You are broke? Take these to the bank: One, children are uber-observant beings. Two, they are wiser than owls. Three, put on the witness stand, they can make a Philadelphia lawyer look like a dunderhead.
Our daughter has done her homework and come to the conclusion that I am the head. Big daddy. That my word is law. She knows exactly how power rolls in our crib.
Call them power or mind games, but Pudd’ng is in the habit of trying to wiggle out of tasks. Especially when asked to do something she does not want to.
And she will phrase her protest note so sickly-sweet, it will sound innocuous.
Know what? Methinks Pudd’ng is gaming. Sussing us out. Trying to find the weakest link. Man, this child is smart enough to know that she can use words, twisted a tad, to wrap us — and the sum total of our ages — around her left pinkie.
God has said...
The other day when Tenderoni was chopping vegetables, Pudd’ng asked me if she could help her mother. Sounds noble, especially if you take the word “help” into consideration.
Plus, if you did not know the back-story — what occurred seconds before Pudd’ng made this request — you would swear that our Pudd’ng is so helpful, she deserves loads of brownie points.
Earlier, Tenderoni had scooted baby girl from the kitchen because she knew the sweet thing would chop her patience into strips.
And, best thing was, I heard the conversation. Blow-by-blow. Uh-uh, baby girl was not going to sweet talk me into reversing Tenderoni’s word.
“What did Mama say?” I answered a question with a question, to which she replied, face fallen, that she had been told to play in the living room.
“And what has God said to children?”
“God has said that children must honour their parents.”
Here are some gospel truths that will be pick-me-ups for God’s child when it is one of those days. God has said... I am the head, not the tail. Going above, not under. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I am blessed, ad infinitum.
Daddy has said...
Some minutes ago, Pudd’ng brought in the vanity case from the bedroom. After going through it, she asked me if it was OK for her to wear her pink heart-shaped earrings.
Now she had the chutzpah to go to Tenderoni and declare: “Daddy has said I can wear these earrings.” That is the same thing that happened the last Friday before schools reopened.
I told Pudd’ng that she could spend the weekend at her grandmother’s. Thence, even when Tenderoni tried pulling her leg, telling her I had not said any such thing, Pudd’ng gave her the three magic words: “Daddy has said.”
Pudd’ng’s a baby, but she knows authority when she smells even a whiff of it. And, barring unavoidable circumstances, it is beneficial to a child if she has a father in her life. Someone who can be her driver, whose influence will cruise-control her through life’s journeys, as she rides shotgun.
Here are some assurances that will jazz up my daughter’s psyche when she is besieged by negativity. Daddy has said... I am beautiful. Smart. Talented. Blessed. “I’m wonderfully and fearfully made.” Loved. Gifted. To do the right thing.
Mama has said...
Pudd’ng is still the fussiest eater in Eastlands. And she is choosy while she is at it. But give her certain foods, and the sweet-toothed cutie will put up the sign, “DON’T DISTURB” in your doggone face.
Moments ago, Pudd’ng was eating crisps when Tenderoni called and told her to stop what she was doing and change into her pyjamas. This is one of the bites that our daughter loves snacking on as she watches cartoons.
She waits for a while then asks me: “Dah-dee? Can I go on eating?”
Here’s the rationalisation that goes on in my mind when Pudd’ng asks me this. She knows Dad’s always on her case about eating. And she reckons that Dad will think that by mentioning the words “go on” and “eating” in the same sentence, she will make dad overrule Mom.
“Dah-dee? Can I go on eating?”
“Baby, what has Mama said?”
“Mama has said to stop whatever I’m doing and go change into my pyjamas.”
“Ma has said” is just as important as “Pa has said”. I cannot contradict Tenderoni. Not if baby girl is within earshot. Doing this is akin to giving Pudd’ng a loaded revolver.
Here are some motherly nuggets that will keep Pudd’ng moving, on and higher, when she is stuck in a self-esteem rut. Mama has said... I am precious. Priceless. Graceful. Cherished. “I am dark, but beautiful. Don’t look down on me because of my colour.” (Song of Solomon 1:5, 6).
Cunning: This kid’s smart enough to know that she can use words, twisted a tad, to wrap us, and the sum total of our ages, around her left pinkie.