Skip to main content

Dad Discovers... Being Ignored

Parenthood can be a cruel mistress sometimes. There's been a lot said about the one-sided nature of the parent-child relationship, and that's unlikely to change until your children reach the age of 23 and wake up with the sudden realisation that you've done a lot for them and you weren't really trying to ruin their lives after all. And of course, nothing makes us appreciate our own parents more than actually having kids ourselves, which forces us to think about everything they had to put up with when we were kids. But although it's not always a bed of roses, few things will match the kick in the guts the day your toddler decides they can't be bothered dealing with you at all, and starts ignoring you.

Welcome Home 

It takes me about an hour and a quarter to get home from work including a lengthy walk and an even lengthier train journey. What keeps me relatively cheerful is knowing that my little boy will be waiting at the end of it. So imagine my joy when having walked through the door and into the living room where The Boy is watching TV, he proceeds to completely ignore me. Not just the usual casual lack of interest but an active attempt to not even look or acknowledge me. If I pick him up for a kiss he's been known to tilt his head to the side to continue watching TV without once looking me in the eyes. All dreams of your child shouting 'Daddy! Daddy!' and running towards you with a face full of joy when you walk through the door have evaporated. He's already found something more interesting than your presence, usually something with a cartoon face.

Funnily enough, this also applies to discipline. Often saying 'no', 'stop' or 'get down' will fall on completely deaf ears, and despite the growing seriousness of the request it will often be completely ignored as if you're not there at all and you start to question your own existence. But mention a yogurt under your breath in the quietest of tones and he'll be there like a shot pulling on your leg demanding dairy produce as if his life depended on it.

Competition

Another favourite that us dads often have to deal with is the mummy obsession. Every morning my alarm goes off earlier than I would like, and I drag myself bleary-eyed out of bed and into The Boy's bedroom to get him ready for the day. As my brain slowly catches up to my body and starts waking up I contemplate another day of being a dad, and another day with my little boy filling my life with wonder and excitement. And what are his first words when he sees me?

'Where's the Mummy? See Mummy.'

Well thanks a lot kid, it's lovely to see you too. Don't mind me as you rush past in your haste to see the Mummy.

Of course, this lack of interest in the Daddy lasts only as long as he doesn't need anything, and a short time afterwards he'll be pulling my trouser leg to demand anything from juice and snacks, train tracks, another episode of Peppa Pig or just that I jump up and down with him on the spot until I give myself a minor stroke.

The Future

I figure that all this is excellent preparation for the teenage years when he'll only want me for a lift in the car or some money, so I can at least be grateful that The Boy doesn't currently want £10 to go down KFC with his mates. As far as I know anyway. Until then it looks like I'll just be a needy dad.

Does your precious child treat you with cold indifference?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dad Discovers... CBeebies

CBeebies is great. Until you have kids you'll probably never have any cause to watch it, but once you do you'll be thankful for the BBC for creating it. It's brilliant. There are, of course, loads of other kids channels out there from CITV to Nickelodeon, Disney Channel to Baby TV, but most depend on a paid subscription of some kind, are predominantly American in content, and are bursting with adverts. CBeebies on the other hand is free (sort of), has no adverts and can generally be relied upon to serve up several hours of good quality content for your sprog.

Needless to say there's a lot of different programmes out there, but these are my current personal Top 10 CBeebies shows.

10) Justin's House The almost reincarnation of Emu's Pink Windmill Show, hosted by the undisputed king of toddler TV, Justin Fletcher. He pops up all over the place on CBeebies but this one is the most fun.

9) Baby Jake Oh look, this family live in a windmill! Ah, here's each membe…

Dad Discovers... Soft Play

“A dungeon horrible, on all sides round… No light; but rather darkness visible served only to discover sights of woe” 
- Description of Hell in ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton.
A Great Idea Soft play establishments were one of those things that I was vaguely aware of before having kids, without actually having any interest in. It’s a bit like the way that I’m aware of cricket, ITV Be and Luxembourg and have nothing against them but have no plans on giving them any of my attention.
Flash forward to the present and I’m sitting at home with a small energetic child, it’s raining outside and we desperately need to get him out of the house for a bit. Then we remember that there are mythical play lands specially designed for small children. They have a cafĂ© too, so what’s not to like? We decide to give it a try. Remote for a Reason What sets the tone for these places very early on is their location. Something conveniently located in town? Nope. Something in a leafy suburb overlooking a park? …

Dad Discovers... Eating Out

Do you remember eating out in the days before you had kids? Remember how your stupid, naive younger self would just occasionally go out and have a generally pleasant time, eating interesting food and having good conversations with whoever you were with? Well thanks to your darling child, you won't have to deal with the pressure of that kind of spontaneity again for several years.
First Trips Out Our first few weeks of parenthood mainly involved just staring at The Boy like he might explode at any minute. But after a short time we were confident that he was probably OK, was reasonably unlikely to explode, and we started taking him out into the world. This, in hindsight, was a golden time as we took him to all kinds of fun places and showed our friends just how cool we were and how having a baby hadn't changed us. If anything, we figured we could do even more fun things than we did before and at one point even ventured to a festival in the middle of Trafalgar Square where he at…