“I never got around to being a father,” I overheard the Lucky Guy saying to some friends recently at a BBQ at his house.
At that moment, I was coming around the corner with a big salad in my hands. Of course, I stopped mid-step to get the best possible chance at eavesdropping.
“So, now,” he added, “I get to experience a little bit of what parenthood might have been like.”
Whoa. Talk about wanting to just weep into that lettuce.
For the record, let me say that from day one, I made it clear to LG that I’m the parent. (Hopefully, it didn’t sound that harsh when I said it.) As you know, I’ve played the role of Mom and Dad very early on — even if wearing those Dad shoes doesn’t always come easy for me. Dating as a single mom for me has never been about searching for father figure for my kid. If she had been younger and I’d met my future life partner, this might have happened naturally. But today, expecting any guy to take on this role this would be sorely inappropriate.
That said, I’m honest about this: discipline has not been my strengths, and I work hard at setting boundaries. (I didn’t really grow up with many of them.) Sometimes, I’ll crack myself up wondering how it would feel to say something: “Wait ‘till your father gets home.” Ha. Just joking.
Still, nowadays, we’re all spending more quality time together — from sharing dinner to going on vacation — which means that LG is getting a real taste of parenting for sure. As you all know, kids are not puppets who follow the game plan all the time. So, while we all share many sweet experiences together, it’s not all maple syrup.
What I mean is: my daughter is feeling so comfortable with the boyfriend that she’s starting to push limits. Just this week, for instance:
I’d told her: “No more Halloween candy. You’ve already had enough.”
And what did she do? She went straight to LG and asked him if she could have a lollipop.
Until recently, this is what has worked in situations like the above:
LG says: “You asked your mother and she said ‘No.’ ”
But now that she’s older — and wiser — I see how my sassy kid is working. She might, say, wait until I’m on the phone — and unavailable — to ask LG, so sweetly, “So, if I can’t have candy, then can I have some ice cream?”
Him: “Wait until your Mom gets off the phone. You can ask her then.”
Her: “Please, just a little?”
Him, shaking his head.
Her: “C’mon, just one tiny bit?”
You can see where there is all headed. So, I’m sure you have a lot to say on this one:
When is it appropriate for your boyfriend — or girlfriend — to discipline your kid(s)?
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