Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The best dad

There are a lot of would-be parents in our house. They tend to come in the female variety, trying to act as mother to younger (and sometimes older) siblings. It never works well. I've gotten to asking the perpetrator if she would really like to be the mother. If so, I would gladly trade all of the mother-roles for a day. Faced with laundry, dinner, cleaning, etc., it's funny how quickly a young girl will decide that bossing her siblings isn't quite as much fun. Of course there are times when the male counterparts also try to parent a sibling or two. It doesn't work any better this way than the other way around. And they, too, are quick to refuse my offer of all parenting responsibilities for a day.

However, an interesting conversation occurred yesterday whereby Andrew was praised for his parenting skills. Here's how it went as I was getting ready to leave the house for a few hours:

Shoun: Mum (that's me), the girls won't listen to Isaac and me outside and they keep going in the road.
Mum: Could you please tell the little girls to come to me?

After a few moments...
Hope: Yes, mom?
Mom: Girls, are you going in the road when the boys have told you not to? And when you know that you are not allowed to go in the road if an over-11 year old is not with you?
Eden: But how are we supposed to ride our bikes?
Andrew: You could ride them in the house (said tongue in cheek, as a point of gullibility training).
Mom: You could ride them in the driveway or you could wait until I get home to ride them in the road.

After a few moments, in come the little girls with scooters and bikes.

After riding up and down the hall a few times . . .
Hope: Andrew, I love you! You're the best dad ever.
Mom: Well, Andrew. I'm leaving. You're in charge now. If I were you, I'd remove the bikes and scooters from the house before the real dad comes home; I don't think he'll find the humor in this like we do.

It reminded me of a quote from The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma. Written by the daughter of a librarian, the author remembers with fondness the many years her father spent reading to her. Each chapter weaves memories of those read-alouds with memoirs of her childhood. Any parent who reads aloud to his or her children will enjoy this book. The quote that relates to Andrew's parenting technique came when Ozma's father was trying to justify something he had done when she was growing up. She wanted to know how purposely joking around with a child could fit into a parent's philosophy of child rearing. He responded by saying, "It doesn't [fit into a philosophy]. Sometimes being a parent is just fun."

I couldn't agree more.

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