Joblessness Teaching me How to be a Father

I quit my job to learn to look for another job. It has been a month and my first lesson is to teach and be a father.

I didn’t think I’ll ever punish my son since I am too soft. I am an IFNJ; a personality type. INFJs are a caring bunch and good listeners to boot. Kind and affirming, I make others feel safe around me and tend to have a good many insights into people. Ask my wife and my friend Bruce.

So my son refused to eat, and I said, “That’s okay by me. We shall see who dies of hunger.”

He looks at me and repeats the last word I said, in Swahili. We use Swahili a lot around the house. The next thing is, am so mad I want to spank him.

His mother says “no.” which means, “he is too young.” I hesitated. You know what? he wakes his mother when everyone is asleep because he is hungry. His mother can’t wake up without waking me up. So it becomes a family problem.

My son is two and a half, cheeky with some level of phobia for food. He has mastered every last word in television ads. He’s hard to feed though he feeds under duress. His mother threatens to punish him every day but he ignores her and he does it again. And again. Then he started ignoring me too. So I made my mind to start spanking him.

“Your mom says you eat,” I say with a firm voice.

“You, I will spank you and stop talking.” (in Swahili) My son answers back shouting at the top of his babyish voice.

Then I look at his mother’s face. She looks away and vanishes into the kitchen. She leaves me furious. I turn to my son and tell him he shouldn’t talk back while his parents are talking to him. He speaks back the same words I used and then tries to fight me.

I was sure that it was time for his lesson. I grab his hand. Turn to his buttocks and inflict a sizable amount of pain with a neat calculated spunk. He immediately screamed in pain running towards the kitchen. His mother is a bit concerned.

“That was too much!” She said.

“That was only one. Enough to help him differentiate serious talk and joke.” I responded

She takes him in her arms. He realizes his mother is not sufficiently sympathetic, He runs into the bedroom and jumps into the bed. He fell asleep. He wakes up two hours later and asks for food. He wiped the plate clean.

Being a father is a call that needs firmness to show love and care for the little one. I am a first time Dad, and so is my wife and we are trying to bring up a responsible citizen and we pray that God helps us.