Monday, November 14, 2011

Disneyland Father

Apart from the delightful free time she gained from "Daddy weekend," Stevie was of two minds about Jon's surprise visit. The kids were obviously pleased to see him, and they needed to be with him. But Stevie felt Jon should have given her more time to plan and prepare—at least a few days. She would kindly but firmly insist that he avoid last-minute drop-ins in the future.

She also found herself a little uncomfortable with the greeting Jon received. Did the kids have to be so excited to see him, so eager to leave her at home alone? They acted as if they had received a weekend pass from the Redding jail. Stevie did not enjoy feeling like a jailer.

Most disturbing of all was the subtle, nagging fear that Shawna and Collin might prefer their father to her. This was the pitfall of the "Disneyland father" syndrome. Daddy breezes in, spends wads of money on the children, lets them eat anything they want, never says no, never lifts a hand of discipline. Then he disappears, and Mom is left to restore order.

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