• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

Tales of an Absentee Dad: Redux (Redux)

July 9th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Scene 1: It is July 5, and Jean and I have brought Sasha to our trendy neighborhood pediatrician for her 18-month checkup. The kid is in fine shape: 89th percentile for height, 49th for weight, and also screaming and crying with terror at the prospect of being examined. Then the nurse practitioner walks in, and since she’s an Asian woman, Sasha instantly calms down. The N.P. asks if Sasha’s speaking, and we tell her all the words our little genius would say if she wasn’t too freaked out to open her mouth. Then the N.P. asks, “Where’s Daddy?” Shyly, Sasha raises a quivering finger and points it… at Mommy. Thanks, kid.

Scene 2: A few days later, I’m in Austria for work, and convinced that Sasha, who probably only considers me the boyfriend who occasionally sleeps over, has already forgotten who I am. But then I call home and Jean tells me this story: That morning, the first without me around, Jean was getting ready for work, and Sasha, as usual, was wandering the apartment, saying “Daddy… Daddy…” Meaning, of course, Mommy. Except that when Jean tries to correct her by saying, “Daddy’s not here,” Sasha actually seems to understand! “Where?” she asks, making the ASL sign. “Where?” Progress!

Although now this brings up another worry. Before, Sasha didn’t realize I was gone, and the resulting sadness was now mine. Now, if she knows I’m gone, Sasha may very well be the one who’s sad—which is even worse for me. But I guess this is what I wanted…

Scene 3: Last night I called my mother, who’s helping take care of Sasha while I’m away. It was almost Sasha’s bedtime, so I asked to speak to her. My mother held the phone to Sasha, who was sucking away on a bottle, and I did that thing that parents of young kids do on the phone—ask a lot of questions, say Sasha’s name, never really expect a response of any kind. And I didn’t get one—Sasha had a bottle in her mouth, and wasn’t about to take it out—until the very end, as my mother retrieved the phone, and I heard, in the background, a very, very faint “Da-dee?” Now, if only I can make her cry via Skype, I’ll really have succeeded as an absentee parent. Wish me luck and cross your fingers—I’ve got two weeks left on this trip!



    The Week on the Wagon: Women Edition | DADWAGON

Leave a Response


Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!



The Right Way to Swear in Front of Your Kids


Context, context, context.

Sep 19th 2:33pm • No Comments

I don't care. EAT IT ANYWAY, KID!

‘Five Second Rule’ for Food on Floor Is Untrue, Study Finds


Researchers concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

Sep 19th 11:38am • No Comments


Why Danish Parents Like to Talk About Death


It's because it makes for happier kids, says new book.

Aug 11th 8:19am • No Comments

Not sure whether to be proud or pissed we didn't make this list.

The Awl

The definitive ranking of dads.

Aug 3rd 5:39pm • No Comments