Friday, 1 August 2014

Learning to be a father.




Sunday, 15 June 2014.

It's father day today, and a day of great importance in today’s standard.

I happened to know it through the numerous postings on Facebook, advertisement seen everywhere and most important of all, the preview and greeting from my lovely daughter.

"Daddy, later you cannot see what I am doing, OK? It's a card for an important day. Hee hee... "

As the year’s passes, things changed and so does the way we celebrate father's day and the role of father.

Till I am in my 30s, I have never heard of Father's day, the special celebrative day in the world. Whenever I saw those posts on father's day and how they had celebrated father's day, I am lost with my words. I had never celebrated father's day with my father, and the phrase "Happy Father's Day!" is totally alien to me. However, I am not guilty and I know neither is my father sad about it.

My father is proud for being the pillar of the family, for being able to bring in the money to support the family. His greatest achievement is his ability to support his children to secure a diploma each, despite the fact that he did not have any formal education and he was fighting an illness to live at that time.  He is a sailor and a man with few words, so few that we can count the number of words he says within a year. Well, that's partly resulted from his sailing schedule where he only came home once every 2 years. He did not attend any of my birthday celebrations, which only happens 3 times before I am married (once when I turn 21 and twice planned by my then ex-girlfriend aka. wife). Neither did he attend any of my school graduation ceremonies. He only went to school once with me to apply for school fee subsidy and loan of school text books, when he lost his income due to the illness he had been fighting. During that day, it's the first time I saw him smiling. My teacher was full of good comments about my studies and character. I am happy that day too because I made him proud despite the tough life we had.

Fast forward 40 years later, I am now a father. I am a father that has to face a totally different set of challenges. I played Barbie with my daughter, brought her for her enrichment, dance, art and swimming classes, I changed her diapers, bathed her, combined her hair, talk nonsense to her, and even carry my wife's bag so that she can hold my daughter or free her hands to choose my daughter's clothes during shopping. All of which I had never see my father doing. Without a role model, I am kind of having my on-the-job (OJT) training as I grew to become what it's expected of a new age father.

It's not about I am or my father are a better father. It's how the roles of father had changed with the progress of mankind and under the expectation of the society. It's kind of difficult for men to cope with those changes. I can't look out for the bus while talking to 小tz. I can't talk to her on the phone while I am attending to my work. I can't watch the television programme, do my stuff and talk to her at the same time. In short, I am taught and trained to mono-task. Multitasking like what mothers are always doing is just too overwhelming for me, you know?

The other day, while waiting for my bus, I saw a mother with 2 children seated with her back facing the traffic. She was helping her daughter with her ponytail when her son shouted to her that their bus has arrived. She wasn't panicky, finished the ponytail for her daughter then walked with her 2 children to board the bus. Perfect timing and I was like "How she did that!”. Women, they say.

Are you coping well being a father?

I am struggling with my new role. Happily struggling...

Unlike being at work with a team of colleagues that compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses to complete our daily work, I am alone as a father. I don’t have anybody to share or take some responsibility away from me as a father, and I can’t. Nobody can replace me as the father of my daughter. I guess the only then is to be a good student and continue to learn to be a good father.



Photograph:

We were watching World Cup where the battle was between Iran and Nigeria on Tuesday afternoon, 17 Jun 2014 at SAFRA. tz wrote this on my phone and ask me to post it:

We went to watch football at SAFRA, it was so interesting and I like it so much. ThE cRaZy DaDdY’s wife also likes to watch football. I thought ThE cRaZy DaDdY does not like to watch football, but he was watching the football too! The screen is so BIG!!! ~The End~

From tz and ThE cRaZy DaDdY.


Note: She took my phone, if I don’t watch football, what should I do?! Anyway, I really don’t like watching football, except to see matches by Brazil and South Korean. Both teams transformed football into an art when I seen them during the last World Cup. We just happened to be there and though why not let her be part of the craze now in Singapore. Haha…