The Emergence of Daddy’s Little Girl by Lick the Fridge

Topic: Love

Before I became a father, I had often observed that male friends of mine with daughters seemed to have that special relationship with their little girl that was somehow different—a relationship that is hard to describe, but one that is instantly recognizable as unique and beautiful. Their daughters were clearly Daddy’s Little Girls.

When I learned I was going to have a daughter, I looked forward to her being Daddy’s Little Girl too. It seemed simple enough. After all, I was going to be a daddy. And I was going to be the daddy to a little girl. And by logical extension, then, my daughter was going to be Daddy’s Little Girl. Of course.

I began to learn quickly, however, that is doesn’t happen like that. Being Daddy’s biological little girl doesn’t instantly make her Daddy’s Little Girl. It’s not quite that simple.

For starters, daddy’s little girl didn’t get me all to herself because daddy’s little girl was part of a package that included daddy’s little boy. Additionally, there is that person we all know and love, commonly referred to as Mommy. And daddy’s little girl has quite an affection for—and attachment to—Mommy. Most of the time, in fact, Daddy’s little girl made it clear that she prefers Mommy. The pieces of the Daddy’s Little Girl puzzle were not fitting together yet.

As daddy’s little girl grew into her toddler years, and as my understanding of what It meant for my daughter to become “Daddy’s Little Girl” evolved—how it didn’t mean that I had to dote on and spoil her, or that I had to do anything in particular other than just love her unconditionally—it seemed that the relationship I was developing with my daughter still was not transforming her into Daddy’s Little Girl.

Perhaps more fitting titles might be Daddy’s Little Cantankerous Girl or Daddy’s Little Girl Who Prefers Mommy And Tells Daddy So Whenever She Gets A Chance. Was I doing something wrong? Where was Daddy’s Little Girl?

I suppose that it didn’t help that I’m not the spoiling type, and that I treat my daughter and son the same irrespective of their gender, and that I have high expectations for their behavior, and I don’t pander to, or put up with, their tantrums and whining and screaming over trivial things. In other words, I’m not a softy.

While these might be good parenting techniques, they clearly were preventing my daughter from becoming anywhere close to Daddy’s Little Girl on any sort of consistent basis. Or so I thought.

Lately, at just about two and a half years of age, I’m noticing a change in our relationship. The preference for Mommy, while still often present, is not as aggressive and rude. We also are beginning to understand each other more, and because I feel like she is beginning to learn and adapt to my expectations, and because she is beginning to realize that I love her unconditionally, and that everything I do or say involving her has the sole purpose of helping her become a wonderful person, and because she is developmentally able to express herself emotionally with more sophistication, we are beginning to get along better more regularly.

And while I’d be lying if I said it was easy, and while I’d be lying if I insinuated that she is not stubborn, defiant and extremely challenging at times, I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that she can also be the most beautiful, caring and thoughtful girl I have ever met.

I’m beginning to recognize that while I always have been and I always will be the daddy to a little girl, she is just now becoming what I had observed in others, and what I have envisioned for myself, Daddy’s Little Girl. And in retrospect, there was no way that she could have become Daddy’s Little Girl any quicker than she has.

She was not ready to be Daddy’s Little Girl before. And I was not ready to be the father to Daddy’s Little Girl until now.

And while it is highly unlikely that I’ll be buying her a car for her sixteenth birthday, or that I’ll pander to many of her other whimsical desires she’ll demand along her journey through childhood, when she runs up to me and laughs that laugh that comes from her belly, and when she throws her arms around me and says, “I love you, Daddy”, and when she looks at me and smiles with sincere affection on her face, I say to myself I’m a lucky, lucky man.

Daddy’s Little Girl has emerged. It took a few years, but it was fully worth the wait.

And, who knows, maybe it’s too early to rule out that sixteenth birthday present.

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Comments
4 Responses to “The Emergence of Daddy’s Little Girl by Lick the Fridge”
  1. Anne says:

    Ha! I think it is way too early to rule out anything…she has only just begun to work her charms on you! Love your description of the evolution of the role – and it is so true – and it does continue to go back and forth and through all sorts of stages…with your heart right there at stake all along the way! She’s a lucky, lucky girl!

    • Jared Karol says:

      Yes, I figure this isn’t a permanent switch. . . and I’m sure it will go back and forth plenty–in fact, it already has even since I’ve posted this. It’ll be interesting to see how it all develops in ten years. . . or twenty!

  2. talleygilly says:

    Jared – Really enjoyed this, and you made me laugh out loud with these great titles: “Daddy’s Little Cantankerous Girl or Daddy’s Little Girl Who Prefers Mommy And Tells Daddy So Whenever She Gets A Chance.” The push-pull of finding your little girl equally exasperating and amazing is parenting in a nutshell, and I look forward to hearing more as your relationship progresses. One tidbit I read about development years ago was children often align themselves a bit more the same-sex parent until age 7 or so, then they switch alliances (reminds me of Survivor, ha ha). But whether that is true or not, your relationship with your little girl will be one that is very important for her, whether she ever tells you so or not. Most strong and happy women I know had great fathers who never let them forget that they were loved, loved, loved. -A

    • Jared Karol says:

      Thanks for your comments, Alexandra. Your insight is valuable. You know, even since I’ve written this post, she’s been a little cantankerous, almost as if to prove to me who’s really in charge of things. . . it was like the “curse of the commentator” scenario. Oh well, I’ve learned that just because my posts get invalidated within hours after going live that it shouldn’t stop me from writing them! 🙂

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