When I first heard from the Doctor that you were a girl, every girl cliche popped in my head and I was filled with fear from the very first second. Perhaps this is the real reason I didn’t want to know your sex while I was pregnant – the sheer fear of knowing may have sent me over the edge. I was not really a girly girl growing up and I was and am still terrified how I will handle a daughter who is completely feminine beyond my comfort level. Never did I imagine how I would handle a daughter who was vulgar and inappropriate in public. Why would I have to think about this suddenly? Well it turns out that you, my beloved princess, are something of a vulgar, potty-mouthed preschooler.
You have developed the unfortunate and disgusting habit of spitting. You spit everywhere – on furniture, on the carpet, in public places and you have even attempted to express your dismay at me by spitting which left me speechless. We can yell at you a thousand times but once you activate those salivary glands, there appears to be no stopping it. The final straw that forced me to run to the Internet clamoring for a solution was discovering you had spit all over the couch when you decided you weren’t going to take a nap one certain day. In this day and age, the Internet can be a Mother’s dream and a hypochondriac’s nightmare but on this day, it provided me with the knowledge and tools to know that I was dealing with a perfectly normal three year old. I learned a great deal of the vast array of parenting styles out there – some of which I learned I will never adopt. One piece of advice suggested I take a paper towel with white vinegar and dab your lips every time you spit – I learned this is not a parenting style I could take on. Believe me, there is a part of me that would love to take revenge on you on a sadistic level but I just don’t have the heart to do it. I’m not prepared to start your therapy fund yet. I remained calm and handed you a towel and made you clean up every spot until it was dry. I reminded you that spitting was only allowed in the sink and left it alone and you know what, we are a week in with no inappropriate spitting. Yea, that’s right – I handled a situation without flying off the handle like I normally do and it seems to be working. At least I think it’s working – I haven’t discovered your secret spitting spot yet.
Staying on the theme of inappropriate behavior, you have also developed an obsession with your derriere. When you dance, you announce that it’s time to, “shake your underwear” as you jiggle your bottom in people’s faces. It’s hilarious when it’s done in the privacy of our home and nobody else sees it but when you break it out in public situations as the source of entertainment, suddenly I turn in to a wet sweaty ball of embarrassment as my daughter exhibits something I can only imagine playing out in an adult club. You top that with Miles dry humping the leg of a coffee table and I’m ready to throw in my towel as a responsible parent. Why is it when a boy acts disgusting, it’s cute but when a girl does it, suddenly people judge the parent as to what kind of lady I’m raising. If I had it my way, I would probably let you run around shaking your hoo-hah if it made you happy but there is this thing called society and they’re a bunch of prudes and they will most certainly frown upon this behavior at some point so we should probably go ahead and nip this behavior in the bud. Seriously though, who did you learn these things from? I’m quite certain Dora or Bubble Guppies doesn’t do this and I know for sure this isn’t my move. It could be your Father’s move but I’d have to get back to you on that one. Again, I’m baffled and I question how my parenting has totally missed the mark on this one. I’m actually going to claim my innocence on this one and blame Preschool. Some of your friends don’t look like they’re three and it’s high time I have a talk with them – find out what exactly is going on over there. Just so you know, if I hear any mention of you playing Doctor, I’m pulling you out of school that day.
We take lots of walks in the afternoon in my attempt to exert the massive amounts of energy you produce and they can be quite enjoyable when I can get you to stay on your scooter. Eighty percent of the time, your attention pulls you way and leaves me repeating, “Olivia, hurry up” a thousand times over. Believe me, I love watching a child discover their surroundings but I sense you do certain things to watch me get riled up. You hate going up hills on your scooter so you will find every excuse to stop every five feet – you have dirt in your sandal, you found an awesome rock, you need to take a break. Our walk takes roughly an hour and it should only take 20 minutes if that gives you any insight as to what I’m dealing with. You are constantly fiddling with your helmet because in your words, “it makes me look weird.” I’m sorry but all three year olds look weird – deal with it.
You’re turning four next month – eeek! And I fear I need to get started on your birthday party planning because for some strange reason, you’re all ready anticipating a great ordeal. Again, I’m blaming Preschool. It really is hard to believe you’re turning four all ready! We’re currently in the middle of the Summer Olympics and I remember the last time I watched them, I was still pregnant with you and I remember thinking to myself, holy cow, the next time I watch the Summer Olympics, I’m going to be a parent of an almost four year old and here is that moment happening all too soon. Thanks for making something as enjoyable as the Summer Olympics in to a reminder that I’m getting old.
The other day while in the car, I turned around while stopped at the stop light to check on you and Miles and you gave me such a different smile – a more mature expression and I swear from the moment we left the house to that moment parked at the stop light, you grew up a wee bit. We’re almost four years in and I’m still as terrified of you as the first time I held you. I’m sure it’s safe to say that I will always be somewhat terrified of raising a daughter – especially a strong-willed, independent, vulgar girl like yourself. Word to the wise, Liv, keep it classy.