Moon River and Cherry Chapstick

For Fatherhood Friday, a little ditty about fathers and daughters...


I was summoned.


It was six forty and baby girl was about to make her morning pronouncement.


"Coming." I lumbered out of bed wondering what she'd say today. It could be anything from I like bananas to Kitty cat is fuzzy.

I remember when she said I want to do ballet and I thought, "Okay, kid, you're two, how the hell do you know about ballet?" The answer to that did not take too much sleuthing. Maxie is an Olivia freak. You know, the precocious piglet with a vivid imagination. Was a book, now a popular TV series on Nick Jr. I think there are only about twelve episodes and they practically run on a loop in our house. I can quote from it verbatim. In one episode, Olivia does ballet, and Maxie wanted to as well.

The thing about these pronouncements, I'm one of those doting parents who will try to make it happen. Bananas, simple. But ballet? Are there even classes for two year olds to do ballet? I had to scramble around and ask questions. Thank goodness for the mothers at gymnastics. I found out where to go, and what clothes she would need. I tried to do it the cheap way: Target, Payless. But for some reason merchandise was low, so I painfully whipped out my credit card and headed off to Capezio's. Ballet slippers and leotard, thirty three bucks. Classes for the rest of the session, eighty two. Recital costume and fee, forty one. I'm out one hundred fifty six dollars if she hates it.

She loves it! What ever Miss Aimee tells her to do, she attempts. Other girls end up doing their own thing, spinning on the floor and getting into the butterfly wings and scarves, but my little one does her damnedest to master plié and attitude. In the middle of her first class she found me in the parental crowd and yelled, "Papa, I'm doing ballet!" Another pronouncement with a serious undercurrent, letting me know this was no fly by night endeavor. I gave her a thumbs up and she broke out into the most infectious of smiles. Really, when you think about it, what's one hundred fifty six dollars?

So, what was in store for me today? The dog is pink. My hair is pretty. What? I got to her room, and was reminded once again that the crib has got to go. She'll be three next month. She needs her first big girl bed. I know, I'm a bit slow. I'll go to Craig's List today. I promise. Her eyes were bright. I could tell she had a doozie. Something that will define her life course. Speak, my child. Speak!

I like boy.


I like boy.

Really? Which boy?

And then she dissolved into giggles and squeals and tried to escape my extended arms. I quickly backed out and went to my bedroom to tell Michael. He looked at me with one eye, rolled over, pulled a pillow over his face and cursed a muffled FUCK! My husband is going to be a perfect horror to any boy sniffing around our daughter. The pillow came off his head and in a plaintive whisper he asked, "Why can't she be a lesbian?"

As I was pondering the benefit of Michael's question, Maxie was choosing her clothes for school, something she's been doing for a while now. She chose a yellow dress with white flowers and matching hat. And to complete the ensemble, white sandals and yellow sun glasses. She looked like Audrey Hepburn. Well, minus tiara and cigarette holder.

I had to wonder if in any part of my daughter's conscience, sub or otherwise, she was dressing for boy. As I drove her to school, I tried to get more info about boy but she was stylishly enigmatic. This left me humming one of those annoying songs that refused to leave my head. When we arrived she received numerous compliments. She took off her hat, handed it to me. Took off her sun glasses, handed them to me. (I couldn't help but wonder if Audrey passed off accessories with such aplomb.) And then we entered her class.

It isn't easy for Maxie to be social. She sometimes stands with her finger in her mouth before committing to having fun. Her standoffishness has always been a part of her. However, I've noticed over the past couple months that she has readily jumped in to activity with more frequency. And yet, today, finger back in mouth, eyes downcast. I wondered, what's up? I tell her teacher about I like boy, and she whispers, "It's probably Miles." And sure enough Maxie was gravitating towards Miles like my husband to trashy magazines. Miles, however, was more interested in a toy airplane.

That's it. I had to leave. I justified this thinking I'm sure she doesn't want me hovering. But really, it was painful watching her experience one of life's cruel lessons: talk about boy, dress for boy, approach boy, but all boy really wants to do is play with something shiny.

As I got back into my car, the song I was humming earlier came blaring into my head with clarity: "I kissed a girl and I liked it..." Maybe lesbian isn't such a bad idea.


surprised mom said…
I love your daughter's handing her garments to you with such "aplomb." Self-confidence oozes with such a gesture.

I feel for your daughter. There were plenty of boys who wanted to play with shiny objects instead of me . . . even when they got older.

Your husband's response had me laughing, but sympathetic. When my youngest was in second grade she told me with absolute certainty she was going to marry a boy in her class. I was a bit freaked. Shouln't have been, but she was so convincing.

I can imagine the terror of a young man facing the both of you at the front door when he takes your little girl on a date. It's going to take a brave man . . .
Lindsay said…
I LOVE reading your blogs! So funny.

