Daddy’s (not so) Little Girl

My DD has a severe case of Daddy Worship. I’ve seldom seen a little girl so in love with her daddy, and this is coming her mother, who also has a case of Daddy Worship for her own pa.

I don’t know if her malady has ever been so obvious as it was last night: I was sitting on the bed with DS watching a tv show. She sat on the ground rather than sit with us. I invited her up with us, but she couldn’t because she was eating an orange and didn’t want to get it on the bed. A few minutes later, Jared came in and sat down beside me. DD leapt to her feet and climbed up on the bed. I started laughing — as I usually do when she attacks him with her affections — and said something about how I had invited her to sit by me but she wouldn’t, and all Daddy has to do is walk in and she’s all over him. DD pipes up: “When I saw Daddy coming, I stuffed that whole orange in my mouth!”

It’s always like that. I’ll tease Jared and tell the kids Daddy is being mean to me, and she always denies it. “Bad Mommy, Good Daddy,” is the usual rebuttal.

This morning I knew I was being set up for a school skipping attempt when she came in complaining about her stomach. It was “stinging”. No fever, no other symptoms (except that Big Brother had to stay home from school the previous day to go be checked out at the doctor for a possible broken rib — running in the dark. I was gone, naturally.). I told her she should go to school, and if she was still sick she could see the nurse and they would call me. Will you be home all day? Yes. But I don’t know your cell phone! Hm. I told it to her, but I could tell there was something afoot.

Just after lunch today I got a call from the school secretary saying that DD was in the nurses office with a sick stomach but not throwing up. Yeah right. So I goofed off for a while and finally went to the school. DD came out with the nurse, who explained that DD had come to her office straight off the bus complaining about her stomach and came again after lunch, that she didn’t have a fever and was clearly not uncomfortable, but her “throat is red” and they have strep throat going around. When I asked about the fever that usually accompanies strep “O No! Not OUR strep throat!” I nearly rolled my eyes at this goof-off nurse. How on earth could a woman who works with kids every day not see this was a total fakeout?

So anyway, I talked to Sydney right there and told her she was faking and asked her if she wanted to come home and lay in bed not moving or stay in school. Go home. Fine. So we’re walking out to the car and I see some red fruity goo all over the side of her shirt. It was her lunch, which explained the “red” throat.

On the ride home I talked to her and told her she was faking, and I wanted to know why. Did she have a test? Was someone being mean? Was she just jealous of her brother? I’m really sick, Mommy. Finally I told her she better stop with the lying, instructing her to either tell me why she wanted to get out of school or close her mouth. She was quiet the rest of the way home. By the time we got home she was weakened enough to ‘fess up. She was, as I figured, just jealous of her brother that stayed home the day before. So here’s the interesting part: I got up to go pick up her brother from school and take him to piano, and when I walked by her room she was getting up from her closet. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was hiding from Daddy because she didn’t want him to know she had lied to come home early.

It reminded me of Adam and Eve in the Garden. We have always been taught that they were in the Garden for some period of time before they were tempted by the Lucifer Satan Snake, and they were as little children having forgotten all. We also know that children can not sin because they are not accountable for their actions. At some point, these children must have reached an age or experience level where they could be held fully accountable for their actions. That’s when they were tempted — when they could understand what they did was wrong.

I’ve been noticing the same thing with my own DD, and I saw it with dS, too. Something DOES happen around the time a child turns 8. They learn to lie to cover their hineys. They know what they’ve done is wrong and try to “hide” their sins from their fathers, unlike a smaller child, who does wrong things in front of you or who lacks the sophistication to cover up their misdeeds.

Daddy’s little girl is not so little after all. Sometimes I’m not sure whether to be happy she’s developing or sad knowing what life may hold. I should, like Spock, “have faith that the Universe will unfold as it should” for her. She is such a good girl. These experiences at home, making mistakes and feeling sorry and being held accountable, will do her good in the future.