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Late Children – a memoir

July 5, 2011

 

 

 

I had to wait until I was nearly 50 to have a person stamp their foot at me.  My sweet little daughter has provided me with this experience.  Dear Jessa came out of the box with vigor, scattering all who opposed her.

She was a tiny thing with her mother’s dark Asian hair, huge, laughing brown eyes and a smile that would make a stone grow a heart.  She was as cute as a box full of puppies and was the most willful, determined and stubborn human being I’ve ever met.

Jessa has never tested her limits.  She attacked them at full charge with banners snapping in the wind.  She did not accept no as an answer, but met it as a challenge and spent a great deal of time with her hands balled into fists and her little chin thrust out, storming across the room to give someone, usually me, an attitude adjustment.  I could hardly hear myself think over the sound of gauntlets being thrown down around here.

It wasn’t only my amusing attempts at discipline that roused her to battle.  She would not have her desires thwarted without complaint and whatever frustrated her, whether parent or playmate or natural laws (such as principles of balance and gravity when her blocks wouldn’t stay stacked exactly the way she wanted) soon felt her displeasure.  She demanded that the world organize itself to her desire and I have seen her go into a rage when she’s told our television which program she wants to see right now and it has failed to immediately cough up the blue dog or big bear or whatever.

I am a patient man.  This is not only my opinion; people have told me as much all my life and I have taken some pride in this but, we all know what comes after pride and Jessa has me falling all over myself.

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