I struggle with wanting The Kid to know I love her and I will always support her, and the knowledge that caving in to a 19 month old is a recipe for disaster.
Tonight was one of those nights where I thought I was getting played. We read the same five books twice as she tried to use the potty (potty training is brand new for her, so I'm trying to be as patient as possible). She was especially goofy when I was trying to brush her teeth. When Gladys closed the door, and the two of us were left alone for bedtime stories, The Kid decided it was time to run around her room. Only a few minutes after she laid her head down on her bed, she popped back up and started crying.
Which is when Gladys reminded me The Kid is cutting one of her last baby teeth and her mouth probably hurt. She also reminded me that I am a patient Papa as she helped me give The Kid a little ibuprofen to help her fall asleep.
As I cuddled The Kid until she fell asleep, a few thoughts ran through my head. First, I have no idea how single parents raise kids. I'm exhausted whenever Gladys travels for work. Nights like tonight can be draining too, which is why her gentle words that snap me into thinking differently about The Kid are invaluable. Reminding me that I am patient and The Kid turns to me for comfort because I am patient with her was exactly what I needed to hear.
I also wish I could have met Gladys' dad. He passed away long before I was in the picture, but from his daughter's accounts, we would have gotten along well. He had a huge sweet tooth. He was kind and gentle to his daughters. To this day, I know Gladys and her sister think of Hilton a lot. They both smile whenever I do something around them that reminds them of their dad. Which is why I know I'm not a sucker, I'm just a Papa who wants his daughter to know she is worthy of being loved for the rest of her life.