This week in Parenthesis, Heather Armstrong draws deep truth from a moment of panic, Mike Adamick admires the reflection of his own “nerdery” in his little girl and Mr. Lady learns from her daughter’s strength.
Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong has been having trouble getting her 3-year-old daughter to hold to a livable sleep schedule. It's enough of a stressor that the mom was extra-worried about dealing with the end of Daylight Savings Time. As she puts it:
The recent time change handed Marlo’s sleep schedule several hits of acid and said, listen, you’re going to want to take all of these at the same time. Don’t worry about hiding it from your mother. When you start to see the purple dancing elephants, chase them through the house. Narrate everything out loud.
When, one recent morning, Marlo did the last thing Armstrong expected and slept in (past 6:50), it threw mom into panic mode (much to her older daughter's amusement). The entire episode, Armstrong writes, was a perfect illustration of the question parents "live inside… for the rest of [their lives]": "[W]hy are you doing this to me when you know how much I love you?"
Dad's literary legacy
"Oh kid, you already have my looks, my nose, and my trepidation around crowds," Mike Adamick writes of his daughter on Cry It Out. "Do you really need to carry the burden of my awkward literary allusions as well?"
Recounting his own painful experience as a child -- when he'd introduce characters from his reading life into everyday conversations, to his peers' confusion (and his own embarrassment) -- Adamick documents the realization that his daughter, Emme, has started to follow in his footsteps. After watching his little girl work literary references into the discussion of her homemade dragon Halloween costume, Adamick looks ahead to the future with a mix of pride and chagrin: "Oh kid. It’s going to get so much worse when you discover Twain and Stevenson and Shakespeare."
Mr. Lady of Whiskey In My Sippy Cup has gone out of her way to teach her daughter that she is "amazing," "strong" and "powerful" -- in part because when the blogger herself was a child, her mother convinced her she was a "weak" and "vulnerable" "target."
"I tell her every chance I get that she is fiercer than the sun, and stronger than the ocean tides," Mr. Lady writes, in the context of a post about the alienation and unhappiness brought on by her daughter's relationship with an overly possessive male friend at school. "It's horrifying, watching my seven year old daughter have to navigate this pocket of humanity, watching the little heart I've so carefully guarded from any pain learn the hard lesson that people just ain't no good," she says.
That's why she's so relieved -- and impressed -- when her daughter finds the strength to stand up for herself and break the cycle on her own. "I am so proud of this woman-becoming, who is teaching me more than I will ever in a million years teach her."