Sometimes kids say the darnedest things. If you know who Art Linkletter is, you know this. I once read a book my Grandparents had that he wrote. It was a collection of quotes taken from his famous television show. I always wonder what are some of the darnedest things I said. The other day my daughter looked at me and said “Daddy, you’re a good man.”. I thought, “What? How the? Where did she get that from?”
It turns out I buckled her in the car seat right. Once I messed up and she let me know it. The whole drive, “Daddy, you did this wrong! Daddy, this isn’t right.” When we got to where we were going I looked at her seat and noticed I didn’t pull up a flap that protected her from the clips, pinch protector I guess. She said “See Daddy, you messed up. You’re a bad man.”
Well, some days I can be a bad man, or a mean Daddy, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Here’s my three year old girl telling me I did something wrong and that I was a bad man for doing it. I told her that I wasn’t a bad man and I just made a mistake. “You made a mistake!” she said. “Yes dear, I did. They happen. We’ll just fix it and never let it happen again.”
Since that day every time I buckle her in the car seat she says “Yay Daddy you did it right.” If it’s a good day and she’s excited, she might tell me I’m a good man again. But, the thing is, she’s now correcting me on a lot of different things as well. If I forgot to buckle my son in the high chair, she lets me know it. If her shoes are going on the wrong feet, and yes this happens because I feel like the walking dead, she tells me “you’re doing it wrong.”
So now I need to be on top of my game every minute or she basically smacks my fingers with the ruler. Little Diva thinks she’s the boss.
When my wife was pregnant with her I was recommended a book titled Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. I ordered it, because when someone says “Dude… you NEED to read this book!” I can’t not buy it. Like an addiction I go to Amazon and get it Prime, next day. Please, don’t recommend any new books or my wife might kick my balls.
Anyway, in the book Dr. Meg Meeker, the author, writes about how a man, a father, is a daughter’s first love and the most important person in her life, for like… ever. She writes about how a daughter has an eye for nearly everything her father does and it’s important for men to be the type of man he’d want his little girl to one day marry.
There I am.. doing something wrong and my peanut tells me, notices me, sees what I am doing and understands it. Now, everything I do or say is going to be taken in, judged and filtered. She’s now at the stage where I must be like the man I want her to one day grow up to love. My actions must be true, direct, purposeful, and intelligent. The example I set must be a good one. The image I portray, a powerful one. My little girl is watching my every move and growing with my every action and reaction. For her to have a good man one day, I must be the alpha example and the bar is set high. I have my work cut out for me, and even though at times I don’t feel ready, I will be and I won’t let her down.
One day it’ll be me saying to her “Honey, he’s a good man.” and if she smiles and embraces me with a hug and runs off floating in happiness, I’ll know my job was done.. and done right.