It’s important for a father to bond with his daughter. It takes time and effort, finding not only mutual interests but also forging new levels of compatibility.
It’s not necessarily natural, but the benefits will be played out for years and years to come. These building blocks, like the foundational stones of a church, are laid early, creating a sense of strength and stability.
This is a grotesquely wordy way of saying that fathers and daughters (not to mention fathers and sons) need to having something to talk about.
Jellybean and I have Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
See, there are only so many episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George a man can take. I’ve memorized the dialogue to Lion King and sing Little Mermaid songs in my sleep. Therefore, I had to introduce Jellybean to something I thought we’d both enjoy.
I tried Kiss Meet the Phantom of the Park and even the 4 year old thought it was cheesy. My Lovely Wife said Halloween and its myriad of progressively awful sequels was too scary, so we settled on Buffy the Vampire Slayer simply because she was blonde, perky, funny and beat the holy mess out of demons, monsters and all other sort of ghoul. What’s not for a toddler to love?
‘Course the benefits of having this conversational commodity reaches far beyond a cheeky TV show that’s been off the air since 2003. Buffy plunges a wooden stake straight through the heart of every imaginary monster lurking under Jellybean’s bed, in her closet or in the drain of the bathtub.
Granted, she didn’t see as many monsters before the slayer entered her life, but that’s not the point. I’ve got something in common with a toddler (not sure what that says about me) so that whenever there’s a lull in the conversation I can always turn to Buffy, or Star Wars, or Harry Potter. All of which are favorites for both Jellybean and I.
Nowhere is this more useful than while sitting on the potty – her, not me.
Jellybean’s still in the training phase. We’ve graduated to pull-up diapers and Dora panties, but the actual … uh … going takes time and patience. So we’ve gotta find something to talk about while hanging out in the bathroom. Eventually all conversations lead to Buffy or vampires..
It keeps us engaged and that’s what matters most. Even My Lovely Wife likes Buffy. ‘Course you may roll your eyes or judge me harshly for exposing a toddler to such dark topics as what it’s like living above a Hellmouth, but what My Lovely Wife does is potentially more devastating to Jellybean’s emotional and psychological well being.
They watch Days of Our Lives.
Nothing strikes fear in the heart of men worse than plopping down in front of the big screen TV to hear their precious child ask, “What is Bo doing?” or “Why is Sammy crying?”
Poor thing is gonna grow up not only believing vampires are real but that the average woman sleeps with her husband’s brother who just woke up from a coma, but the reason she had the affair was because a car accident left her with amnesia so she forgot not only that she was married but that her baby had been kidnapped by her evil twin.
No matter, at least that’ll give us all something to talk about … might be on a psychiatrist’s couch, but we’ll be talking just the same.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com
Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.