There's really nothing better than having your three-year-old scream defiantly in your face, except for when you knock that kid's dick in the dirt. Yes, I know she's a girl, but that's too good a phrase to pass up for a moment like this. Today was the first time this happened. It won't be the last. I've been ready for this battle since before she was born. There can only be one Highlander. Wait a second. Too far.
One of the best conversations I had with Casey's mom was short and simple. I asked, "What are you going to do when she's thirteen and she hates you."
"That won't happen."
"Really? You hate your mother sometimes."
You have to love that logic. Honestly, people who spend too much time together will eventually not get along. Relatives go through this all the time. I've been there, and I know I will be again. It's the nature of the beast. I honestly can't wait for the day Casey tells me she hates me. I have two possible options. I'll either laugh hysterically, or I'll go so over the top crying that it looks buffoonish. Either way, it'll be fun for me.
Look, it sucks when your kid defies you, but that just shows me that she has a backbone already. Sure, I'll break it, but I'll be the only one who can break it. I know how I am, and her attitude is genetic. I'm an eighty-year-old crank in a thirty-five-year-old body. I expect nothing less from her. When my brother got back from boot camp, he told me that it was good that I never went in. Why? Because I would have been in trouble constantly. I hardly respect authority now, and that little bit is only out of being too lazy to battle it.
As Casey grows up, she'll know I'm right behind her. She'll fight the wrong fights sometimes. We all do. What I'll teach her is to fight when something is wrong and to step back if she realizes that she is wrong. You can kick and punch all you want, but if you're wrong, you need to back off and sometimes apologize. She's learning that. This is when I get to be one part Daddy and one part Mr. Miyagi. I can't wait until she's old enough to wax my car.