Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If I don't put a stop to it ...

My daughter. I love her so much no language has the appropriate word to fully describe its profundity. The universe knows no depth like the depth of my love for that girl. I tell her ALL the time that I love her more than any girl in the entire world. And, let's face it - I'm gay. My ass ain't lying.

But wool does not shield my eyes from the self-centered, entitled side of her that irks me. She always has to be the first, have the largest piece of cake, the most coins in her little cup from Chuck E. Cheeses, always has to decide who's "it," and manipulates her little brother to swap all the good things he has (i.e. Nintendo DS games) so that they become hers.

I've addressed it before - but today? We were driving back from their baseball practice (don't get me started on the clusterfuck that is the YMCA - that's for another post) and I told them that they had to go to bed right after we got home and took baths. The damn practice is from 7 to 8 pm and by the time I went to Walmart to replace her swimming suit because the other one's strap broke, it was 8:45pm. She asked why.

"Because it's nine o'clock at night," I responded.

"It's nine o'clock at NINE," she said mocking me.

"I said NIGHT."

"No you didn't."

"Yes, honey - I did."

*moment of silence*

"It's 8:forty FIVE," she said with a tinge of sarcasm.

"I will REACH back there and smack you, girl!" I exclaimed, making sure that she knew in no uncertain terms that I was about to whoop her little ass if she so much as SPOKE again.

"You NEED to watch you mouth," I said with finality. And it was quiet all the rest of the way home.

After her bath she came to my room and said, "dad, I'm sorry."

"For WHAT?" I asked flatly.

"For talking back," she sniffled.

"Come here, baby." And she sat on my lap.

I proceeded to detail her behavior the last few days - how she told some kid while they were playing that she was "The Boss." And how at the baseball game she wanted everyone to know she was the OLDEST.

(Do these kids think we don't watch them?!?)

I told her that she needs to stop acting so selfish and that other people want to shine sometimes - that she can't always be the best, or the first, or the oldest or the decider (dub-ya call back, if you remember). Other people need a chance too.

The flood gates opened and she explained that all the kids at daycare treat her like that and her brain makes her want to do the same to other people.

"But just because other people steal - does that mean YOU steal?"

"No."

"If other people use bad words, do YOU say them?"

"No."

You need to always stop and think about how other people feel and remember that they want to be just as special as you do ... and you can NOT continue to put other people down to make yourself feel better.

She cried in my lap for a while and I held her.

And as soon as they're asleep - I'll close my bedroom door and cry myself.

5 comments:

The Jaded NYer said...

OMG I hate you so much for making me cry right now... don't you know it's PMS Week? UGH!!!

The friendship is on the rocks...

Tim said...

This was such a touching entry. It made me cry. You are truly a good daddy and that's something we don't see too much of in the world.

Keep it up!

JACK said...

I was emotional when I wrote this post and apparently my attempts at comedy relief weren't nearly as successful as I intended them to be. My eyes welled up too when I wrote, but I really didn't expect it to have the same impact on you, the reader. Thank you for telling me, even if some of you threatened our friendship on account of your tears. *side eye @ jaded*

Today: At the McDonalds drive thru I order two white milks. They gave me one chocolate and one white. My daughter was up in arms talking about she wanted the chocolate one.

"Which one is better?" I asked.

"The chocolate one."

"Should we sometimes want OTHER people to have the best one?"

*silence*

She whined but offered the chocolate milk to her brother ... who wanted it, but would rather have his sister be happy. So there they were arguing

"you take it." she said.

"no, YOU have it." he replied

We've made progress folks!

(psst - i made my son take the chocolate milk.)

ExaminedLife said...

wow, you could definitely feel the emotion in that. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Awwwww *reaches for tissue*

L.