G., my 3 year-old daughter, begs and begs for cuddles to fall asleep each night. Now what is wrong with honoring this innocent request you ask? Well, in truth there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with it – in fact it is wonderful. I would love to lay next to her every night and stare at her little face as her eyes flutter shut and her breathing slows to a calm melodic rhythm. Her peaceful sleeping countenance helps me remember what a sweet little girl she really is and all the crazy “terrible threes” moments from the day fade away into meaningless moments of the past. However, I also have five-year and seventeen-month-old sons who clamor just as loudly for my nighttime attention.
But I digress – this story is not about how to best divide ones attention and sleep-quota among three little ones; it is about one particular night just after I lay my head down next to G.’s on her pillow. My wonderful wife, Nikki, and I had just abandoned a much needed alone time on the couch to talk and eat raw vegetables dipped in tasty green onion dip (but not before munching a carrot or two). This said, as I looked at G., a disconcerted expression contorted her face. She waved her hand in front of her face in a manner that made me think she had hurt a finger and was about to ask for me to “kiss it better,” when she very seriously said, “Daddy, your air is yucky.” Hmmm… time to brush my teeth.
Now where did I put those tweezers...
Yesterday G. once again became disturbed when she looked up from where she sat in my lap reading books and observed, “Ooh daddy, you have hair in your nose – that so yucky.”
While I am not a pushover when it comes to disciplining my children, it is no secret that no one can put the fear of disobedience into them like my wife. Well, earlier today when G. was supposed to be napping, she snuck downstairs in hopes that we had forgotten it was naptime and she could resume playing like it had never happened. Since this certainly wasn’t the case, I scolded her for getting out of bed and told her to go back to her room. She planted her little feet and stubbornly told me that she had no intentions of doing any such thing. At that same moment Nikki glanced in G.’s bedroom in passing and not seeing the little sleeping lump she expected, called “G.?” Hearing this downstairs, G.’s resolve instantly dissolved as a wave of realization and trepidation swept across her face. She literally jumped at me trying to clamber into my arms as she desperately cried out, “Daddy, take me to my room! Take me to my room!” I can only imagine what fate she thought would befall her should her mother discover her escape.
To bite or not to bite -- That is the question
Today I gave G. a piece of spicy jalapeño cheese, warning her that it was “hot cheese,” but she was welcome to try it. After taking a bite and chewing it up she made a small rasping sound in the back of her throat and politely returned what remained of her slice to the plate. I asked her if she was done with it, to which she replied, “Yes. It is very much not good.” I glanced at Nikki who was trying to hide her quiet chuckling. Once composed, she asked G. if she wanted more cheese. “No,” G. replied. “It’s too hot. I have to wait for it to cool off.”