As a first time father, you are never ready for "THE QUESTION." I am now older and wiser and see what my mistakes were. My daughter is 11 years old now, my son is 5. I have lots of gray hair to prove that I am a smarter man and a better father. But none of that reflects the fact that I was not ready for "THE QUESTION."
You hear about that moment but it never gets you ready for it. No matter how many books you read in preparation, you are never ready. In my case, it came too early. My daughter was about 4 years old. I did not want to go into a lengthy explanation at her age. She could barely understand all the jokes in Sesame Street. How was I supposed to provide a complete and honest answer?
Since, I have been worried that my reaction might have scarred her for life. I only hope that I can do a better job with my son. But with her, I just panicked and yelled something at her. Honestly, I don't remember what I said, but had it happened now, I know would be able to give a much better answer. I don't even remember if she understood whatever it was that I said. I know that she has not brought it up again, so whatever I did must have either answered "THE QUESTION" once and for all, or simply scared her to death about approaching the topic again.
I know what you are thinking, "where was your wife during all this?" Her answer was simple: "Talk to your father." She handles quite a lot of the home life, so I figure it was only fair that she deferred this one to me. I just wished she could have given me some heads up, so I would have been better prepared.
I blame TV by the way. Not that my daughter watches too much television. We have the TV blocked so that only PG programs are allowed. We also have the remote setup to cycle through the programs the kids can watch. Nevertheless, the commercials are the guilty party here. Even while watching good shows like Sesame Street and the Disney Channel, she was exposed to those horrible commercials that put ideas in her head.
So, my advice to you future parents out there. Be ready. Know how to answer "THE QUESTION", or you will regret it the rest of your life. For me, her words are still ringing in my ears. My hands shiver every time I think of the moment. "Daddy, can we get a Windows computer?"
Posted on 11/06/2007