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Warrior Princess


My 3-year-old daughter is as willful as they come. Everything is a fight with her. She lives and breathes to do battle, pulling out that sword in the blink of an eye, and she won’t stop until you give in.

Lately, I have not been giving in. It’s tough – I have the scars to prove it. She goes completely ape-shit. But she needs to learn that throwing a fit will not get her what she wants. It has gone on for much too long. I need to nip this in the bud now, before she turns thirteen and sits on the top of the stairs crying (tearless, mind you) hysterically because I won’t fetch her a glass of juice the instant she demands it. She goes on crying for so long she forgets why she started bawling in the first place, as though she knows she’s supposed to keep it up as long as possible because she’s not a quitter, and quitters never win, and that’s all that matters to her in the end, not the juice.

Right now, as I write this, she is crying about something at the top of the stairs. She started about 15 minutes ago, and it went like this:

Her (crying): “Daaaaaaaaad!”

Me: What the matter?

Her: “I neeeeeeed you!”

Me: What do you need?

Her: “I neeeeeeed you! Come here!” (still crying)

Sweetie, come down here if you need me.

“But I can’t!”

Why not?

“Because I’m crying!”

Then stop crying and come here.

“But I can’t stop crying!”

Why can’t you stop crying?

“Because I neeeeeeeed you!”

Now, normally, at this point, I would go to her just so I didn’t have to hear her cry, and usually it’s over nothing – she’s just having a moment, maybe her older sister stuck her tonque out at her, who knows.  But this time, I told her if she needed me, she would have to come downstairs, and that set her off even more, thrown into a raging scream (still no tears). I have been ignoring her, and she has finally calmed down to an occasional moan or whimper. The duration of misery is becoming less and less each time. I think I may finally be getting somewhere.

And then now, the end to this latest spectacular throwdown made me wonder what happened to that inconsolable terror of just a few minutes ago: She finally made her way downstairs, and I coaxed her close enough to me where I could finally pick her up and sit her in my lap. Big big pouty face, and I asked her what made her so upset.

“The cat meowed at me.”

That’s it? Ugh. Well, it’s over now.

“Dad, I have a sad face,” sticking out her bottom lip further. “You need to give me a happy face.”

And how do I do that?

“You give me three kisses.”

So I gave her three kisses, one on the left cheek, one on the right, and a final one on the nose. Instantly she was transformed into a happy child again! And then:

“I love you, Dad,” as she returned a kiss to my nose.

Oh, I pity the poor boy that has enough balls to be her boyfriend when she’s old enough (21). He’s going to be in for one hell of a ride. I might have to warn him because by the time she’s done with him, he won’t have any balls.

That girl will never be anyone’s doormat, so I don’t want to break her will completely, just enough so that I’m not her doormat.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2010/07/23 8:34 pm

    I have a daughter (a son too, but this is about daughters..) and all I can say is that it gets worse, much worse..not to worry you but just so you can armor up and prepare for the teen years. 🙂

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