I'm lucky if I can get my daughter to stop blowing spit bubbles and pulling the cat's tail let alone impart any semblance of thoughtful parenting tidbits on my 2-year-old.
I know. She's 2.
Basically, I'm doing well if I get through the day without her eating a non-food object and throwing only one WWE smack down inspired temper tantrum.
But damn I had such high hopes.
Except when I try to explain why she has to tell the bratty-ass kid at the playground not to smack her in the face she thinks I'm mad at her, and when I try to tell her why sharing is an essential part of daily existence she gives me the "fuck that it's my toy and I'll eat it with a knife and fork before I let that snotty nosed kid who won't talk to me anyway have it" look.
So as I see it, I'm ineffectual if I use more than two words or don't offer a lollipop.
However, when it comes to Princess Quinlan, the protagonist in our daily bedtime stories such as "Princess Quinlan at the Playground" or our current delight (told two times a day at nap and bed) "Princess Quinlan at the Museum," she takes it all in without the threat of candy or a time-out.
Take for example the simple concepts of self-esteem from within:
And she is a smart and sophisticated princess who doesn't find the use of more than mascara and blush to be necessary unless she's going out for a birthday party;
And while she is extremely attractive, she prefers to rely on her great wit in difficult situations.
There's also the concept of good citizenship and healthy daily living skills:
...Who shares with others and volunteers at the local nursing home in her free time.
...Who believes in the equality of all people, and is nice to animals, even strays who aren't foaming at the mouth.
Then, we get more specific to certain situations that arise during the day:
But when the little boy at the playground smacked her in the face, she told him not to do that loudly and firmly so that he ran away and told all his friends how brave and strong that little girl was and how not to mess with her.
But when mommy got a little mad and yelled at the Princess's daddy it was just because mommy is a little jacked up on pregnancy hormones.
And then, best of all, you can impart your hopes for her future:
...With the hopes that Princess Quinlan would at least consider eating raw vegetables at some point in time.
...Who doesn't use diapers anymore because toilets are way more fun to pee and poop in. Particularly when followed by vigorous handwashing.
And don't worry. I'm planning on riding this as long as I can.
...And she remembered to follow her curfew for fear of the wrath of her mother and father and the loss of her crappy yet reliable 1987 Ford Tempo.
...And she waited until she was in love with the hot, smart, sexy man (or woman) before she decided to have sex with him which was preceded by long amounts of foreplay. And even then, she was 25 and already had a college degree and her own apartment.
Let's just hope by then the subliminal messages kick in. However, I imagine the 2 words and lollipops will probably work well then too. Just followed by some expensive purse and the car keys.
And lots of hair dye for me.