Punching with Pony Tails

Little Hoss has 12 stuffed animals, a Barbie doll and a few other assorted toys lined up in front of her. She calls them her "everybody" and she cannot go to bed without them. On her hierarchy list of the things that she loves, they are just a tad bit lower than me but still higher than peanut butter and jelly.

She walks up to each one, gives it a steely gaze, and then punches it in the face and says "Ow". She does this to the entire dozen like some sort of toddler St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

I should probably be concerned about this.

We are not talking about a slap or even a push. It's a fist. A correctly formed fist. The thumb is on the outside of the fingers and she is actually stepping into each punch. You have never seen a 3 year old do this so well. It's almost as if she has done some bag work or if not that then at least a slab of meat in a freezer followed by a cool montage.

I'll admit it, I taught her all this. This is my fault, I'm coming clean. I thought that this is something that father's teach their children. I explained that if you don't want a broken thumb, it needs to go outside the fingers. I told her sure, punching with your arm is fine for amateurs but if you wanted real power you had to get your whole body into it. Step forward and add a little zest with each haymaker. I might have even mentioned something about glass jaws.

This is the inherent danger of a daughter being raised by a stay at home dad. They might, I'm just guessing here, learn things that may not be appropriate or lady like. I'm not a bad dad, but this is all I know. I don't know anything about make overs or make-up. I don't know about shoes or clothes. I don't know anything about curtsey's or ballerinas.

This is what I know. I know how to punch and how to take one. I also told her to never throw sand in the eyes or sucker punch. No, because we don't fight dirty in this family, dammit. That has to count for something, right? I will translate that into fair play which is a good parenting topic to discuss so please don't vilify me. I've done way worse than this.

Hossmom tries to balance my influence and does plenty of girlie things. They have painted their nails together. They put their hair up in pony tails and wear dresses. They'll sit around a couple of diet cokes and talk about boys. The result of all of Hossmom's influence is that Little Hoss looks quite cute and proper as she punches her toys like she is demanding lunch money and homework. She is punching with pony tails. She curtsey's before she lines each one of them up again on her little firing line.

I am raising a tomboy, it's becoming clear to me. I have always been concerned about this as a SAHD and it appears that I was right. The way I see it now is that I have two options:

I can go the Peter Parker way. With great power comes great responsibility. Teach her to stand up for the injured and the maligned. To fight for the greater good and not to succumb to the temptations of the dark side. It is also a concern for me that a lot of my parenting comes from comic books.

Or we can embrace the lady like side in all of us. Start throwing some rocking tea parties with some rocking crumpets. Go get some father/daughter pedicures. Sure, it will appear girlie but I'm already a stay at home dad. I figure I've already slid down this hill, this can't make it worse. Although getting a pedicure won't help my image any, it certainly can't hurt it.

There's a lot to do to correct this behavior and believe me I'll get to it. But first I noticed that she isn't using combinations or body punches. Everyone knows that the body punch isn't flashy but they add up over time. If you are going to do something, might as well do it right.


  1. You just let her hang out with Adam he'll teach her everything she needs to know about pretty shoes, dresses, matching the outfit, and etc...
    No joke, Adam loves shopping with his mom especially when it comes to shoes. I realize this is probably not a good thing for boy but really what can it hurt. After all someday when I’m old and grey he just may be picking my clothes out and dressing my decrepit old body and dammit I want to look good.

  2. My dad taught me how to burp on purpose at the dinner table. My mom was not thrilled, but my dad and I sat at the table anyway and purpose burped. My sister used to walk around the house spitting on and in things. Just to spit. No reason behind it. She'll be fine. It's good to have a balance between the two: feminine and masculine, ladylike and bad ass.

  3. I think little hoss could beat me up in a fight,....and I like that. Besides, I spent my whole life trying to be like my big brother. There's no better role model for little hoss than you.

  4. Think about it this way. She can punch things, and wear her hair in pigtails. OR...
    She can punch you. Have you grow your hair into pigtails, and then call you Sally and YOU can sit around with a Diet Coke and talk about boys.

    ...Think about it...