Most parents at some point realize that the “it’s just a phase” platitude loses it’s effectiveness when they realize that this particular phase is inevitably followed by one just as annoying. As true as this is, there are some some trade offs that really do make things easier, or at least easier to tolerate. One of the biggest milestones that I’ve come to appreciate is my daughter’s ability to amuse and feed herself for at least an extra hour or two in the mornings where we don’t have to be up for school. I never know exactly what I will find when I head downstairs, but more often than not it’s exactly what I would have been doing at her age.
Last Saturday I came downstairs to find her seated cross legged, much too close to the television, mouth agape.
“What are you watching?’
“I don’t know, but it’s awesome! Its about this guy called The Doctor and he travels through time and outer space fighting aliens and robots!”
“Oh, Doctor Who. Pretty cool stuff.”
“I don’t know his name, I don’t think they said.”
“No, his name is Doctor Who.”
“I just told you I don’t know his name!”
I gave up, made myself a coffee and sat down next to her, watching the next two episodes of the mini-marathon and enjoying our cereal. Too cold for me to go outside any more than necessary, we spent the afternoon playing with our “Barbies.” Before bed we read some more from the collection of Batman stories that Santa brought us this year.
Also under our tree was a copy of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”, my favorite book when I was her age. After opening her gifts the teenager and her Nirvana sweatshirt went back upstairs to watch either The Outsiders, Stand By Me or one of the other films from my DVD collection that she has now seen approximately seventy times each.
I had a very happy, very stable childhood, if somewhat on the nerdy side. It’s something that I now appreciate more than ever and I’ve tried everything in my power to ensure that my girls are able to look back and say the same. If sometimes I’m a bit too literal in my attempts to duplicate what I had, that’s an issue to think about another day. Right now we have a movie to watch.
Any guesses on which one?