Take it from a hetero girl...she likes boys now, at three (I was the same way), but they will be pulling her pig-tails all in due time. Heart ache is WAY far off in that beautiful child's future(she'll be breakin'um). She'll be able to cast all the boys off just as easily as Audrey. ;)
Amy said…
This made me giggle and almost cry. My little duchess is 4 1/2 and is convinced she's going to marry Zac Efron. Every time I tell my husband I wish she was a lesbian, he reminds me of how I broke his heart when we were teenagers and that girls can be heartbreakers too. *sigh* I guess we just have to love them like crazy and be there for them to pick up the pieces.
Yankee Girl said…
That's heartbreakingly adorable! From someone who was once a little girl, little girls can be such trouble! You're in for the ride of your life!
Oh..first of that is too precious...Second, my heart goes out to you as her parent. My daughter hasn't had that big crush yet, and she's 9...but she has been dissed by a friend in pre school who wanted to play with "boy"...So MY daughter learned another lesson we girls face...our friends will ditch us for a cute boy...any day!!
Jason said…
That was awesome! On one point I'm glad she's so happy with ballet. On another...oooh boy. Thankfully I have boys and don't have to worry about being "protective dad" with any daughters.
Bella Daddy said…
Our kids need to meet...they can share finger in mouth stories...funny!

We miss you over at our blog :-)
KWG said…
She's two. You guys will be okay.

Simplicity said…
My daughter is 17, six feet tall and looks like a Barbie (I swear...not even a biased opinion!)!! The words, "I think I might be pregnant" are looming soon enough and my heart POUNDS every time she says, "Um, Momma" in a teenie tiny voice because it means I should break out my bat and get ready to lay a beating on an idiotic boy who doesn't know his head from his butt! Here's to Miles and Maxie - may they stay together long enough for her to show him what it's like to pirouette! :)
Vodka Mom said…
just wait, guys. (in the blink of an eye YOU will be picking up "allergy medicine" from the drug store..)

Joanie M said…
Allergy medicine. LMAO!!!!

Ah, yes... before you know it, she'll be a teenager. Then your troubles will REALLY start!!!
ciara said…
and so it since you've read my post you know the best thing to do is not to overreact to her 'liking a boy'. right now it's simple pre-school crush. i think it's great that she's already expressing herself to you and if you keep yourself open she will definitely be able to come to you with anything. it's gonna be so hard when you see her with first love, first heartbreak, first anything really. but just continue to listen, she'll appreciate it when she's older.

btw i have raised one child and raising the other two w open door policy. my kids have always been able to talk to me. i grew up in a conservative household where my talk was, 'if you do it, make sure you have protection' or 'don't get pregnant'. wtf, right? lol i want my girls to be able to handle anything that comes there way and be able to tell mama about it, too :)
Sarah T. said…
this is adorable!!
Farmers Wife said…
Aww so sweet. Ballet is fantastic and 2 year olds are just gorgeous. What a combination!
Sue said…
Such a sweet, heartwarming post. My granddaughter Riley LOVES Olivia too, and I have to admit, it is one of my favorites as well!

Take care, Sue
Melissa said…
I just started following your blog. I have a step son who is 4 and cares about toys. What is a girl but me or his mommy? LOL! Your little girl sounds precious! I can't wait to hear more about her!!
anymommy said…
I'm going to guess that with that kind of panache, she'll recover quickly and move onto her next crush.

You two are in trouble.
trashalou said…
My boy is the one who throughout his school career so far (he is seven)has been cast in the role of 'boy'.

He received his first marriage demand at the age of two and was engaged for at least four years before she left him to follow the money ;-) Hopefully Maxie's 'boy' will prove as easygoing and responsive to the attention as destructoBoy has so far.
Steely Dad said…
Dude, I've been visiting your blog from time to time and I have to say you've got good stuff.

I know what you're saying about that painful experience of watching your kid experience rejection. My son has this happen to him all the time. He's very outgoing and will just roll up to a kid and ask, "Do you want to play with me?" He's so innocent and pure that it doesn't leave much room for "game." (My daughter is a completely different story.) Sometimes kids oblige; more often these little turds respond with a resounding, "no!" Like what kid doesn't want to play? Sometimes I wish I could just smack these kids for hurting my little dude but then I look at their parents and it's all the explanation I need. Anyhow, I thought once I got married all that rejection stuff was out the window but now I realize I get to relive it all over again. How fun!
Out-Numbered said…
Ever read "Flowers in the Attic"?
CSY said…
Oh you are in for a LOOOOOONG road, my friend. I have a daughter and she's now 12...we're seriously looking into cactus and rose bushes under her window...
What a precious moment I'm sure. It will stay in your memory forever...a priceless moment LOL I'm looking forward to moments like that.

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