Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two Versions of Daddy

Well, we've somewhat settled into "normal" life (as normal as life can be). I'm discovering new challenges with being a Daddy again.

On one hand I have two older girls who, by nature of their age, don't demand much "maintenance" attention. They dress themselves and pick out their clothes. When we say, "Get ready to go," they do. They buckle themselves up, open their own doors, and eat with their silverware. Most significantly, they've each had 10+ years of experience with life in the Waal household. They know what's expected.

On the other hand are two younger girls who, by nature of their age, demand lots of "maintenance" attention. They need help with tons of things (bathroom, hand washing, reminders to blow their nose, etc.).

Throw in a language barrier and cultural differences and you begin to see the challenges we face. This is all what I expected.

I think the biggest challenge for us all has been Neti and Meke's lack of experience in our household culture. Every tradition, procedure, rule, and practice of our household is up for grabs and being tested. It's not an intentionally rebellious act on their part. They simply don't know how we're accustomed to doing things. They don't know the boundaries. They're oblivious of the simple nuances of how our family operates.

Bethany and Kailey, for example, know the difference between Daddy's "game mode" and "discipline mode." As Neti and Meke have only experienced the former in their first week with us, they're still trying to figure out the latter.

I noticed today that out of necessity I've become two versions of Daddy...one to my older kids, and quite a different version to my younger. My older girls have noticed. Not sure if the younger ones have (they couldn't tell me if they did).

I thinking this is probably some pretty normal stuff that comes after the "The End" of the Fairy Tale.

But I wouldn't trade it for the world!


At 10:28 PM , Blogger cjsanderson said...

As a mother of four daughters - I know you are doing a great job!!! Keep it up! Let me know when and if I can help in any way! Love to all

At 12:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoying your blog. We're waiting for the referrel of one or two Ethiopian daughters to add to our 8 and 6 year old girls in AZ.


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