Doodaddy is a fake parent

I am a fake.


Currently: my Tamagotchi.
Soon to be: my daughter.

Not in the sense that I make up funny stories for the blog, or even that I’m actually a 14-year old boy from Salzburg.

No, I’m a fake parent right now, and it’s all Blueberry’s fault.

The other day, two of the girls’ visiting grandparents went out to dinner and I couldn’t escape the thought — No! You’re supposed to be entertaining our children! I have seedlings to plant!

In other words, part of my very existence orbits around ways to pawn my children off on other people.

Nearly the exact same thing happened the first time I became a father — for the entire duration of my wife’s maternity leave, I approached every moment with Boobaby as part of the job. I enjoyed our time those months, for sure, but I was very businesslike about it.

Change diaper. Check. Feed. Check. Put down for nap. Check. Rinse, tummy time, repeat. Take lots of pictures.

It was more like I had one of those Japanese toys you take care of so they don’t cry or vomit: I had a human Tamagotchi.

Then came Working Mom’s first days back at work and suddenly I ceased to be a trainee nanny and turned into — gasp — the sole stay-at-home parent. The feed-diaper-repeat cycle continued, but suddenly deprived of handy adults, I started talking to Boobaby.

My early conversations with a newborn were limited but satisfying, since she nearly always agreed with me. Then she would take me out for coffee or a quick stroll to the hardware store. And then I would take her to the playground and lo! suddenly I was verbing a noun I thought I’d never verb: I was parenting.

I’m not there yet with the Blueberry. Frankly, with my wife at home and so many visiting friends and relatives, I hardly feel like much of a parent to Boo, either. I handle the practical bits as needed, of course, but if I can turn the kids over to their beloved elders and get some chainsawing done, I’m a happy man.

I’m just not much of a parent.

Certainly I will be again, though. Come February 9th (and don’t think I’m not counting the days with deep, deep ambivalence), Working Mom returns to work and I will take over sole charge of two girls who share genes and, at this age, almost nothing else except an unlimited capacity to demand attention.

With any luck, history will repeat itself and they’ll take me out for coffee, a quick stroll to the hardware store, and a stop at the playground. Where I’ll become a dad again, and stop being a fake.