I’m pretty fun, right? I mean, I like to have fun, and do fun things. And I’m funny! Well, in my own head, anyway.

Before having my toddler, I imagined how much FUN we would have together. I pictured it as a second childhood – playing with dolls, stickers, drawing, art projects, dance parties in the living room.

What’s become apparent of late is that I am not, in fact, a fun playmate for a toddler. I’m not silly, or goofy, and don’t think of playing monster games like mu husband does. My husband, it turns out, is the fun parent. He’s goofy and silly, he plays catch and chase, and roars like a bear, sending Cheese into fits of giggles. He is, in fact, not dissimilar to a toddler.

I’ve learned that I like to watch my child in play. I love seeing her eyes light up, her cheeky smile, her little head that is always a split second behind the rest of her body as she gallops along like a pony.

I enjoy watching her long eyelashes darken, her limbs lengthen, her hair grow into tight corkscrew curls.

I’m the parent who observes, documents, photographs. The one who makes sure she’s at school on time. That she has her hair tied out of her eyes, and is wearing weather-appropriate clothes. I’m the one who plans her meals, who gets her feet measured and takes her to the dentist. But I’m not the fun one.

I’m also the one who notices scrapes and bruises, who has Hello Kitty bandaids at the ready, who comforts and soothes and knows how to bring down a fever. I’m the one who finds new books that will teach about sharing and table manners, who finds puzzles at the right level to challenge her at each age, who can’t resist splurging on the cutest pair of tights for a hipster Brooklyn toddler. I’m the parent behind the scenes, but equal in the amount I love my child.

I cede any hopes of being “fun” to my husband for the time being. I hope that as she grows into a little girl with interests of her own that I can share in her world and enjoy the things she enjoys. I hope she’ll find me, if not “fun”, then loving, understanding and interesting. I hope I can teach her about the world, introduce her to new and amazing things, like how to take a great photograph, and help her navigate life as she grows and grows and grows.

4 comments on “I’m Not The Fun Parent”

  1. Well I’m worse: I”m the bad cop. All the fun is with Daddy (who allows hours of playing on screen, who rolls on the floor with them and plays wrestling on the bed, who picks them up when they are too tired to walk), and I’m the party pooper, so no wonder sometimes in public they clearly show preference for their Dad. But I stay strong and I know deep down why I’m doing this although it’s not easy everyday nor rewarding in the short term.

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