The Unbearable Banishment: Sweet. Dangerous.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweet. Dangerous.

This post is pure daddy blog drivel. It's the type of thing I pass over if I'm behind in my Google Reader. I provide it for my distant siblings who live hundreds of miles away and don't get to see their nieces very often. Feel free to read on and comment, but you've been warned.

* * *

The Daughters are a classic exercise in extremes. 8-Year Old is sensitive. Almost too much so. She'll apologize for things that have nothing to do with her. She picks up after her sister to avoid seeing her disciplined. She worries. Her heart will be broken 1,000 times.

On the other hand, 4-Year Old is utterly remorseless. She'll commit the same wrong over and over again. She'll apologize, but with a big smile on her face that makes you question her sincerity. Sometimes, she lies. She'll break hearts without regret.

How do I get their temperaments to meet in the middle? Is there a magic pill?

Weekend afternoons with 8-Year Old Daughter have given way to afternoons with 4-Year Old Daughter. She likes to visit the botanical garden near our home. The land was once owned by Vito Genovese, one of New York’s crime family bosses. New Jersey busted his ass, took his property (beautiful gardens and rolling hills) and turned it into public domain.

Here, she confronts the half man/half demon-beast scarecrow. She asked me to pick her up so she could touch his pointy teeth and see what they feel like. This is the type of thing that would have given 8-Year Old nightmares when she was her age.

Near the entrance is a topiary caterpillar. I point it out to her. She walks up…

…and, of course, puts her head in its mouth. I could get all metaphorical about her disregard for danger but that would just cause me to lose sleep at night.

We always bring a bit of bread so she can feed the goldfish in the pond. It’s a constant struggle to keep her from fall in. Imagine me bringing her home covered in pond muck! Boy, would I be in the dog house!

Our afternoons end as they always have. As they always will. At the diner.


Blogger savannah said...

you're a very fortunate man, sugarpie! xoxo

November 11, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who doesn't love a girl that daring?

She's more fun to be around than you, old man. She cracks my ass up. I'm glad we're related.

November 11, 2010 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Dear UB, daughters, of whom I have many, are all different, all special, all heartbreakers, all ours!

When you and I are in our nineties, ('cos we lead such devout lives!) our precious girls will still see us as their Knights In Shining Armour! :¬)

November 11, 2010 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Savannah: You don't have to remind me. I'm fully aware. For once.

GCB: Well, she's looking forward to seeing you. Bring the dog.

Map: I know we're supposed to want sons to carry our names on and all that crap but I couldn't be happier that I have daughters. Heartbreak and all.

November 11, 2010 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

my spawn were wired differently from the get-go. gender irrelevant, there's a tremendous degree of "nature" in how we all end up rolling in life...

can't help but cheer for a 4 year old that will put her head in the mouth of a beast.

November 11, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am excited about seeing the niece, not the brother; she's excited about seeing the dog, not the aunt.

our family dysfunction is strangely functional.

November 11, 2010 at 11:35 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

she's too adorable UB

November 12, 2010 at 2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wish for the world at large is that all kids would have a daddy like you. And (hey! my wish - I can have a codicil!)that all daddies would have such children.
And, yeah, a kid that sticks her head in monster-mouth? Brilliant child!

November 12, 2010 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: Mrs. Wife and I refer to it as first child syndrome and second child syndrome. There seems to be a pattern.

GCB: I didn't want to make a big issue of it but if you forget the dog, you might as well turn around and go back and get him.

Nurse: Thanks. She's cute but she'll be a handful when she's 17.

MIT: I was taught by an expert: my dad. I'm just doing everything the opposite of what he did. It's easy!

November 12, 2010 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

You're a lucky man to have such diversity in your daughters. I'm sure - given time - they will learn from each other.

November 12, 2010 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger CiCi said...

The way I see it your four year old has guts and if she keeps this up she will be a strong woman able to take care of herself. I already admire her and she is still a runt.

November 12, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Pearl said...

You warned, but I read anyway.

And it was entirely adorable. :-)


November 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: I hope their diversity isn't the catalyst for my nervous breakdown.

TB: That can work both ways if we're not careful. I don't want her to declare her independence too early. About age 32 should be fine.

Pearl: And you're not even related! Miraculous.

November 12, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an wonderful post...I can't wait to see all of you. It is funny how they are different but if you think about one takes on your characteristics and the other takes on those of Mrs. Wife I will leave it up to you to decide which is which. Just think how boring life would be if they were the same. I love my girls both and enjoy their differences daily. Your a great dad keep up the good job!

November 12, 2010 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

Those first kids get all that pent up anxiety and nervousness of the first time parents along with a lot of undivided attention, i think that contributes to the first child syndrome, the second get "oh hell we've done this before whey worry" from mom and dad but i believe there is truth in that theory... and this isn't daddy blog drivel it's what life is all about now innit?

November 13, 2010 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

My oldest two are only a little more than two years apart and held very similar roles to yours when they were small. They grew more to the "middle" as they got older though and, at times, even reversed roles. It will all even out with yours, I'd guess.

Suggestion: You should consider selecting pseudonyms other than "X-Year Old Daughter". Might save a few keystrokes. And make the stories that much more endearing.


November 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What gorgeousness. I love that she stuck her head in the dragony-thing.

November 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MT: Do you do pies? S. wants to know.

Kono: I hate to resort to stereotypes but first and second child behavior really is pretty predictable, isn't it?

Rob: The middle would be a more comfortable place for me. Hope they migrate there. And I like the idea of assigning names very much. Will put on my thinking cap.

Dolce: You love it. It give me the worries.

November 13, 2010 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lion-tamer in training.

November 14, 2010 at 3:03 AM  

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