Heartbreaking

Today My Daughter Broke My Heart…

Little J acted out because she’s desperately trying to walk the tightrope of acceptance. It’s obvious that she acted in a way that she probably thought would earn her some cred with the “alpha” kids. While not explicitly saying it that way, she did explain her behaviour to me and that is how I understood it.

It reminds me of my own childhood: fighting the fight within where you either stay true to yourself or sell out and feel that elusive sense of belonging.

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Chip Off the Ol’ Block

Conversationality

This is a very serious discussion that occurred while in a doctor’s waiting room recently…

Little J: [Walks up to J with a plastic Brontosaurus in her hand and speaks in a deep, gravelly voice. She speaks purposefully, in a stilted manner.] I am a dinosaur. I can do all kinds of tricks.
J: Really?
Little J: Yes.
J: What kind of tricks can you do? Can you show me?
Little J: Yes! Hup! [Stands the dinosaur on his tail.] This is trick number one.
J: Wow. That’s pretty good!
Little J: Here is another trick. Hup! [Stands dinosaur on his head.] This is the next trick!
J: Very nice. Do you have any more tricks?
Little J: Yes. This is my last trick. Hup! [Stands the dinosaur on his back.] Three. That’s three tricks. I am awesome.
J: Yes! [Claps.] Thank you for showing me those tricks!
Little J: You are welcome. Now it is time for me to go home.
J: Really?
Little J: Yes. It is dinner time. I am going home with the bees. When I get home, I will eat them because I like to eat bees.
J: Well, have a good dinner.
Little J: Yes. I will. You have a good dinner too, Daddy.


I love when she does stuff like this.


It’s Never Too Early…

Twit-Her

My daughter took Valentine’s Day cards to her daycare last week. She worked very hard on them with Mrs. Jorge, colouring with crayons, applying stickers, and using glitter glue to affix heart-shaped paper cut-outs to the cards.

I addressed each card to one of the kids in her daycare group (lots of whom were very generous with their cards) and L’il J took them to her class. When I went to pick her up at the end of the day, one of the girls there walked up to her and gave her a card that looked exactly like the ones that we had bought for the other kids. An interesting coincidence.

Or so I thought.

My daughter insisted that the card was for her friend, to which I chuckled.

Jorge: No, that’s her card to you, sweetie.
L’il J: No, Daddy. That’s for her.

She was so insistent that I opened it up and looked inside. I was surprised to see that her classmate had basically crossed out both names and wrote them back in reverse.

Jorge: Oh. It looks like I made a mistake. This one is for you.
Snob In Training: I know. But I don’t need it. I have plenty of other Valentines from all of the other kids so she can take that one back.


Really?

I guess it’s never too early to believe you are popular.

My daughter, truth be told, didn’t allow this to affect her for very long. Like most children, the event was forgotten. I just find it interesting that she will model some of her behaviours after her classmate. Luckily, she hasn’t picked up on some of the finer social traits that make some of these kids so charming.

/sarcasm


Fantastic

Abutt Face

So, not too long ago I was bemoaning the fact that potty training our kiddo wasn’t going very well. Granted, the reflection that I gained from counting to ten so many times allowed me to grow as a person.

We thought about reward scenarios, which also involves the flip side: punishment. Nothing horrible, mind you; putting television on temporary hiatus seemed a good way to get our point across, as it is something she likes but can live without.

A wise person told us not to bother with that. In the past, our little Squiggles has always managed to do what was right. The only condition was that it was on her terms. This is perfectly reasonable when you take a step back and look at it with with an objective eye; however, being in the trenches in World War III: The Battle of Gas Pass doesn’t make it very easy to have patience.

The other morning, before daycare, my wife and I agreed to telling the munchkin that we were going to do away with the whole system for toilet training. So, when Squiggles woke up, I gave her a big hug and told her that we were going to stop our little game and leave the potty-goings to her. I said that we would be there to help her out if she needed it, but that we believed in her.

Later that day, she told her daycare provider that she needed to go to the toilet, which was met with much amusement (our daughter is a bit of a trickster, you see). Lo and behold: she was telling the truth; pee was dispensed in the proper manner; there was much rejoicing.

Twice that day at daycare she went. At home she made us smile by going again and again. It has been a few days now – awesome days – and this exceptional behaviour seems to be the norm.

You can lead a horse to water, I suppose, but sometimes the horse is really stubborn and doesn’t want you to tell where the water is. Hell, the horse would probably remember the location better if it found the water on its own, and most likely doesn’t mind you keeping an eye on the situation from a nearby hillock.



And That Leads To…

I’m only writing this because I’ve received a few veiled complaints about “not enough updates” in the life of Squiggly Squiggles McGee.

I know a good number of people – some of them dearest friends – who write about their children frequently. In fact, some of them (a la Dooce) will write directly to their children on their blogs, which I find really sweet. In contrast, I must seem like a horrible father, as I don’t detail the awesome goings-on of my progeny here on this space.

Besides the misgivings of Mrs. Jorge for posting too many details on here, I suppose I don’t really like doing it because I don’t like to share. Call me selfish, but I think that I would like my daughter to make a name for herself instead of me setting the expectations for what she can do. Nor do I want to write her something personal for all the world to see.

Besides the urgings of others to post more about her, the issue also crossed my mind today as I marveled at how she plays so well with others and on her own. She asked me earlier today to play with her in her room. She demanded that I sit down on the floor as she made dinner. Between frying up some lemon chicken, using her play kitchen’s oven as a combination washing machine/dryer to clean her oven mitts after she spilled imaginary orange juice on them, and serving me play doughnuts and french fries, I had to smile in amusement and pride at her Julia Child-like ways. So adventurous and funny; personable and reserved when the need arises; the cliche about children being little grown-ups is very fitting here. How can one not write about this all the time?

I would most likely get carpal tunnel syndrome from all of the typing I would be doing.

To set the record straight (and every sensible parent will say this): I am really very proud of our daughter, and can’t possibly imagine life without her. She’s all kinds of awesome – and you have no idea how awesome – and I’m very sure that she will surpass her parents by a long shot.

If she happens to read this one day, this should come as no surprise. And really, it shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone else either.