New Daughter Means Picking Batles at Home
ED GORDON, host:
The birth of a baby is a wonderful event for parents. But it also means big changes at home.
Commentator John McCann found that out with the birth of his first daughter. But since her birth, he's learned to pick and choose his battles.
Mr. JOHN MCCANN (Columnist, The Herald-Sun): Confession time. I love my wife, but there's another lady involved. Hey, at least give me credit for not keeping secrets. My wife actually knows all about the other lady. Like how she peed on my attaché case. Oh yeah, the other little lady is my daughter. I mean, come on, what kind of guy do you think I am?
Now about that pee. Carris(ph) did it on purpose. I know she did. Talking about, daddy, I have to pee-pee. Then stood right there and wet my bag. And my wife might tell you otherwise, but Carris calls the shots at our place. Not the way these liberal parents who run a household like a Montessori School or something, but let's just say our two-year-old was born into a monarchy. Care to guess who the queen is?
Simon says, wanna watch Barney! So we sit there and gaze at this purple dinosaur flopping around on TV. Simon says, I want juice! Better not bring that girl a cup of water, that's for sure.
But I'm learning to fight smart. There was a time when I felt the need to engage in every battle Carris waged. I'm more selective now, because some fights just aren't winnable. Like the time she made up her mind to wear her black boots. They're too big for one thing, plus she had on sweat pants or something and would look like an absolute nut. But see, it was a fight I couldn't win. I let her wear the boots.
What I can't figure out is how much of what Carris does is deliberate. I know she's got some sense. I can toss her the first line of a nursery rhyme and this child will take it from there and finish the song. But let me try to impress you with that, and the girl turns into Michigan J. Frog - that cartoon character that dances like Fred Astaire when no one is looking, then does nothing when it's time to get down and boogey in front of an audience. Nada. Zilch. I mean, nothing. I tell my wife, we'll never turn our baby into one of those childhood stars at this rate. So much for early retirement.
And let me tell you, the emotional pain I've experienced is nothing I'd wish on anybody. I mean, there was a time when I actually had to sneak out of my house like a rock star or somebody just so my child wouldn't have a fit when she saw me headed for the door. The girl couldn't get enough of me. My star power has since been reduced - right along with my ego - to the attraction of, I don't know, M.C. Hammer, or a Temptations reunion tour. Appealing enough to elicit a few smiles, but certainly no heartthrob worthy of tears and convulsions.
Oh, I didn't tell you how the girl lies on me. Telling my wife stuff like, daddy put broccoli in my eyes. Put broccoli in her eyes? Now what kind of foolishness is that? Yet I can't get enough of her. Even though she won't go pee when I tell her to. Even though I have to hold her down so my wife can brush her teeth. And the child thinks she's supposed to stay up all night and eat up everything and watch TV.
And I wouldn't trade her for the world. In fact, I'm about to double the trouble. Pam's due mid-July. Another little lady.
GORDON: John McCann is a columnist for the Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina.
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