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I saw the best Dad in the world a few weeks back in Trader Joe's.

He was making his way slowly through the store with a cart jammed full of food, and two small girls in tow. The kids were maybe 6 and 8, although my early elementary sense is not nearly as honed as my middle school or infant ones. Great Dad dialog throughout the run -- "Would you like to have bow-tie pasta for dinner tonight?" "Not with Icky SAUCE!" "Well, how about this. If Mommy comes home before dinner, we'll have sauce becuae she likes it. But if it's just the three of us, then we'll just have butter." "OK!"

He defused two fights and one large whine session, just in the freezer aisle. And his voice never strayed away form happy, excited and loving. It was phenomenal. But it wasn't Best Dad yet.

They wound up behind me in the checkout line. One of the girls asked, "Daddy, can I get jelly beans?" Thoughtful but direct - "No." "But I *like * jelly beans!"

If you haven't though about all the ways this conversation can go wrong. . .well, you probably don't shop as much as I do. Clearly you (the parent) want to keep some firm consistency in your pronouncements, but you need to do it without becoming a foot stomping "I said no!" spazz.

Best Dad Ever: "You know who else likes jelly beans? Big hair, wears a long scarf. . .? Yes, the Fourth Doctor loves jelly beans!"

Girls: "Really? Cool!"


After I finished laughing, we talked for a bit. He actually asserted that his girls were the youngest Doctor Who fans in town. While I may concede that his girls are more knowledgeable or articulate fans, I think we've got youngest cornered.


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heiligekuh

June 2010

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