Here’s how breakfast went down this morning: me with my daughter on my shoulders, speed-walking down Columbus Avenue to get her to school on time, while she ate an unadorned Eggo waffle.
I think it was fairly obvious to most passersby that I was the kind of parent who woke my kid up late and made her eat a shitty breakfast in a hurry, in public. Hence the looks I was getting, which couldn’t have been more disapproving if she was wearing a leash and eating raw giblets off the sidewalk.
A friend of mine–a mom with a kid at Dalia’s school–assured me that dads get those looks more than moms. People just enjoy clucking at fathers. It feels safe. It fits their preconceived notion of fuck-up dads. The Germans have a term for it, Rabenvater–Raven Dad–because ravens are notoriously disinterested parents who push their offspring out of the nest the first chance they get (although, to be fair, Germans also use Rabenmutter).
Like a good New Yorker, I try not to give a damn what other people think. But I fail.
So what should I do? The daughter has been unusually nocturnal as of late: she’ll lay in her bed awake. For hours. She’s still in stone cold REM when 8am rolls around, and we’ve got to be out the door by 8:25.
I’ve got three choices:
- Wake her up 20 minutes earlier
- Miss the first 20 minutes of school
- Keep feeding her defrosted waffles on the go
Of course, there’s the stealth fourth option, which is to cut out the midday nap entirely so that she is dogtired by 7pm and will collapse in her highchair and wake up pert at 6am. But that would be a highly ambitious bit of social engineering, and as such, is probably doomed to failure.
But you know what they say in my hometown–you’ve got to lose a pinfish to catch a grouper. I don’t actually know what that’s supposed to mean, but either way, I think her napping days are over.