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To Thine Own Self Be True: A Dad’s Humorous Take on Raising Daughters

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“I’m trying to be sporty dad; I just can’t.”  ~ Lilly (my 5 year old daughter after I requested we not watch a princess show and maybe check out something a little more boy-ish.)

When I got past the deadpan delivery, the absolutely brutal honesty, and the subtle yet fantastic humor of Lilly’s statement to me, a few moments later its genuine brilliance smacked me in the face like a failed economic bailout. Sometimes life gets so complicated and so stressful, and we exert so much energy trying to be something that we are not, that we lose sight of our own reality. That’s the beauty of children, they’re not yet tainted by overwhelming and exorbitant expectations. Well, at least they shouldn’t be–yes, that a little shot at the Spears mother and the rest of that ilk.

My wife is not a full-blown Type A personality, but she’s definitely in that ballpark, where I’m no closer to Type A than a stoner with a year supply of Doritos within reach. We balance each other well, though our life as working parents is certainly overloaded with stress–just like everyone else. My one big complaint to my wife when the stress really gets to her is that many times, the additional stressors are things that she voluntarily thrusts upon us. She doesn’t really grasp the “stop and smell the roses” mentality of life, where I probably spend too much time sniffing.

What I need to realize is that though my way is a far superior way to view life (for me), it’s not necessarily a better way to view life for her.

As for Lilly, though the princess stuff is akin to Chinese water torture to dear old dad; she digs it, so good for her. I’ll just continue my daily, subliminal campaign to introduce “sporty” stuff to her and keep my daily vigil going in hopes that she outgrows it. In the mean time, I’ll keep playing the prince to her princess at our make-believe balls. I’ll keep allowing my girls to adorn me with wigs and tiaras and jewelry as they make me “so pretty.” And I’m sure I’ll one day submit myself to the mani-pedi that they’ve been trying to thrust upon me. So far, I’ve managed to stay nail polish-free. I guess that’s something.

 

The world will keep spinning and life will march on in unpredictable paths. So grab your kids, or your friends, or your partners, or someone you admire and embrace their uniqueness and learn from your differences. And if they happen to be into princess nonsense, formulate an intricate yet sneaky plan to make them hate princesses and love “sporty” stuff.

Hey, it could work. It’s worth a shot.

-Mitch McDad

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Comments
  • comment avatar Kagey October 1, 2008

    This insight that kids can only really embrace what they are is like a whack on the head for me this morning.
    Last spring, we enrolled my son in a martial arts class because it is something his dad and I have enjoyed in the past, and about half the time, he simply sat down on his “spot” and watched everyone else. The initial class only ran a couple months, and at the end we decided to nix it. It was soooo frustrating to watch him, since when he decided to participate, he did things right. Clearly, it just isn’t his thing right now. Maybe we’ll try again in a couple years, if he’s interested.
    In the meantime, we’re going to try that whole smelling the flowers bit. It sounds promising. 😀

  • comment avatar Amber October 1, 2008

    It could be worse, Mitch. My best friend’s kid was into princesses for the longest time i.e. movies, dress-up, parties, etc. Would have been cool if he wasn’t a boy. 🙂

  • comment avatar Jerry J October 1, 2008

    Inept government….what the hell are you talking about?

    We could have a hockey mom as president soon. Awesome.

  • comment avatar Melissa D October 1, 2008

    Amen, Mitch. As crazy and stressed out as our little lives are, they’re gifts. Plain and simple. I agree.. stop spinning and take it in.

    Hey, were’s the picture of the wigs and tiara??

    ;o)

    http://www.coloradodentons.blogspot.com

  • comment avatar Catherine October 1, 2008

    I’m still stuck on that picture… I can NEVER get my soccer shots to look that action-y! They’re either standing there scratching their butt. Or a big blur.

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