Monkey King has been trying to teach our little Baby Monkey various life lessons since she was born.
When she was a day-old newborn, MK was enlisted as part of our nursing team. His job was to tickle her feet when she fell asleep suckling. “Wake up, wake up, baby! You have to keep nursing. Don’t fall asleep yet!” A few days later, after we had thankfully and miraculously mastered the art of nursing, our Baby Monkey went above and beyond her call of duty and also excelled in the art of NOT SLEEPING.
Monkey King’s lesson plan quickly took a 180 degree turn and became a lesson on ” How To Fall Asleep”.
Monkey King is a very demonstrative Dad. When Plum looked alarmingly wide awake with her big chocolate brown eyes in the wee hours of the morning (technically speaking it was the morning, though most people would consider 2am the night), he’d roll over on his side of the bed and said, “Plum, look! This is how you fall asleep!” Lo and behold, he’d fall asleep at a blink of an eye. Not a minute has gone by, and Plum and I would look at him in wonder. “How did he do that?” I asked Plum as we both struggled with our opposite ideas of appropriate nocturnal activities for a newborn.
As Baby Monkey grew, so did the scope of her lessons. When Baby Monkey learned to crawl, she started out crawling backwards. I would sit a few feet in front of her to encourage her crawling. Though with her eyes trained on me, she kept getting herself further and further away with each crawl and would cry out in panic. Monkey King would crouch down next to her and demonstrate how to crawl forward towards Mommy.
And forward we moved. Forward to walking and climbing. Forward to digital motor skills. Digital as in fingers. Lego has been a huge part of MK’s childhood, as evident by the large boxes of Legos that my mother-in-law shipped over to our house when they cleared out MK’s childhood memorabilia from their old house. The Monkey clan could be seen assembling various colorful ships and carts and animals and playground structures with blocks and wheels and sticks.
Monkey King teaches by demonstration. He demonstrates his respect for women by respecting us. He does not filter life lessons based on gender. He does not “baby” our little monkey because she is a girl. Heck, he even bought her a skateboard. As evident with her various playground injuries with her elbow and foot, no one could accuse the Monkey clan of having a porcelain doll of a daughter that’s for sure.
These days, MK could be seen teaching Baby Monkey how to skip rocks into the ocean waves. Just last weekend, the training wheels were taken off Baby Monkey’s bike. They sent me a video clip of her riding her bike with glee, while I sat at a medical conference all day with envy.
Oh, and onward and forward we will go, with Monkey King teaching, mostly by demonstration, the various life lessons to his heir. Here is to a wonderful father. Happy early Father’s Day, Monkey King!
TO THE FATHERS READING THIS POST, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WITH YOUR KID(S)?
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOU HAPPY MEMORIES WITH YOUR FATHER? WHAT ARE THE VALUES THAT YOUR FATHER INSTILL IN YOU?