This morning, I had a talk with Mikhail my 6 year old. I wanted him and his brothers to stop standing on the window seat. It is They would gather there and press against the flimsy meshing of the opened window, waving and yelling at their friends and waving at mommy and daddy as we leave for work. Cute but potentially dangerous.
“Mikhail, from now on, please stand on the floor and wave at me when I leave for work in the morning. We don’t want you guys to stand on the ledge anymore.” “But Daddy, you won’t hear me so you won’t look up. That’s why we stand there.” “Ok, I promise that when I leave I will always look up at the window. How’s that?” “Fine!” And that’s how our little conversation went.
On the way out I had to fix the garage door as it was not working properly. Finally fixed, I hurried to my car and drove away. Did I miss something? It occurred to me about a minute later that I did not look up. Wow! That must be a record! It didn’t take me long to break that promise to my son. I checked my phone when I got to work and there was a message. (The ringer was on mute). Mikhail sounded like he was crying as he said, “Daddy, I don’t like you! Why did you lie to me? You don’t love me…” Not exactly what a dad wants to hear first thing in the morning.
I called the little guy back and apologized of course. I re-promised him that I will make an effort to look up next time. A really big effort. I also let him know that I was tired and distracted when I left so I didn’t remember to look up. The kid wakes up early every morning just so he could hug me before I leave for work. The least I could do is look up and wave to him as I drive away.
I have come to realize that one of the worst things you could do to a kid is lie or break a promise to him. Coincidentally, one of the worst feelings to a genuine dad that is, is breaking a promise to his kid. Whether intentional or unintentional.
- Why daddy? (loudsilenceblog.wordpress.com)