Ice Cream Emergency

Ice Cream Emergency

Julie D. linked to this great story at Sigmund, Carl and Alfred:

A father wanted to find special ways to bond with his daughter. Fathers think about that sort of thing. Anyway, what this father did once a month was to have an �ice cream emergency.� What the father did was wake his daughter up at 11 or 12 O�clock at night and insist she hurriedly come to the kitchen- there was an emergency. The ice cream had to be eaten before it melted! Needless to say, there was laughter and good times- and good memories. That went on for years.

This story reminded me of a time when my dad took us on vacation, a weekend at the beach (Galveston or Corpus Christi, I can’t recall which) without mom, who got a nice break while we got sunburned and spoiled with all the junk food we could stand. One evening dad came into the motel room with a big gallon of ice cream and told the four of us we’d have to eat it all that evening because we didn’t have any way to store it. What fun!

I hadn’t thought about that incident in years. It speaks to the way that fathers bond with their children that is so different than a mother’s interactions. I’ve already started noting some of the differences between Dom’s approach to time with Bella and mine. For me so often bath and diaper changes are tasks to get through. Sure, I play with her, blow raspberries on her belly and splash and frolic with the fishies. But I’m still much more goal-oriented and less likely to break rules, to let go and splash water out of the tub. I don’t put the shark in my mouth and spit him across the room. I don’t engage in mutual back scratching while putting on her pajamas. It just doesn’t occur to me.

I’m glad there’s that complementarity there. I’m glad Bella has a playful father as well as a caregiver mother. I’m glad there’s someone in her life who will be more spontaneous and give her forbidden fruit. Thank God for fathers.


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