… and this year, my early present is — GUILT.
You see, Friday was Library Day. I didn’t get to go, so it was just Ms. Kaz and our daughter (and our son, but he has no choice but to go where Ms. Kaz goes). They made some great selections, but the one I want to focus on today is Because Your Daddy Loves You, by Andrew Clements, illustrated by R.W. Alley.
My daughter seems to be really attached to me lately. She loves her daddy. And so, Ms. Kaz thought this would be a great book for us to read together. And it is. The drawings are very nice, and the story is a nice story about how daddies love their little girls. The book is filled with incidents where the daddy could say ______, but instead does ______.
For example, the little girl’s beach ball floats away into the ocean. The daddy could say, “Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves?”. But he doesn’t. Instead, he wades out into the cold water, hurting the little girl’s chances for a baby brother or sister, and retrieves the ball for her.
Or, when the girl wants a piggy-back ride up to bed. Instead of saying, “Oh, I can’t. I’m too sore because I am too old.” Oh, wait, that’s what I would say. Anyhow, you get the idea.
It is a very sweet book, but… It also builds up expectations in kids that their daddies will never say these things, and will always sacrifice for their kids. That’s just not realistic. Not without daddy having a breakdown.
But I do have to admit. A couple times since reading that book, when my instinct has been to tell my daughter, “not now,” or, “maybe some other time”… I’ve gone ahead and done what she’s asked.
(You can purchase Because Your Daddy Loves You at bn.com for just $16.00, hardcover. Guilt and Shipping are free.)