It was getting late and my daughter was crying. "But I want to bake a cake now!" I told her earlier in the day that we would make a cake, but for one reason or another we didn't. She was sitting down with her legs stretched out screaming. "You said today! I don't want to make it tomorrow! I want it now!" I didn't keep my side of the bargain. I had to think quick. I told her that she can have something "good" after she finished her dinner. That something "good" is either candy or ice cream. As the d from the word "good" passed my lips, the waterworks stopped immediately. She ran to finish her dinner. The whole episode took no more than two minutes. Within seconds, she inhaled the rest of her dinner and yelled, "I'm done, now give me something good!"
She completed her mission. To make me feel bad and get what she wanted. This is a daily occurrence. I get my victories from time to time, but she is the one strutting around the house. I plot and scheme but she always sees right through them. Plus, she has an incredible memory. She doesn't forget anything, especially the bad things I say or do. She gets that from her mother. But sometimes I sit and marvel over the fact that my 3-year-old daughter can be so sweet, kind, and thoughtful. As I watch her grow I see things that I wish I had in myself. As parents, we hope that our children can take the best aspects of ourselves and become that person. In that regard I believe she is on her way. These are the six things I learn from my daughter everyday:
1. Be Relentless. When she puts her mind to something, nothing can stop her. She will get frustrated but always pushes forward until she figures it out. She doesn't want Mom or Dad to do it. "I will do it," she yells back at us. If you want to do something, just keep pushing yourself. Don't rely on people to figure everything out. If you do, you will always be waiting. That's something my daughter doesn't do.
2. Be Persuasive. If there is something you want out of life you have to figure out a way to get it. My daughter will try different tactics to get what she wants. Whether it's saying, "Pa pa pa pleaseee" or asking Mom, then trying Dad; she is always angling herself into a better position to get what she wants. She uses all of her resources to the max. Don't be afraid to you use all of your abilities, to get what you want.
3. Be Loving. If she sees my wife and I upset, she will give us a kiss and a hug. If she hears my wife and I arguing, she will yell, "Ok, slow down, slow down." We both look at her and begin to laugh. She diffuses the situation, she knows exactly what she is doing. She can just sense when something is wrong and immediately tries to make you feel better about yourself. Show compassion towards people, you never know who's day you will make.
4. Be Accountable. Don't say anything to her that you won't be able to deliver. She will hold you to it. If you don't, you are in a world of hurt. We sometimes say things just to keep them quiet. But if you say something to her, she will make sure that it isn't forgotten. There are times when she wakes up from her nap and the first words she says is the bribe we used to get her to go to sleep. It is important to mean what you say or no one will take you seriously.
5. Be Aware. She is always aware of her surroundings. After school she will give a run down of who was crying or who got in trouble. We call her the mayor. She notices Mommy's new outfits or the new color of her nails. When things change she knows and wants to know why. You shouldn't keep you head down in life. Look up and see what's going around you. You will be surprised by what you will miss, except her. She doesn't miss a beat.
6. Be Bold. When the song starts, she doesn't care who is there. When Elsa starts singing, "Let it Go", she puts on her dress and cape and a performance ensues. If her costume isn't available, lets say at the doctor's office, you will get a vocal performance of a lifetime. Even, if other people would feel awkward, she doesn't. She doesn't care what they are going to say. Yes, I get that it's from the song. That's why I wrote it! Don't be afraid of what other people think. Just do what you want to do in your life. It's the regrets that will keep you up at night.
She is loving, determined, and smart. These are all attributes that we aspire to be. I hope I can continue to help her along this path. There have definitely been bumps in the road, but she has always been able to dust herself off and keep going. What I didn't realize was that if I am half the person she already is, I would consider my life a success.