Sunday, March 15, 2009

'You're not the boss of me,' she said

It is a well-established fact in our home that I, as father of three princesses, am a king.

So it shook me this week when Ashlyn, sprinting back in forth in front of the gym instead of walking to the car as requested by the king, sang, "You're not the boss of me! You're not the boss of me! You're not the boss of me!" And so on.

She was obviously just messing around with this choice phrase inherited from big sis, who had the great fortune to pick it up at school for handy and frequent use with both of her sisters. But never before had any of them had the audacity to say it to either of the ruling monarchs. (Never mind whether or not said monarchs have said it to each other.)

It was a playful caricature of defiance. (Which I kind of like as a name for the rock band my girls will doubtless found someday.) So I wasn't really mad.

But neither did I have the strength to leave it alone.

"Actually, Ashie-love, I am your boss. You're a princess, and I'm the king."

Without a beat of hesitation, she replied, "No. God is the King. And you are a prince."

OK, so she had me there.

I laughed, stumped for a moment, and scooped her up to plop her in her car seat. I'm actually still stumped, although I did eke out something lame about how God was King but He'd told me to be a good prince/king/boss to my three princesses. It was technically correct, but nowhere near as well-put as her line.

Sometimes the four-year-old argument is much more elegant than its 35-year-old rebuttal.

And sometimes, I need reminders that though my kids are under my command, in a larger sense, we're fellow subjects of the same King, brothers and sisters with the same Big Daddy.

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