THE WORST DADDY EVER!!
Good evening ladies and gentleman and welcome to the Vereen house! Tonight, we have a highly anticipated match-up involving two strong-minded competitors that are eager to impose their will on one another until the other caves in. Who will win this battle and come out on top? Let’s introduce the competitors and let you decide for yourselves.
In this corner, we have a beautiful young lady – a Tween – who stands about 4’7″ tall and weighs in at close to 70 lbs soaking wet. She has beautiful blonde hair and lovely hazel eyes. But watch out, don’t let the looks fool you! She’s out to win tonight. This newly minted 10-year-old wants to get her way and will do anything or say anything to get it!
And in this corner, we have the Daddy! He’s a man of principle. He believes his kids should abide by rules and do things the right way! He only wants the best for his girls! He expects them to do well in school and in life! He expects them to eat all of their peas and to smile while they do it! This almost 38-year-old won’t let a little 10-year-old girl stop him from maintaining a calm and reasonably orderly household!
On Tuesday night, Carrie and I managed to get the girls to bed at a decent time. It had been a pretty long day. Early to work and school. A very long day at work for me. A long day of testing at school for Lydia. Soccer practice for Ansley and me (I’m one of the coaches – that will be another blog topic). Dinner. Baths. Stories. Bed. Suddenly Lydia remembered that she had some reading to do for school the next day. I said that was fine, but she needed to have the lights out by 9:00. She gave me the standard “yes, sir” and kept reading.
9:30 – I head upstairs to shower. I actually ran around with the girls at soccer practice and got a little sweaty. Clarissa said that I smelled bad. That’s bad when your youngest daughter tells you that you stink. As I went up the stairs, I saw a light on – Lydia’s light. She’s not in bed. I’m a little discouraged by this. I look in the room, and Lydia has decided that it’s time for arts and crafts at 9:30 at night.
At that point, it’s all down hill from there. I tell Lydia to get into bed. It’s past her bedtime. She snaps back with the proverbial phrase that all kids use – I didn’t know what time it was – as she looks at her clock and keeps working on her arts and crafts. I tell her again to get in bed. She mumbles something back. I turn out the light. She says something about needing to see so she can get in bed. I turn on her small lamp and remind her that 9:00 was the bedtime. She says something about needing noise to be able to sleep. She wants to listen to a book on CD. I tell her no because she’s normally still up at 11:00 listening to books on CD, and she has a test tomorrow. She keeps pressing.
The tension grows. Lydia argues that she can’t sleep without the noise. I tell her that’s too bad, and she’ll lose soccer practice if she keeps it up. She gets hysterical – the tears start to flow. She’ll never get to sleep. She has to have the noise! I tell her that’s too bad again and leave to get in the shower. She’s mad now. She starts to say some things she’ll regret later. She can be pretty dramatic. At this point, I have now ascended or descended to the point of most hated Daddy! I’m in the bathroom now. The water is running. She’s yelling through the wall at this point. And then she says it. The words that cut a Daddy the most….
YOU ARE THE WORST DADDY EVER!!!
She’s 10 years old. I try not to take it too personally. It might hurt more when she says it when she’s 16 because she WILL say it again. It’s inevitable. She won’t get her way, and it will be my fault or her mother’s fault. Carrie has held the title of Worst Mommy Ever a couple of times over the past year or so. As a matter of fact, she was awarded the title on Monday afternoon. Now it’s my turn.
Carrie and I believe that our children should live by rules and have some level of responsibility that is commensurate with their age. This means doing well in school, keeping their rooms clean, eating their fruits and vegetables, going to bed at a decent hour, and listening to their elders. This is how Carrie and I were raised.
Did we mess up? Sure.
I remember sitting at the table for hours because I wouldn’t eat my dinner. But in the end, I usually ate it. And it was cold and not very good at that point. I remember getting spanked for talking back or doing something I wasn’t supposed to. It didn’t make me hate my parents. I’m sure I called them the “worst ever,” but I didn’t mean it. I respected my parents and so did my brothers. We knew they were in charge even if we didn’t always agree. We were punished at times. I remember losing my bike, my TV, and other privileges. If you did the crime, you had to do the time.
After I got out of the shower and got ready for bed, I checked on Lydia. She was already asleep. I wanted to talk with her. She’s a surprisingly a good listener when she’s calm. I covered her with her blanket and brushed her hair out of her face. They’re so much sweeter when they are asleep. Even though she’s 10 going on 21, she’s still my little girl for now.
And for a night, I held the title of Worst Daddy Ever. It’s a title that I will gladly hold if it helps makes a difference later on in her life!