She’s funny and makes us laugh. Not in the way she did for the first nine years. This is different. She is more aware of her ability to make us laugh, and she goes for the funny remark or action with a purpose. And if she scores laughs, she’s prone to repeat the joke over and over until we tell that was one too many times and it’s not funny anymore. But she likes pushing to see how many times she can make us laugh and where that line of funny and unfunny is.
She’s a good student and hardworking and bright. And though it feels like she only listens to 10% of what I say, which may not be a bad idea at all and why she’s so smart, she did listen to the part about hard work resulting in good things, like good grades. And she does her homework now without prompting and is proud of her success.
She’s a moody at times. One day it’s, “I love you, Daddy.” The next, she comes home from school and doesn’t say a word to me. I’m wondering if this is a female thing? I don’t understand it.
She still likes My Little Pony and watches the cartoon on Saturday mornings. But she doesn’t want anyone to know. Oops, I just let that pony out of the bag. Yes, she’s caught in the fragile strip of time between childhood and being a tweener, or whatever it’s called.
She’s competitive. My wife blames me for this. Okay, guilty. My genes, no doubt. We recently played a 3-day game of Monopoly. First, she and I bankrupted my wife. Yes, we’re awesome. However, my daughter was more compassionate than I about this (her mother’s genes). Then, after my wife was knocked out, I thought about letting my daughter win, but then she was so . . . I don’t know . . . boisterous, overconfident, that something kicked in with me and I couldn’t do it. And I won, of course. She was pretty upset about it. Oh, well, she has her entire life ahead of her to get over it. (Get over it, honey, it was a long time ago.)
She is confident, but hasn’t always been. It’s a fragile confidence we don’t want to break, especially since we feel we’ve played a role in getting her to this point. But it’s not a confidence built on a foundation of “everything you do is great, dear.” We’ve tried to be balanced in our praise and use it when its earned. But something clicked this year with her and she’s a new “her.” Example: she wanted one of the lead roles in her class play and got it. We were amazed she wanted it. She’s also taking singing lessons and we have to ask her not to sing over the American Idol and Voice performances so we can hear the actual performers.
She plays soccer and runs track.
She is imperfect like the two of us, her parents, but maybe not as much. And that fills me with hope that she will grow up and be happy, something I haven’t mastered.
But I’m working on it, always.