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It Starts in 2nd Grade...Eye Rolling

Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
This essay was originally written for my personal blog, but I figured more people would see it on so I'm presenting it here...

It's Sunday night, and I'm sitting here at my kitchen table reflecting back on the events of this last week. For all the regular ups and downs that occurred over the last seven days in our little family, the one thing that sticks with me, out of everything, was that I received (for the first time), a pure, unadulterated, in-your-face eye roll from my 2nd grade daughter on Tuesday morning as we were getting going to start the school day.

It went down like this...

I was helping my three-year-old get into her spot at the table to eat her morning oatmeal (Peaches and Cream), and as usual, she was making a LOT of noise. And let me be clear here...I mean...a...LOT...of...noise. My baby (I call her that but she's obviously not a baby anymore), is a loud human being. She's the kind of kid that if she was a stereo, she would be either turned completely off (sleeping) or turned up to disturbing the peace levels.

Her normal level of interpersonal interaction includes: Yelling. Laughing. Running. Screaming. Squeezing. Hugging. Bouncing. Singing at the top of her voice. Loudly proclaiming her farts and asking us crazy questions at the top of her voice like, "Daddy, is it good manners to say 'vagina'?

Basically, she's a three-year-old on steroids.

But we're used to it. She's been like this since she was born. My wife and I called her the "widow-maker" for a while. Then we called her "The Pistol."

Now she's just "The Wild One."

Parenting SIDE-NOTE: Yes - we are working with her on manners, appropriate volume, being gentle and other civilized behaviors. For those of you who have read David Shannon's David children's book series, you'll know the kind of kid our little girl is (which by the way...our "Wild One" just LOVES the David books. It's like she's found a kindred spirit on those colorful pages).

Well, the "Wild One" was pumping out her usual volume of craziness at 6:10am as she shoveled in her Quaker's Oatmeal when my seven-year-old (the 2nd grader of note in this story) comes downstairs in a completely grumpy state and proclaims in a clippy little voice, "You guys are making too much noise!! I can't sleep!" as she stomps through the kitchen into the living room, flopping herself down on our dog-hair covered, tope-colored, Bon-Ton couch.

It was true...her younger sister was making quite the racket, and if I hadn't already been on my 2nd cup of coffee, I too would have probably been a morning grump.

But, being wired on caffeine and sugar (I pour that delicious flavored creamer into my coffee that you can buy at the grocery store), I was in a more positive state of mind and thought it might help if I showed my oldest girl that she didn't have anything to grump about now that she was awake. So, I bounded into the living room, found her laying on the couch with a blanket covering her head and said with an open smile brimming from ear to ear,

"Hey Raina, you know what you need this morning? A great big hug from your Dad!"

With arms outstretched, I then leaned in to give her a hug, but a hug was not returned. Oh no. Instead, I got the eye roll.

It wasn't just any eye roll either. I could have lived with an I'm-going-to-hug-him-and-roll-my-eyes-behind-his-back kind of eye roll.

That would have been okay with me.

But no. I wasn't so lucky. Rather, it was an I'm-looking-you-dead-in-the-eye-mister-and-I'm-going-to-roll-my-eyes-at-you-cause-you're-being-cheesy-too-early-in-the-morning-to-appreciate-it-and-I'm-grumpy-and-my-little-sister-is-a-pain-in-the-ass kind of eye roll.

Let's just all agree here and now that an eye roll like that, at 6:11am, will stop any caffeinated and sugared hug in its tracks. It stopped mine.

So I pulled the hug back, patted her on the knee and said gently, "What do you want for breakfast?"

She said, "Honey Bunches of Oats."

I said, "You want some toast with that?"

She slowly smiled and said, "Yes, Daddy."

Things were good again.

I know this won't be the last time I get an eye roll. I ought to start bracing myself to them now. My wife sometimes teases me (lovingly) that I remind her of Phil, the Dad in Modern Family, because of my cheese-ball personality, and while I contest that openly to her...she's right.

But like Phil, I know my intentions are usually in the right place. And one thing I won't compromise on is that I'm always going to let my daughters know how much I love them, even if I get smothered in eye rolls instead of hugs. They better get used to that too.

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Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
Thanks, Eric. It's been so long, I'd forgotten how much fun it was to raise a daughter.
Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 7:55:01 PM
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Comment by NicoleLVMullis

Joined: 5/9/2012
Posts: 34
Watch out for door-slamming and death looks. Those will take the espresso right out of a parent's sails.
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 5:06:14 PM
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