.

Still, with Lauren going away for the day, I thought it’d be fun to label the day as special and plan some activities, vs. just hanging out and playing at home. I also assumed that if we gave the day a special name, we could add it to Anya’s repertoire of stories she loves to tell and be told (e.g., “Anya Goes to Sesame Place,” “Anya Goes to the Park,” “Daddy Wakes Up Anya in the Morning,” “Anya at School,” “Anya at the Library,” and “The Great Gatsby”).

After we dropped Mommy off at the bus for New Jork, we started driving to the Sprayground. During the drive, amusingly, Anya asked me to regale her with some of her favorite personal stories — the ones listed parenthetically above. Over and over and over again. It was cute, but eventually we ran out of stories, although demand for stories continued to rage. The stories became more self-referential and less, uh, interesting:

“Once upon a time, Anya and Daddy were driving to the Sprayground at Doorbrook Park! Anya wanted Daddy to tell her stories, so Daddy told her the story of how once upon a time, Anya and Daddy were driving to the Sprayground at Doorbrook…”

Anya has a good time at the Sprayground. She’s not the most adventurous kid at the park by far, but she can have a great time. We started with one of the little mini-streams, and she pretended it was a sink. (This became a major theme of our time at the park.) After washing her hands for awhile, she suddenly became consumed with the need to find soap and ran around looking for some until I suggested we use pretend soap instead. With some of the bigger sprayers, Anya enjoyed having me swing her around, darting back and forth through the sprays. There are lots of ways Anya plays at the splash park, and it’s a joy to watch.

Note for the jealous who can’t see how we played: I decided I wanted DDD to be a day I experienced live, instead of getting tied up in taping and photographing. You lose!

We ate lunch on our blanket at the park. Said meal was eaten very nicely by Anya, and punctuated with bursts of enthusiasm from her: “The man has a dog! The dog’s walking! The man is walking, too! He looks just like Charlie!” (I assume she meant the dog.) “The girl is wearing a swimsuit!” “The baby is crying!”

Post-lunch, we drove home. I tried to keep Anya awake — it was too early for her nap, but it was also clear she was pooped. As I attempted to engage her (“What does a cow say?” “What’s Mommy’s real name?”) The answers got softer and softer and more drawn-out: “L-aurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrren.” She conked out about two minutes from the house. Attempts to rouse her — loud taking, Charlie barking as we walked in, etc — were futile, and she went down for her nap. She woke up too early, after just 40 minutes, and rather than attempt perhaps a better solution in the long-term, I went for short-term success and satisfaction: I sat in the rocker and let her sleep the next 30+ minutes on my shoulder. Good times.

Post-nap, there was book-reading in the playroom, than piano-playing in the family room. When we first sat down at the piano, Anya began plunking keys at random and singing Elmo’s Song. Hilarious. We played songs together for a surprisingly long time.

Then, when I suggested we make a project for Mommy to welcome her home, Anya thought it was a heck of an idea. She made a beautiful card for Lauren, and when we finished up, it was time to go get her!

(“Mommy on the bus to New Jork!”)

Daddy Daughter Day was great. I do regret not having enough accumulated wealth to stick around and play with Anya all day long every day. The requirements of work and needing to Get Stuff Done aren’t flexible right now. But frankly, work doesn’t pay as well as Anya does.

3 Responses to “Daddy Daughter Day”

  1. Grammy Says:

    That was a delicious read. I chose the adjective “delicious” because the feelings evoked were visceral, not mental. I’m glad this wonderful day was enjoyed by all, as I presume Lauren had a great time in New Jork.

  2. Amnesty Says:

    “I hate when it’s implied that because I’m home with Anya, I’m “babysitting.” No; I’m parenting.”

    My husband feels the same way. He hates it when people say he’s babysitting or even “watching the kids.” He was a stay at home dad for almost 2 years, so he can get touchy about it 😉
    Sounds like a great day!

  3. Lauren Says:

    I love hands-on daddies!