Fun-loving dad gives son pedicure, relishes fatherhood ToDD with love
FULL-TIME CRIME fighter and father Rafelito Lafayatte is always thrilled to speak of his three children, whether it’s about clipping toe nails and washing feet during his pedicures or other activities they participate in as they spend quality time together.
“From you have kids, you must can talk about it from you a take part in their lives,” he said as he sat down with The Gleaner.
The proud father of three children – 16-year-old Jamar, nine-year-old Gabriel, and six-year-old Justin – is being dubbed Father of the Year by many social media users after a video began making the rounds of Lafayette treating his youngest son Justin to a pedicure.
“Dem call me and tell me that’s how father and son to live,” he said, beaming.
He is not new to such accolades as he often draws the admiration of persons seeing his interaction with the children.
“One of my bredrin tell me say when him see me and them the other day, water full his eyes because that’s how he wants to live with his children,” said Lafayette, who added that he enjoys playing video games with his boys – “especially my big son”.
“I bought a PlayStation, so sometimes we a play games til midnight. As long as he doesn’t have any school or him finish his assignment, we still a play game, cook and run boat, and do every little thing,” Lafayette said. “The little one now, we have to play his games like Mortal Kombat and have a good time.”
Acknowledging that not all fathers and their children – especially sons – have model relationships, Lafayette says this could have an impact on society.
“It kinda rough, and based on the nature of my job, it gives me more work to do,” he said. “If you are the father and you nah rap with your youth, it a go have a strain on the mother. As a father and you not taking part in your youth life a certain way, the discipline level a go drop big time.”
POSITIVE SUPPORT IMPORTANT
He recommends interaction with positive people and surrounding oneself with mentors to foster even better father-child relations.
“We have a JC (Jamaica College) group and we link up on Saturdays, and who have kids, we share the experience and get advice. Sometimes, what we do is bring the kids and make them interact,” he told The Gleaner. “If you have someone respectful that can mentor your child, who you know your child would respect, they can be used in that manner. It helps sometimes ‘cause you alone can’t do it.”
Despite his best efforts, fatherhood for Lafayette is not without challenges, especially with his line of work.
“My greatest challenge is time. Sometime mi nuh get nuh whole heap of time, but when mi get the time, it’s time well spent. I do everything in that small time. Sometime when I reach home, everyone gone to bed, and when I wake, it’s time for them to go to school,” he said.
However, a big part of making up for lost time is telling them he loves them and showing them affection.
But where did all this love, care, and interest in fatherhood come from?
“Me and my father never do dem whole heap of dem fun fun things here, but we good. He did his best, and I am proud of him, and we live good same way,” he told The Gleaner.“When you grow and see other persons a enjoy their time with their kids, you say to yourself, ‘That’s how me and mine will grow’, so you don’t want to make the mistake your parents made and don’t have a lot of fun times.”
He added that fathers should strive to be positive role models for their children as others could lead them astray.
The pedicure given to his son in the viral video arose out of him buying the foot bath for personal use.
“Because of my experience when I pay to get it done, mi say, ‘I am going to buy one of these for myself’, and we there now and him (Justin) said, ‘Daddy, I want mine to do, too’, so mi say, ‘All right, let’s go’,” he . “They enjoy themselves when dem ‘round me, so when mi get the time, mi just mek use of it.”
Lafayette, though a hands-on dad, had high praises for the mothers of his children.
“When it’s all said and done, they have a good mother background, too. Justin’s mom is there for him 24/7, and Jamar and Gabriel, when I am not there, mom is there for them same way,” he said. “I know this is my interview, but I have to give their mom thumbs up, too, ‘cause dem do whole heap.”
Rafelito Lafayette relishes the role he plays in his three children’s lives.