Now keep in mind a large majority of these people are complete strangers. My kids literally have no shame. At first, this was jawdroppingly embarrassing. I mean, I would just stand & stare at my children making me look at a complete idiot. Also, earlier when I said the phrase "adult women", I was using that term loosely. "Adult" to my kids means anyone over the age of around 15. I literally cannot express to you the horror I have felt at certain times. Picture this: We are in the grocery store and we see a 6'5 man in full military attire (complete with mustache) walking with his high school freshman age daughter. Neela walks right up to the barely teenage girl and starts talking. I see this happening and immediately toss the frozen pizza I'm grabbing out of the freezer section across the isle while sprinting to break up this conversation. I don't make it. This is what I run up to...
Neela: "You're so pretty. My dad is handsome. I bet he would think you are so pretty. Hey! I got a great idea. You two should marry!! *turns around to me see right behind her and out of breathe from sprinting across the store* Great!!! Here he is!... Dad. Isn't she so pretty!?! I bet you are in looooove now..."
As the blood drains from my head is shock and embarrassment, I notice the dad's knuckles turning about as white as my face. I try to laugh it off and yank Neela away from the situation. Of course, we literally are on one of those "isle twins" routines. Every time, we go down an isle who do we see rounding the corner. Grabbing fruit loops... isle twin. Looking a bag of flour... isle twin. Grabbing some chewing gum...isle twin. It was so bad. Finally, me and the kids just grabbed some fruit snacks and ate them in the toy section, so I wouldn't be stuck behind them in the checkout line. Later, we had a big talk about "age appropriateness". hahaha.
However, normally I don't mind too much. They ask college girls at work, women at restaurants, moms at the park, and even senior citizens who live at my grandma's retirement home. (Fun fact: Occasionally, some women smile at the kids and say "Sure!". However, at the nursing home, I tend to rack up with the potential spouse candidates ;) Actually, one time one of the teachers at school told me that Neela had already given out "wedding jobs" to all of the elementary teachers (flower girl, priest, picture taker, dog sitter..."
Now to be honest, when they first started doing this, I was a little worried they were trying to fill some "mom void" in their own lives. I got nervous that I wasn't doing a great job of being both mom and dad. However, over months of conversations with them I've learned that they just really want me be happy. Although, I constantly tell them that I really enjoy spending my time with them, they just think I should have a partner. They might want me to find someone more than I do actually.
Pardon my rabbit trail.
This is just my opinion, but I think some people rush through the single parenting experience at times. In all honesty it's so much work and can be emotionally/physically draining, but once you get over the hump; get in the groove, it's just the most interesting life experience. Not only does it give you an amazing chance to bond with your kids, but it forces you to grow out of your comfort zone as a human. I've always been fun, carefree, and a little weird. So naturally when I became a dad I encouraged that in my children. However, over the past few years I've noticed flaws in my parenting and personal life due to the fact that I'm playing both parenting roles. I always like to compare it to the movie "Big Daddy". My kids were pretty much named Frankenstein, acting crazy, and dressed like this for school. In time, I learned how balancing social norms and actual etiquette along with the fun/crazy is ultra beneficial.
"Sure, you can wear a pot on your hear and paint the toilet with fingernail polish."
Also, there's just such a strong sense of value I've been able to pass along to my kids being a single parent. They know they are the most important to me. There's no competition between a woman. There's no questioning that I value my relationship and time with them above everything else. With them going through their abandonment issues, this has been such a major part of their healing.
End of Tangent ;)
So besides them asking women to marry me, they also like to give me tips on how to meet/impress women. Here are some of my favorite pearls of wisdom I've received from my children on how to impress the opposite sex.
- "Whenever you go in public, you should take off your shirt. Grown up women like a hairy man. And boy. you hairy."
- "Just do this whenever you see a pretty girl..."
- "Dad! That girl is pretty. You should talk to her... Don't act weird like you normally do."
- "Take us to the ice cream store. Girls are always in good mood when they eat ice cream."
- "About taking off your shirt, you need to lose a few pounds in your belly before you do that actually."
- "I bet you would be more handsome without your glasses.... Take them off... Nope.... Put them back on."
- "Dad. I bet there will be pretty girls there tonight. You should wear your tight pants!"
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,