I never thought that I would be friends with a two year old. I didn’t even know what that could possibly look like until recently.
When I was younger, my dad would always refer to me as his best friend. I thought, “Creeper.” That didn’t make any sense to me. You had to be pretty lonely to have a kid as your best friend. Clearly our relationship was one sided [evil laugh].
Actually, my dad was pretty cool. We hung out and talked regularly. He was a very present dad. He just didn’t listen. Always spoke over me. Rarely did things that I enjoyed doing. Etc.
I’m not critiquing my dad here. For a father that had no father, he’s a good dad. I’m listing his flaws because I was always conscious of them when I was growing up. His flaws made me want to be a better dad to my unborn children.
Now that my kids are born, I keep his flaws at the forefront of my mind. As a result, I’m a damn awesome dad. [For those that didn’t know, I’m pretty arrogant in real life…No. Seriously.]
You could skip this anecdote and get to the moral
We recently celebrated Thankstaking with my mom. While all of the food was being prepped, my son played with one of his favorite big kids, his cousin Klowi.
Over and over (because he’s a repetitive old fart), my dad kept saying, “They play together really well.”
I didn’t reply to his comment (which may be why he kept repeating himself, but I really think it’s because he’s old). Instead, I just let the day play out.
Kairo and Klowi (yes we’re a big family of K’s, including Katherine, Kenya, Kahmryn, and Kalel), began playing about an hour after we arrived. They didn’t go into their normal play because she had to get ready and my sister is a diva that takes a little time to get fly.
During the hour, I walk around and play with him. We jam to some programmed sounds on the keyboard and flip lights off in on (that part wasn’t my idea).
After the hour, they played for about an hour off and on. Thirty minutes in, the evil villain in my son emerged. He began throwing things around and stepping on Klowi’s toys just to get under her skin. It’s hilarious to hear. She shouts, “Boy, what are you doing?” To that, Kairo hits her with a “Heheh,” before walking away.
Ultimately, they continue their off and on play until Kairo just gets bored. He drags me in their room and asks me to engage in some imaginary play with some plastic food.
Meh. I don’t want to.
“Daddy, sit down.”
Meeeeh. I don’t want to.
“Daddy, sit down. Pwease.”
I give in. We make mom some chicken and fries (she’s a vegetarian, but it’s plastic so I don’t know if that counts or nah).
The off and on play continues for another twenty minutes. I think I’m free. The real food is kinda ready and I’m already snacking on it. Actually, I’m damn near ready to leave because my mom’s house is like slave ship, humid and hot regardless of outside temperatures.
Kairo gets bored with Klowi again and steals her miniature beach ball. Guess where he takes it? “Daddy, throw it.”
Meh. “Play with Klowi.”
“Daddy, throw it.”
I give in and throw it. Klowi catches it and tries to play with Kairo, but he’s definitely done with her, so he keeps trying to get me to take over the game.
You’re pretty damn lazy if you skipped the previous part
After his interaction with Klowi, I realized that Kario and I spend a lot of time together when I’m home. I am his play buddy. My wife and I wanted to have two kids that are close in age (21 months apart) so that they could occupy each other’s time. However, I don’t foresee that happening.
I intentionally build an unbreakable bond with my kids, doing things they like, listening (even if all they can say is dadadadada), and teaching them ways to have fun and learn.
During our Thankstaking celebration, Kairo didn’t come to me because he was bored. He came to me because we always play together.
Just today, I spent the bulk of my day, painting (great idea mommy), playing with Play-Doh (bless whoever created that toxic clay), and crashing cars in his room.
I spend time with my guys. And no I don’t expect an award for that. My job as a dad is to be present (pretty easy when you’ve mastered the art of breathing). However, what’s not in the job description is to love spending time with my kids. We are always playing around because I know it will make them better people. And honestly, I do it because it makes me feel better on the inside. That’s what friendships are supposed to be about–people that love sharing time with one another. That’s who my kids are to me.
Yup, my little guy, Kalel, is my best bud too. He’s almost ready to crawl around with his big bro and I. For now, we’ll just keep screaming at each other and blowing spit bubbles (he wins at both).