Part of the reason that I write this blog is because I truly love being a father and I get a kick out of writing about the lighter side of it all.
However, at the same time, I'm immensely fascinated by child development. I'm a firm believer that our identities are shaped not only by the sum of our life experiences but also by how we deal with them. That's why when the BossLady's father was passing from cancer and the Peanut was facing things a three-year-old should never have to face, I spent an inordinate amount of time speaking to child psychologists, poring over the latest child development studies, and seriously thinking about how best to frame the whole experience for her.
It's funny watching a kid grow up. At the early stages, they tend to emulate and pick up things from those around them. That's why it never surprised me to find that my daughter thought it was freaking hilarious when she farted on the dog, walked around the apartment with underwear on her head, pretended to read the newspaper on the toilet, or did the "shake your bootie dance" in public.
Gee, I wonder where she got all that from!
But now, she's at a stage where I'm starting to see more of her own individual personality come out and I have to admit...it's fucking awesome. Of course, you see it at earlier stages. Except now that she's four, she's constantly adding her own twist to things. For those of you with younger kids, it's hard to explain and I wish I could convey the experience better but I'm at a loss for words. I'll have to explore this some other time when I'm not simultaneously drinking a scotch and watching SportsCenter in the background.
Anyway, today the Peanut got in argument with some kid at daycare and the other kid teased her. My daughter's reply? "Hey! You know what? You're not being very nice. Santa's not bringing you ANYTHING this year!" When I asked her if that was really a nice thing to say to one of her close friends, the Peanut turned to me and replied, "It's ok, dude. I was just kidding."
Hmmm, maybe the apple never falls far from the tree after all.
Anyway, I think I'm just a little blown away right now because, last night, BossLady had the Peanut write out a letter to Santa. Of course, my 4-year-old daughter can't spell a single word so she had to explicitly state what she wanted to say to Santa and my wonderfully patient wife had to spell out each and every word, letter by letter. In fact, BossLady told me that if the Peanut actually wrote everything she wanted to say, the letter probably would have been 20 pages long and taken two days to write.
Naturally, even writing the shortened version took a long time but, in the end, I thought it was kind of cool that the first letter my daughter has ever written was to Santa and, in a very brief way, encapsulated not only everything that she is about right now but also everything I love about her.
Check it out, yo...
Dear Santa...I wish you a Merry Christmas. I love you and Rudolph too. I would like a princess dress. I'm a very good girl. Thank you. Ok.
The drawing is of Santa and a giant incarnation of Rudolph. I really dig how Rudolph's antlers look like UHF antennas. But the best part is when I asked her what those three things behind Rudolph that looked like upside-down lollipops were, she replied, "Silly Daddy. That's reindeer poop!"
God damn, I love this kid.