it’s a pink or purple world

I have a five year old. She used to be four but then she turned five. Four year olds tend to do that. This is a short story about when she was four which only seems like it was a few weeks ago, probably because it was.

About six months prior we had discovered she needed glasses. Not just “Oh, now I can see a bit better” kind of glasses, full blown “Oh, so this is the seeing thing everyone keeps going on about” glasses. As the multiple bruises from colliding in to stationary items subsided I became so proud of the way she had stood up to the responsibility of wearing and taking care of them. I felt she had grown tenfold in those few short months, no longer a baby but now very much a little girl. A real live person living in my house. Babies are great and all but they don’t exactly do anything.

We started off with buying her a pair of glasses which were pink, her favourite colour. Then a few weeks later a purple pair which happened to be my favourite colour.

After an early morning conversation about what is deemed appropriate breakfast food she stormed out of the room and came back a few moments later wearing her pink glasses. Gem shouted “I’m not wearing my purple glasses because you’re being a dick!” She knew full well my favourite colour was purple and was now using her choice of glasses against me. Oh crap I thought, another pivotal parent moment. Surely a four year old shouldn’t be using language like that? Not to mention making calculating colour decisions based on emotion and the effect it will have on others. Where were the real grownups when you needed them? How did I become entrusted with the incredible power of parenthood? This role has been fun but now I think I’ll just sit at the kids table eating party pies and talking about ninja turtles if that’s okay with you?

“Gem that’s not a very nice things to say.” I said as I gave her a hug. “You can’t use words like that.” Now keep calm and don’t make too big a deal of it. Play it cool Dad, you’ve got this. The real issue with these sort of situations is not that you will get angry and start shouting, it’s that you’ll start laughing and then it’s over, you can’t regain power once they’ve seen you laugh. They know they own you. Sometimes I do luck out and start to giggle. It’s an uncontrollable giggle like what used to happen at inappropriate times in primary school. You try to keep a straight face and maybe even hold it for a full thirty seconds but inevitably it comes back and you burst out laughing again.

The reality is I probably didn’t teach her anything that day but she sure taught me something, and in turn I taught my wife something, we both probably have to keep a closer watch on what we say. Also, Raphael rules.

James

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