Dear Daphne – 4 Years
We celebrated your fourth birthday on Saturday.
Technically, your birthday was on Sunday, but we decided to rent a couple cabanas at Schlitterbahn, a water park down in Galveston, and it was easier if we did so on Saturday.
Daddy took a little siesta in the hammock…
While you swam for hours…
You rode bravely down a couple waterslides, and then played a rousing game of “Just How Much Sand Can I Fit into My Swim Diaper?”
We took a lap around the Lazy River too.
And your poor father is still feeling the effects of all that sun radiating down atop his defenseless melon.
Everyone had a really fantastic time, and I think you had the best time of all.
Which is a sign of a birthday party working as intended.
Another entirely different development that’s happened of late is that I have, on rare occasions, had to become “The Bad Guy.”
Take, for example, last night. During dinner.
You decided that you were done with your food, signed “finished!” and summarily left the table. All these things were fine.
However, you still had a mouthful of chicken nugget when you did them.
Your mother and I tried to calmly explain that you simply cannot go play with a wad of processed chicken in your mouth, yet you refused to listen to our sage advice. Instead, you careened around the living room, wielding your new sit n’ bounce ball like a morning star versus
a vile and evil ice dragon Jib.
And so, playtime had to be interrupted, and Dad had to come over to remind you that Daphne does not run Bartertown.
At this point, anything that might’ve been recognizable as “food” had dissolved into an slurry that you’d tucked into your lower lip like a wad of orange chewing tobacco.
And yet, you refused to relinquish this, your chicken chaw.
And so..Dad had to go get it.
It took several attempts, because you were being rather unhelpful throughout the process. Eventually I had to pin your hands and hold your face still while I scooped it out with my finger, a process that you and I both found equally disquieting.
Your response to this was to simply cry, and cry some more, and then cry even louder… But then, you reached your tiny arms around my neck, and hugged me in an effort to get me to stop.
And that little maneuver shattered your daddy’s heart into a million pieces.
Maybe we can work on a Bartertown triumvirate…
You’ve started full days at school this week, and it’s actually worked out pretty well so far. (Granted, it’s only day 3…but we’re hopeful.)
It gives your teachers more time to work on that whole potty training thing, gives you some extra time to play (you’re really enjoying a little thing called “recess”), and it gives mommy enough time to be able to leave work and pick you up from school.
And you’ve been doing fantastically well during these longer days, earning nearly all “+”s on your daily progress reports. (Except for puzzles; you hate doing puzzles.) Your mommy and I are very proud of what a smart and kindly little girl you are, and your teachers absolutely adore you. Hopefully you’ll always love going to school in the years ahead.
It’s hard to believe that this is only our fourth ride around the sun since D-Day. Time is indeed a strange, wibbly-wobbly thing.
The lives that we lived before you became our little girl seem foreign, very far away, and strangely quiet (despite how “busy” and “stressed” we thought we were back then). And yet, it was not nearly long enough ago that you fit so perfectly into the crook of my arm.
I’m trying everything I can think of to be mindful during every amazingly lucky day that I get to be your daddy, and yet you’re still growing up way too fast.
I love you more than you’ll ever know, my little girl.