Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Like Weeds

I had a date tonight with my youngest, Kylie. She is five-and-a-half and the baby of the family. But not as much, I am noticing. She is really starting to grow up and mature. She is incredibly polite suddenly, going so far as to say "no thank you" or "thank you very much." Its always fun watching your children blossom to the next stage.

So earlier this evening we are at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank when Kylie announces that she can go to the bathroom all by herself now. Mind you we were talking about something else and she casually mentioned it. I asked her if she would like me to walk her to the front of the restaurant to use the ladies' room and I got "yes please Daddy." What a relief, no more awkward moments in the mens' room trying to shield her from the other guys. No trying to convince her to use the stall with me in it. All of that seems to be over now. Sweet! She did her business and we went back to finish our dinner.

Paying the bill Kylie got a balloon to take home with her. I carried it to the car and tossed it in the back seat for her. As we drove the wind blew it around so she tied it to her wrist. At some point in our ten minute drive home she untied the balloon and it slowly crept its way towards me. As destiny would have it, in the blink of an eye the balloon floated out the open sunroof and into the sky. I braced myself for the wailing and meltdown that was imminent. I waited a beat and then asked her what happened. She said she had untied the balloon and that it was ok she didn't want it anymore. She said she would make a wish on it instead. What? Who is this kid? Brand new balloon lost at sea and no tears, no tantrum, no orders to go back to Bob's for another balloon? Nope, just my baby-doll looking out the back window watching her balloon sail away into the sky. Gazing all the way until it was gone from her view.

I told Kylie how proud I am of her that she is growing up and acting like a big girl. The positive reinforcement was so meaningful to her that she announced I that should come up with a reward system to acknowledge everytime she doesn't have a meltdown. Sounds to me like paying farmers not to grow crops. I love parenthood!