Age 9

At age 9, I have discovered, is the age your daughter has decided that you are probably not fit to be a parent and that every request that you make should include some sort of bribe.

"Go clean your room" I'll tell Little Hoss.  "Do I get an Ipod if I do?"

I just stood there, not sure if I heard what I think I heard.  Did I miss some sort of Dad class somewhere that explained that 9 year old girls need an Ipod or concert tickets, or a new bike for every chore they are supposed to do?  You do it because you live here and you live here only because no other building can stand up to your destruction.

"Brush your hair before you go to school"

"I know DAAAADDDDDDDDD"  This is usually followed by a sigh.  Then she can't find her brush, even though she has 12 that I buy her every week because she can't find her brush.  Then she stomps off.  Somedays I grab a pair of scissors and follow her around to let her know that if she chooses not to brush her hair, I'm going to give her a military cut that The Duke would be proud of.  My favorite part is how she draws out the last syllable to emphasize how god damn stupid I am.

"You can't wear that to school."

"WHY!  WHY, why can't I wear this to school!!  It's fine.  I look fine!  I want to wear this to school."

"Because it's 10 degrees outside and I'm pretty sure your arms will freeze off.  At which point it will be harder for you to clean up your room and brush your hair."  I don't think my daughter thinks I'm funny anymore.

"I'm not cold!" She will say.

Yes you are, I know you are.  Your mother knows you are.  The dog knows you are.  But at this point you are just being stubborn to prove a point.  What point is fucking beyond me but I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

"I'll wear a jacket!" she will say right before she storms out.

But no she won't.  She won't because Dad stashed it and I won't give it to here until we are waiting outside for the bus and I'm watching her squirm.  See, Dad can be passive aggressive too!  I've had 20 years training from your mother, I am immune to this.  Now take your jacket and PUT IT ON AND NOT IN YOUR BACKPACK!

"Do you like any boys in school?" I'll ask her.

She won't even respond to this.  Look, I know that talking about boys and stuff can be awkward and weird for young girls but so help me god we won't avoid a conversation because of awkward.  I live in the world awkward, I have embraced it and I refuse to have a child ignorant because it's "weird".  At 40 years old and with 3 kids that seem to live to embarrass me in public over the last 9 years, I have absolutely no problem with awkward.

I get it, I'm not the "cool" parent.  I don't want to be the "cool" parent.  Here's a little knowledge for my daughter:  All the other parents hate the cool parent.  He's a dick, an irresponsible jack hole that shouldn't have kids in the first place.  He's the guy that is going to give his kids beer when they are 13 and tell them to drink it in the basement "so they are safe".

You know why I meet the parents of your friends?  To make sure they aren't the cool parent, that's why.

"Go to bed."
"I'm not tired."
"Set the table"
"I'm not hungry"
"Don't break that"
"Break what?" Snap.

All.  The.  Time.

That's alright, I'm sure the teen years will be much much easier and I'll be able to reason with her and use logic to convince her of my sound advice.

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