petite anglaise

March 29, 2005

daddy’s girl

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:30 am

Tadpole is nestling in my arms, limp, warm, soft and still half slumbering. I want to bury my nose in her neck and just breathe in her scent for a few minutes. But she has other ideas. She spies daddy through the slits of her bleary eyes. They snap open as if a switch has been flipped, her face becomes instantly animated, chubby little arms reach longingly in his direction.

I surrender the Tadpole, reluctantly.

On the way home from the childminders’, singing songs. Tadpole chants: “va voir daddy, va voir dadDY, va voir DADDY, VA VOIR DADDY!”

“Daddy’s not home yet, he’s at the office,” I explain.

NON! Pas office! Va voir DADDY!”

There’s no reasoning with some people. “Okay, whatever, let’s go home and see whether daddy is there, shall we?”

Daddy is special.

Who gets up bright and early every morning and proceeds to zip around the apartment hurriedly cramming flailing limbs into sleeves and trouser legs, braving dangerous windmill legs to change soiled nappies, brushing unruly locks, cleaning teeth and supervising the slurping of leftover milk from the cereal bowl (a hazardous manoeuvre which, if badly executed, can necessitate the cramming of small flailing limbs into fresh clothing)?

I do.

Where is Mr Frog while this is all going on?

Cocooned away in a steaming bath listening to his floating radio (with hindsight, probably the most ill thought out gift I ever gave him) with eyes closed.

Who races home from work every evening, cursing metro delays and pelting up and down escalators at full speed, checking the time every other minute hoping that the nanny will not be kept waiting or need overtime pay? Who then prepares a healthy, nutritious (but ready in two minutes in the microwave) meal for the ravenous Tadpole, bathes her, reads several stories and finally sits down to put feet up and savour a much needed cup of tea at approximately 8pm?

I do.

When does Mr Frog show up? At best, in time for one last story. At worst, much later than that. Possibly after even my bedtime.

What do I get in return for my daily labours of love? I’m taken for granted.

Daddy, on the other hand, who has wisely marketed himself as a scarce and therefore greatly prized commodity, is deluged with affection.

It’s a man’s world and no mistake.


  1. alas, I think it was somewhat this way in my household too (although my dad was usually home relatively early, when he wasn’t on salestrips for 2 – 3 weeks at a time). Mom made sure were bathed and ready for bed, Dad played Atari with us. Mom cooked all those vegetables I didn’t like to eat, Dad barbequed.

    Not very fair, I know, but I’m pretty sure you’re not alone in this battle.

    Comment by kim — March 29, 2005 @ 11:54 am

  2. Ah, but you already have her heart along with a lifetime of closeness and communication.

    Dad will always be Dad and not like Mum. They work that out soon enough though :wink:

    Comment by Greavsie — March 29, 2005 @ 12:36 pm

  3. I am definitively daddy’s girl and always have been, but with two sisters there’s a bit of competition for his time. I am, however, the only one of the three who spends any quality time with my Mum and thinks of her as a person instead of a washer/dryer/oven. Have a son, it goes the other way.

    Comment by EasyJetsetter — March 29, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

  4. If Mr Frog doesn’t change his work pattern then Tadpole will certainly change her mind about his absence. She’ll also realize who she CAN count on when she’s lost her favourite toy just before bedtime, when her bestest friend didn’t want to play with her today, when she feels sick and has to be taken to the doctor …

    Go on. Count the ways she can count on you.

    Comment by Ria — March 29, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

  5. I agree – it is totally unfair. I can sympathise, but at the same time I’m lucky enough to be on the receiving end, with two ‘Daddy’s girls’ at home…:smile:

    Comment by Iain — March 29, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

  6. It’s no comfort, I know, but if he doesn’t change his strategy in a few years, you’ll come out ahead.

    A stern chase is a long chase.

    The problem, of course, is that it’s not a race.

    Any luck on getting Mr Frog a job with less stress and more time for you and Tadpole?

