I shouldn’t be scared of my one year old daughter.
“No, not monkey!” I plead desperately as she charges into the bathroom and hurls her long suffering soft toy into the filling bath. “That’s very naughty.” I say. I pluck poor old monkey out, dripping. She loves Monkey, but his rescue does not seem to make her happy.
She turns and gives me… the look.
I’m quite big. If you came across me in a darkened alley, before seeing my wonky glasses and apologetic smile, you might be a little intimidated. I’m several inches taller than the average person, about four feet taller than my daughter, and about eighteen times heavier.
So is she intimidated by me? Even a tiny, subconscious bit? Is there even the most microscopic hint of evolutionary uneasiness about something eighteen times her size?
No. The look contains absolutely zero fear. In fact, with that look, she is clearly the more intimidating one. Someone so small shouldn’t be so scary.
Earlier, she steals my wallet. I find her sorting through my various cards like a professional thief, discarding the ones she doesn’t like. I ask for my wallet back.
“No! Mine!” She rasps like a tiny, ginger Gollum. She points her forehead at me as if she wants to ram me with it. Her eyes narrow and pin me with an angry glare. Her mouth protrudes into a rebellious, imperious pout. I consider cancelling my cards and buying a new wallet.
“Monkey’s all wet, now.” I say. My daughter, incensed that I have defied her, gives me the look. My blood freezes in my veins. Slowly, menacingly, she reaches over and tips the shaving foam into the bath, all the while her eyes staying on me, challenging me to stop her.
Maybe I should be scared. Now it’s a cuddly toy and a can of shaving foam. What next? The TV in the shower? The car in the local baths? That look could do anything.
The stupid thing is, though, I’m not scared at all. All I can feel as I watch her incredibly cute face contorting into that fearless, defiant, frightening, demonic look, is a huge surge of overwhelming parental love.
What an idiot.