A little boy was over at our house and had a toy that he pretended to be a ticket puncher. He was punching tickets for people to ride on his imaginary train. As he took each person’s ticket, he called them by the name that was “written” on the imaginary tickets. “Thank you, Mr. Stinky Pants.” “Yours says you are Miss Stinky Socks.” Etc…

My daughter was getting a little tired of all the “rude words” (as she called them) and wanted to be called something nice. “Say something nice for mine,” she asked. And when her request was ignored, she tried to be more specific. She demanded, “Say ‘beautiful’ before mine! Say BEAUTIFUL! BEEAAUUUTIFUL!”

So fearing for his well being, the boy timidly said, “Thank you, Miss Beautiful Pants.” And she replied, “Awww, thank you! You’re so nice! You called me beautiful!” She said it as if she had been paid the biggest compliment, and it was totally unsolicited; as if she didn’t just yell at the child and demand he say something nice.

Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my daughter. Sometimes she gets a little* bossy and demanding. But I console myself by thinking that, as she grows, she won’t be afraid to ask for what she needs. And if she needs to be called “Miss Beautiful Pants” then, by golly, she’ll make sure she’s called that.

*by little, I mean, a damn whole lot.


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