Sometimes it's difficult to be the tough parent. The problem with disciplining children is they can just be so darned cute. And when they turn that grin on you, sometimes it doesn't matter that they're supposed to be in bed sleeping or that they gave up potty training weeks ago, so this late night toilet run is most likely a diversionary tactic. Even in those moments, one well-timed and well-executed glow of sweetness will melt the toughest of parental hearts.
Which is why, tonight, in the above scenario, Philip turned the reins over to me. Defenses weakened, he could not turn on the role of bad cop. It was too late for him. He needed back-up.
I hiked up my breeches and headed for the front-line.
There it was, the cuteness of death, displaying for me a book she didn't need to be perusing during her typical bed-time hour. "Is a bear. Is up-side down!" [Cue adorable smile.]
"Micaiah, are you all done?"
[Shakes her head.] "I need sit."
"Well, then, we need to put the book away so you can finish."
At this point she tosses out the grin in favor of the pout, puffed lip and all. "I want Dia [also known as Aunt Dayla]."
"I want Daddy."
[Tough as iron.] "No."
[Having run out of all other options in the house.] "I want Emmett."
That was it. The straw that broke the camel's back. I couldn't even manage the hand-over-the-mouth-to-hide-the-smirk-until-out-of-range tactic. No, there was nothing subtle about it. I let loose the greatest burst of laughter I'd had in days. Cracking up, I could barely even explain myself to those out of her earshot.
That's my girl. Breaking down barriers since 2008.