She sits with her feet inches from her face. The shoes that adorn her feet are sparkly and slightly larger than they should be. The laces are long and black and rest gently in her hand as she attempts to tie her shoes. I watch as she crosses the laces and begins to tie the first beginning knot. Already, I can tell she is not crossing it right and as she struggles to make the knot, I offer my assistance.
“Do you need help, Swee’Pea?” I ask.
“NO!” she says says loudly and firmly.
This is a tone that has played itself out many times dating back when she was 18 months old. I know better than to interrupt her intensity. I do, I know better. But I just can’t help it.
Swee’Pea tries again and, once again, she misses the first knot. She is now more than a little agitated.
“Swee,Pea,” I say. “Let me help you.”
“NO! I… Can… Do… it.” she says as she begins to force the laces together as if just pushing them together will result the perfect bow.
“But, Swee’Pea…” I begin.
“I… Don’t… Need… Your… Help… DAD…DY…” She stammers out.
“But…” I say, “It… kinda looks like… you do.”
And as I finish that sentence my words fade away into nothing as her eyes look up from the task at hand to meet mine. No words are exchanged but I can tell from her look that if I say one more thing, she’s going to shove that shoe lace straight up my nose. I decide to keep quiet.
After a few more tries and a few more *sighs* and *grunts*, however, she finally masters the bow and her shoe is nicely tied.
It’s at this point, after several minutes of fury and anger, she looks up at me and gives me the most angelic smile in history.
I pity her future husband.
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