Each day, I am amazed. I am amazed that such a wonderful being can share the same genetic make up as me. Seriously, my daughter is awesome! I’m blown away by some of the stuff that she says and some of the things she does.
Just the other day, she woke up pretty early and went to ask her mother if she could watch Dora. (That’s Dora the Explorer to all of you uninformed.) Well, Amy’s pregancy this go around has been anything but pleasant. So, Amy (while in bed trying to ease the nausea) says, “You know how to use the Xbox, you can watch whatever. But, you’ll have to hook it up.” She said this thinking that my 3 year old daughter would not be able to hook up the Xbox and resort to going to the play room and playing with puzzles and toys until mommy could kick the pukiness. (Oh yeah, it’s a word. Google it.)
Let me also explain a little about the Xbox in question. You may be thinking, how can you watch Dora on the Xbox. Well, I’m a tinker-er. I like to experiment. When my Xbox got so old that I didn’t really play it that much anymore, and it was way past warranty consideration, I modded it and put Xbox Media Center on it. So, basically, anything I download can be streamed to my Xbox, making it awesome for storing and playing hours and hours of Dora, Deigo, Little Einsteins, (seriously, I could go on, but I won’t). My wife has a hard time operating it sometimes. Not that it’s complex, just that you have to know where to go once running it to pull the files you want.
Back to the other day. So, Iliana leaves the bedroom and Amy thinks, “Okay, that should give me some time.” Next thing Amy knows, she hears the TV on. She goes in there and sees that my daughter, my pride and joy, has unhooked the Wii from the TV and plugged in the AV cables for the Xbox, turned on the TV and Xbox, and properly navigated to the Family Video section and was watching one of her favorite types of videos: Iliana. That’s right, my 3 year old daughter can do what a lot of adults can’t do; properly hook up a piece of Audio/Video equipment. Am I proud? Dang Skippy, I’m proud. Am I over-reacting? Probably, but let me see your kid figure out how to do that on his/her own. My kid is a genius! (Dear God, please don’t let this be the pinnacle of her success.)
And just last night, we were laying in bed during story time and she asked a pretty thought provoking question. Iliana likes “Princess Joscelyn” stories for bedtime. “Princess Joscelyn” stories are made up stories about a princess named Joscelyn (Iliana’s middle name) and all of her friends. Her friends include some talking animals like a horse named “Trotter,” a frog named “Ribber,” and many more. The stories must also include the Disney Princesses and many other Disney characters. Well, during last nights story, Princess Joscelyn and Mary Poppins went to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (all her idea) to have a snack. She asked who was there with Mickey and I said, “Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.” Which are the usual list of suspects hanging out at Mickey’s crib. And then she said, “Goofy and Pluto are both dogs, but Goofy can talk and Pluto can’t talk. What’s up with that?” Profound. Seriously, what IS up with that? Out of the mouth of babes. Does Goofy symbolize the part of us that wants to be the life of the party? The fun-loving, out-spoken person that doesn’t care what everyone else thinks but is free to be himself? And does Pluto represent that inner struggle to be a “dog” like Goofy but lacks the confidence to “speak” on his behalf? Always worried about what people think and so self conscious that he doesn’t “speak” for fear of being judged or rejected? Granted, she didn’t actually verbalize the last part, but I know she was thinking it. Three years old people…3…years…old. Genius.
I know, I’m just an over-excited father that is completely in awe of his child and amazed at some of the things she does. I know it sounds cliche, but it really does seem like yesterday that she was this little baby that had to depend on us for everything. And I mean everything. Now, she’s scaling the jungle gym, performing perfect cartwheels (yeah, that’s right. Perfect.), and hooking up video game systems. Time passes so fast. Iliana, if you’re reading this years from now, know that I love you and I am inspired by you. Thank you for being a wonderful daughter.