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My Daughter Is...

After a Sunday afternoon of shopping, eating happy meals (all of us) at McDonald's and putting up with my daughter's willfulness...my wife reached her limit when Babygirl put a barrette for one of her Dora dolls in her mouth. I had just washed it off after fishing it out of the trash, where to my daughter's horror, it had been accidentally tossed.

"Take that out of your mouth," I said, sternly.

Apparently, not enough. The little girl began bringing the barrette in question back toward her lips.

"Hey!!! If you put that in your mouth I'm gonna...!!!" (I don't need to get specific, you get the drift).

The barrette fell out of wee one's hand to the floor. She turned from where she was standing in the kitchen and walked with her head down to the comfort of her big brother. My wife and I chuckled together quietly in our bedroom, out of the earshot of the kids. I went to the bathroom to put away some of the stuff we bought and my wife was walking back to the front of the house. I heard my daughter speak but couldn't make out what she said.

My wife walked backwards to the bathroom door. Her face was twisted up in a way I've never seen. Her fists were balled and she was breathing through gritted teeth.

"Did you hear what she said?" she asked me, her face still contorted.

I shook my head.

"Your daughter came to the living room door with her little hand on her hip and said, 'Why you always yellin'?'" My wife imitated her inflection and motions, complete with her head shifting back and forth on her neck the whole time.

I thought it was a good question. But I guess my three year-old daughter shouldn't have been the one doing the asking. My son was on the floor in the living room, choking on his laughter.

"I don't know whether to chase her down or to think it's cute," she said. I peeked out from around the bathroom door to see my daughter in the same pose, repeating herself, but this time more innocently and giggling because she knew she was in trouble. I looked at my wife and she was still unsure what to do. She shot me a look of desperation.

"In a few years, this is going to be great," I said, grinning and rubbing my hands together. "I'm gonna have to buy one of those referee shirts."

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