When you become a daddy of a daughter, you actually have a conversation with yourself. You think, “You know what? I am going to be close with my daughter. I am going to make sure that my daughter is strong and independent. Any time a boy challenges her to do something, she is going to step up and be better than expected. Any time she has to compete against a boy, she is going to beat him! I am going to make sure that she is turns into the best woman in the world.
Then, a few years later, when she can talk, you realize that this shit is hard.
It is pretty much a crap shoot what kind of female child you are going to end up with. And God is definitely a comedian. You could get the type of daughter that will be in awe of you – hanging on your every word as if you were this omniscient, omnipotent, and omnificent being; or, you could have the type of daughter that is strong and independent, but very, very (very) stubborn. Me, I was lucky enough to have one of each.
My first daughter and I were close. She is the side of me that is very athletic, popular with her peers, and knows how to play the game in order for her to come out smelling like a rose (She slept through the night at week four, for God’s sakes). As she grew older, I thought to myself, “These other parents must suck. They’re always talking about how hard it is to parent. The problem must obviously be them. I must be the best parent ever – I should write a book!
*It should be noted that when she turned 9 years old, somehow, she started to think that I was a complete, bumbling idiot. I don’t know what it is about that age, but shit definitely changed (Personally, I blame Teen Nick shows, Teen Disney shows, and hormones).
But just when I started looking for a publisher for my future best-selling, self-help parenting book, my second daughter was born. We were like oil and water. I am constantly trying to guide that girl to the best path for her future – and she has the nerve to fight me every step of the way! If I say, “look at that pretty yellow dress,” she would look directly at me with her thick furled eyebrows and exclaim, “The house is chartreuse, Dad.” Well, excuse the Hell out of me. Most little girls are learning their primary colors by singing the rainbow song, but not this one – oh, this one knows everything.
And this is how it has been since she was a baby.
A baby that refused to sleep through the night until she was two. Yes, her mother and I are still – years later – pretty bitter about that stage.
She is the side of me that does not take well to stupid rules. I am quoted in staff meetings for saying things like, “Well, if the policy is not getting the results you want, then it is a stupid policy.” So, I should not be surprised, nor upset, when she says to me, “Well, maybe it is not me, may it is a dumb rule, did you ever think of that!” But I am upset… because I am the parent… and because… well dammit, I say so.
She is also the side of me that is a social butterfly. Just not within her peer group.
“Oh, she is so funny…”
“She is soooo independent…”
“Look at that smile, come with me to get (some food or toy she does not deserve)”
My little girl hangs out and has conversations with women who are 30+ years old.
And they talk shit about me.
Well, shit. There goes my book deal.
Look, I understand. This may seem as though I am asking for help, but I am not.
I am crying. Crying for help. This shit is hard.