A couple of weeks ago, I was patronizing the Starbucks Cafe near my house. The Starbucks at Civic Centre would be my regular haunt whenever I needed some caffeinated aromatic therapy. The baristas spinning blended coffees and the long list of high class kopi blends knew me by my ang moh name "Ken". Forget "regular", you can say I am almost a "day-gular".
A specky barista had her jaw wide opened when I ordered my Ice Caramel Macchiato lugging baby Angel with one hand and attempting to pull out a fifty dollar note from my wallet using my other hand.
"BABY??" she asked, almost stunned.
"Yeah. She's my daughter, isn't she cute. Say 'Hi' Angel," I replied proudly.
"I thought you are still single!" she exclaimed.
Oh, that startled me a little. Oh yes, I had my coffee breaks after lunch during workdays, I had my 2nd cuppa in the evenings some nights, I had ice grande mochas after my swim, I had the 'croque monsier' on the go for breakfast before heading to the office, but was never seen with baby Angel tugged under my arm, not to mention the missus and my 10 year old niece who tagged along.
"You are a father...", her braces beaming under the chic yellowish interior lighting, the green leafy veggie stucked in her braces was beginning to bother me a little.
"Yeah... well... yah..." (I didn't know what to say)
"So... father of... TWO...??" she asked, pointing her finger at my overweight 10 year old niece.
That triggered a laugh from me. I almost choked on my saliva, but luckily I grabbed Angel tight with my arm.
"Hahahaha. NO!! One lah!", I replied. And then both of us blurted loud laughters. I had no idea why she laughed, but I laughed because the idea of fathering another 10 year old daughter mused me. She probably might had snapped her braces should I proclaim my other daughter a ten year old primary 5 kid. How possibly is that? I know my wrinkles cut like MRT tracks but surely I don't look that old?
I realized I am used to acknowledging myself as a dad, but not used to someone seeing me as a father. It was the same when I just got married. The word "husband" rather than "boyfriend" needs getting used to.
But "Father" is a big word. Father means responsibility, means bringing rice to the table and more. If "husband" is a rank higher than "boyfriend", I suppose "father" outrank "husband". My self denial on being older each year and my remaining youth slipping away might have done some tricks on me, I am not sure. But this only apply when I am being seen as a father by outsiders. When spending time alone with my daughter and wife, I feel perfectly like a dad.
Three days ago was Father's Day. I told my wife I have yet earned my place as a father because I have only been one for less than 8 months. I don't think I deserve Father's Day. My dad deserved it, he had been a father for 35 years. He had slogged and tolled all his life for us. My wife then explained it doesn't work like that, if you are a dad, you are. I had a pleasant surprise when she got me an Armani Exchange black Polo Tee for Father's Day. So I guess she meant what she said, and definitely no excuses for not feeding my daughter in the middle of the night.
So I'll take her word for it. I have got to fit this role better. Drive carefully with my baby in the car, spend money wisely, be less vain and dress like an uncle, buy John Little's oversized checkered short sleeves at $15 each instead of that DKNY's spring summer $289 trendy city-print shirt (BULLSHIT of course, everyone knows I am a vain bastard, but well, but I'll spend less) , forget parties and bars, stop being nonsensical, quit being silly, swear less (I can't possibly not swear, I drive in Singapore), alright... it may get gloomier and doomier as I typed... but I guess seeing Angel's peaceful face while she is engrossing in dreamland is more than worth it (I am sitting with her, typing, while she sleeps in front of me on the bed right now).
8 months 1 day old today. Never less demanding since day 1, but more adorable each day. My personal favourite though a little cruel is that she will laugh, kick in the air, and clap her hands whenever she see me coming, but cry if I stop a few metres away without carrying her. That is how much she is attached to me and wifey. She has also grown up to be a jovial gal. She laughs, every single day. She scream with excitement when played rough. A very interesting act worth mentioning is how she engaged in a coughing competition with my wife. Angel coughs (she's faking it
so that we would carry her), then wifey coughs, then Angel coughs again, then wifey, then Angel, then she chuckles out loud. Then all three of us have a good laugh. I wonder why she finds it amusing and fun, but as long as she is happy, we'll play this game with her, over and over again.
I actually wanted this post to be about Father's Day, but obviously I have side tracked a little. I could probably carry on rattering and rattering about the 3 of us, about our little baby, but I should stop now, its getting lengthy. Besides, it is about time for a father's job, feeding time.
Happy Father's Day, belated, well... I am such an expired blogger, waddoya expect? Hee.