    Comment by Mathieu — March 29, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

  7. Oh he needs a better work schedule! All that time he’s missing out with tadpole :(

    (where did you get that floating radio? what a great gift idea!)

    Comment by Katia — March 29, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

  8. Just wait till you have a Mummy’s Boy!

    Comment by Antipo Déesse — March 29, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

  9. Mr Frog has spent the last four weeks “drafting” his CV and generally procrastinating. We’ll see. If I prod too hard he only digs in his heels and goes even slower, so I must resist the temptation.

    Katia: shop on rue des Francs Bourgeois (and other branches) called La Chaise Longue. Wonderful for presents.

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2005 @ 2:52 pm

  10. BF would love a floating radio too! Do they do mail order?

    I can only echo what everyone else says – Tadpole knows she can rely on you and that will become clear in time, I’m sure. Daddy is more of a “novelty” I guess…

    Keep on truckin’, you know you’re doing a wonderful job. Let’s hope Mr Frog finds something soon…

    Comment by witho — March 29, 2005 @ 3:28 pm

  11. As the mother of two Daddy’s girls and OH of a frog as absent as yours, I can only agree with Ria and say that they get do eventually get over the “darling Daddy to the exclusion of all others” phase. Now, they love it when he’s around but make no fuss when he’s not, and us devoted mummies get loads more kisses and hugs than absent daddies because we’re there when they’re being distributed. Lovely.

    Comment by l'autre — March 29, 2005 @ 4:23 pm

  12. Of course she loves both of you huge-mongously and even more.
    She also knows the weaknesses she can prey on. It’ll all pass. Didn’t we all do that? Didn’t you? Please tell me you did too.

    (On a completely different note, it’s a horrible thing having to poke you in the eye to post a comment…)

    Comment by Anne — March 29, 2005 @ 7:02 pm

  13. Gracious, never thought of that. If it helps, it’s not actually my eye.

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2005 @ 7:23 pm

  14. I always think of posting as making Petite wink. Like you’re “I Dream of Jeanie” or something. :)

    Comment by Coquette — March 29, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

  15. It does, ta.

    Comment by Anne — March 29, 2005 @ 8:24 pm

  16. Does the Frog know how you feel? What’s his take on it?

    Comment by PhillyGirl — March 29, 2005 @ 10:20 pm

  17. We ran into the same thing in our home, with my son and then the three princesses. Mommy dealt with all the work and when daddy came home it was fun and games.

    The kids would be crabby and fighting until daddy walked in the door and then it was kisses and smiles.

    This happened at around the age of 1.5-2.0 years old. We call it the “when Mommy becomes old hat” phase. Don’t worry, it passes…until she hits her teens, but I’m sure I don’t have to explain that to any of the women on here. :)

    Comment by Bob — March 30, 2005 @ 4:54 am

  18. Thanks for the heads up on the shop name, Petite :) I’ll definitely have to check it out.

    My frog does the same sort of sticking his heels in thing when I prod him to do something. I still haven’t figured out the right strategy to get past that one.

    Comment by Katia — March 30, 2005 @ 6:27 pm

  19. maybe the frog needs to start taking quick showers in the morning instead of steaming baths. let him take care of her in the morning

    Comment by maryse — March 30, 2005 @ 9:05 pm

  20. Then there are the days they’re super-glued to your side and you can’t do anything by yourself… you can’t win!! :roll:

    Comment by Sarah — March 31, 2005 @ 3:12 am

  21. Agree with Maryse – fair enough that he can’t do the evening routine if he’s out slogging away, but if he’s just sitting stewing in the bath, he should be doing the morning stuff.

    Comment by annie — March 31, 2005 @ 8:10 am

  22. I call it the Mighty Mouse Syndrome, you know “Here I am to save the day….” Yeah, I’ve been there all day, and he does one thing and he’s the hero. That’s my Mighty Mouse.

    Comment by Kathy — April 1, 2005 @ 4:10 pm

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