With raising a child, it seems like there's always the Problem Du Jour. They're usually less tasty than soup, but sometimes just as ephemeral.
In the past I've written about some of my parenting issues, like when my daughter refused to poop, or when I feared she was becoming a social outcast (still in progress), or when she developed a fondness for puking on me.
(Apologies to anyone who followed that last link. Apparently I never wrote about her fondness for puking on me, but symmetry demanded a link going somewhere....)
Today's issue is that Daisy, at the tender age of 6, is turning out to be a not-so-nice child. I mean, she says her Pleases and Thank-yous with regularity, but when she's interacting with her peers, her tone and manner can border on mean-spirited. This is a rather unpleasant turn in the development of our child.
I know, I know. It's hardly headline news that Mike, the surly curmudgeon, is raising an eye-rolling and sarcastic child, but I'm honestly surprised. I will admit to being a somewhat gruff father, and I'm more than willing to accept the lion's share of blame here, but it's still disappointing to hear the tone of voice she uses with her playmates.
Regardless, we have now embarked upon a niceness campaign in the house. We've suspended Daisy's playdates until she demonstrates to us that she's capable of removing the edge from her otherwise sweet little six year-old voice. Truth be told, we're not quite sure how to encourage niceness. Most of the time that she interacts with her peers, we're not around to monitor it (summer camp, school, etc), so it's hard to tell if we're succeeding here. However, we're doing our best to persuade her that being nice is an imperative part of having friends (even if the mere existence of my friends proves otherwise).
On a lighter and unrelated note, here's something that amused me.
My wife prepared Daisy's lunch yesterday, including zucchini sticks and some dip. Daisy doesn't really care for zucchini, so my wife called her over to test and see if the dip made the zucchini experience more palatable. Daisy carefully dipped the zucchini and gingerly chewed a bit of it.
"Hey!" she said, raising her eyebrows with surprise, "Not baaaad!" She nodded her head approvingly while my wife and I happily looked on with nutritional glee.
"Oh," she continued, "I still have my gum in my mouth," bringing instant clarity to the situation. She spat out her green apple gum and then found that the zucchini was then slightly less pleasing. It was, however, still acceptable.
The moral of the story is to wrap your vegetables in gum.