Role Reversal (Humor, Teamwork, Making it fun, Single parenting)

Fell asleep next to her putting her to bed again. Woke up five hours later at 1:30am. Decided to toy around with some writing projects. Went to bed at 4:30am. Tossed and turned and overslept until 7:30am. She woke up first-

Her – “I want to get to school very early today.”

Me – “Well, it’s too late for that. Go check the time.”

I had heard my phone chime with Michael Bublè a good while back

She got up

Her – “7:33.”

Me – “We need to be pulling out of the driveway now. Get dressed.”

I rolled over, exhausted, under the covers. From her room she called over

Her – “Get up.”

Me – “Make me. You would have to tackle me to get me up.”

In a flash, I heard her quick steps, the swish of her diving…

Thud
Tackle
Roll
Laughter

Ready for the day!

Noticing the Beauty (Consciousness, Innocence of a child, Love, Life focus)

On occasion, over the years, I’ve asked her what makes her so happy. Usually, I get, “I don’t know.” But then I press further. My favorite answer was, “I just love life, and I love people.” So simple. So profound. After all, as adults, it’s easy to become a bit jaded on both.

Other times, it’s just a moment where I get a window into her thinking

This morning, when she woke up, she popped up from her slumbering state. I had been next to her for a while and was visualizing my week and day ahead, focused on outcomes

Her – “Daddy!”

I turned towards her

Her – “Look at the beautiful sunlight. The sun is rising.”

Me – “That’s a beautiful thought to start your day.”

She smiled

Me – “You’re beautiful and life is beautiful.”

Her – “Everyone is beautiful.”

I pondered that for a moment. My adult self reflected for a moment on the ugliness in the world at the hands of we adult humans. But then I thought that, true, most people, if not all, had beautiful aspects to them and, indeed, were once just innocent babies. And, perhaps, from a much higher aspect, even the ugliness was part of some unfolding perfection and beauty. Finally, my thoughts turned turned towards her and how she still saw life and people in unvarnished ways.

Me – “Yes, everyone has beauty in them.”

Effective Perspectives (Seeing the best in others)

We were driving. Out-of-the-blue…

Her – “You’re a big kid.”

Me – “I’m a kid? Why?”

Her – “You have an adult body, but you’re still a kid inside.”

Thinking that she was pondering my visit to her school in the morning where I volunteered on science experiments. Hammed it up with the kids to dramatize otherwise routine projects. I also thought about all the times I am serious with her or in life, generally.

Me – “I have my adult moments.”

Her – “You do, but you’re still a kid.”

Me – “Well, I’m glad you see me that way.”

Her comment makes me want to be more playful; to try to bring even more moments to each day. Will stretch myself so that she looks back and thinks, “Growing up with him was so much fun. I remember this time when he…”

Funny how the way others see us can affect us.

Habits You’ll Need (Fostering independence, Positive habits, Responsibility, Setting example)

When she finally woke up, the morning rituals started. After picking up her blanket, I found myself in her room making her bed. I stopped myself

Me – “What am I doing? Why am I making your bed? That’s your job.”

Her – “Because you’re a Daddo.”

Me – “Well, a Daddo helps her daughter to learn to do the things she can do for herself.”

Her – “When I was little, I couldn’t make it.”

Me – “But you’re not that little now, and you’re fully capable of doing it. It’s important for you to establish good habits when you’re young, because good habit are the basis of a good life. Okay?”

Her – “Okay.”

That’s when I realized that I better hustle over to my room and make my bed!

I certainly don’t expect this conversation to result in her making her bed all the time. But it’s a starting point.

Never Gets Old (Love, Appreciation, Enjoying the journey)

She had just woken up

Me – “Every day when you wake up, I’m happy and excited that we’re together.”

She looked into my eyes and smiled.

Later on the way to school, I guess I echoed the same sentiment

Her – “You say that all the time.”

Me – “That’s because I feel that every day. How does it make you feel when you hear those words?”

Her – “Happy.”

She leaned into my arm and relaxed, feeling loved.

Not in this House (Preventing entitlement mentality, Personal responsibility, Values)

Tonight, I got on her case about leaving her plate by the kitchen sink. My parents, in their calm, grandparent state listened from the table.

Me – “Excuse me, get up here and take care of this. Why is it left here?”

She hung her head a bit.

Me – “We are not your servants. You don’t leave the plate up here and expect someone else to do it. We are a family. Also, I had this same discussion at lunch with you during your playdate, and I’ve had it two hundred other times.”

Her – “Sorry.”

Me – “No. I’m not asking for an apology. I’m asking for a reason.”

She tried to come up with one. It was not rational. My parents, in the background, chuckled at her creative answers and commented that she should be on a debate team when she gets older. Given that I was the one repeating myself, I was not so amused.

Later, at bedtime, I circled back to it

Me – “I was firm with you about leaving the dishes out after all the times we’ve discussed it. That’s because I don’t want you to grow up being lazy and expecting others to just do things for you. I want you to grow up with a sense of personal responsibility and a strong spirit. Okay?”

Her – “Okay.”

We then read Harry potter as I scratched her back, and I sang her to sleep.

Maybe getting firm in one’s tone isn’t popular with some parenting philosophies these days, but, inside a whole lot of love, sometimes values and expectations need to be clearly articulated.

Again

And again

And again, still…