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July 23, 2003

Difficult

I'd like to leave you all with the impression that my child is so pleasantly spirited that we never ever have to suppress the urge to wring her adorable little neck, but alas, I cannot. Our child, like every four-year-old you'll ever meet, is perfectly capable of being a raging butthead when it suits her to be so. The picture to the right is one of those moments, in which Athena is doing her level best to press her mother's buttons and is in fact doing a pretty good job of it.

I'd like to say that she doesn't press my button with equal facility, but aside from being a lie, it would get me in trouble with Krissy because it would be insinuating that I'm a more together parent than she is. And then I'd get the same look that she's currently giving Athena. That's a scary look and unlike Athena (who as you can see is practicing her own glare), I have enough experience with that look to want to run and hide. It's not that I'm scared of my wife. I just know that she has the potential to make me scared of her.

The funny thing about our difficult child is that she is kind of amusing, as long as she's not being specifically difficult towards you. Truth be told, I really don't know why Krissy didn't punch me out as I was taking this picture, since she was trying to make a serious point to Athena about something and here I was giggling as I snapped pictures of them going at it with my digital camera. But on the other hand, there have been times when I've been doing the same thing as Krissy is trying to do here and been aware of Krissy standing behind Athena's shoulder trying hard not to bust up. So we're sort of even on these things.

Objectively speaking, Athena's difficulty is not disturbingly frequent nor terribly high. She's incredibly stubborn and often moody, but she doesn't break things, or hurl objects, or stab stuffed animals or anything of that nature. It's not to say that when she's difficult, she's not difficult, merely not unhinged. She's smart enough to know that there are some boundaries that are not to be crossed without repercussion, although of course she'll tromp right over them, just to dare us to do something. Yeah, we'll have fun when she's a teenager. At least our personal property will stay in the correct number of pieces. And she gives every indication of getting over stuff quickly. There are worse ways for the kid to be.

Posted by john at July 23, 2003 01:36 PM

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Comments

catie murphy | July 23, 2003 02:12 PM

*howls of laughter* I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but that bottom picture of Athena (see, stubborn and clever, that's what you get for naming a kid after a goddess of war and wisdom) sulking with Ghlaghee is just fantastic. You have an insanely cute child. :)

Kafkaesquí | July 23, 2003 02:13 PM

If you ever decide to compose an entry discussing spam mail solutions, you can reuse that photo for challenge-response authentication methods.

Good luck when she gets around driving age!

Melanie | July 23, 2003 02:15 PM

If nothing else, you'll have plenty of material for future novels. And then Athena will sue you for mental cruelty, of course, but that will be de rigeur by then, I'm sure.

Oh, and I have to ask -- what kind of settings did you use for the pic of Krissy and Athena? It looks almost 3-D on my screen -- VERY nice.

John Scalzi | July 23, 2003 02:19 PM

I photoshopped it and used the "poster edges" setting on one layer and faded it back a bit in order to make the edges a little more distinct. The kitten picture is largely unfiddled with.

_Jon | July 23, 2003 02:52 PM


The stare-down picture is priceless. I immediately thought - "Does this guy wear his camera around his neck all the time so he can get a photo like this?" And yes, I am suprised you didn't get that look from *both* of them after snapping the shot.

Regarding getting the "potential to make me scared of her." - my girlfriend has a nice "saying" when I piss her off - "Ok honey, you look tired - why don't you go lay down for a while?" Uhhh - no thanks. ;)

On a more serious note, she may be stubborn and have her issues, and I hope she makes good choices as she's growing up. A friend of mine's 14 year old daughter went missing for about a day this week. She'd been a good kid, but evidently got into trouble with friends. Right after she got home the Police showed up and arrested her. To quote my friend: "...it's really hard to see one of your kids in hand cuffs. I'm just so glad that she's ok."

The kitten picture is adorable.

Tina Kambarian | July 24, 2003 11:18 AM

Oh tra la la. I'm doing my own little jig over those four year old years. Our baby girl is 11 now and I just giggled right out loud over these pictures. You can blame Kev for hearing from me!

Gibbles T. Chimp | July 24, 2003 01:04 PM

Like other folks who posted comments here, I too have a child that has (thankfully) passed through that age of obnoxiousness known as early childhood. I've often said that I could do without 3-6 y.o. kids. 2 year olds are easy. When my son was that age, I always loved him..but there were times when I really didn't like him very much.
He's just turned 13 and is now attending summer camp at Johns Hopkins University (proud father beaming). I'm waiting for the next wave of obnoxious behavior to start, but maybe, just maybe, it won't.

(I used to be "John"; but there were so many of us on here I decided to use my alter ego.)
The URL has a little movie from the 4th with Dave Brockie of Gwar fame celebrating America. Not much else there.....