My daughter Lainey is 5 years old, and I love her.
The has grown , and recently we bought her a diary.
“Don’t even think about reading my diary, Dad!” Lainey said one morning.
The Hello Kitty diary was complete with a padlock to keep out unwanted readers. Lainey sat on her bed and locked and unlocked the journal several times while writing.
“!” Lainey ordered, before she whipped out the key and opened the pages.
“How fast?” she asked.
“Ten seconds,” I said.
“You try,” Lainey smiled, “but don’t read it!”
“OK,” I agreed.
I grabbed the little key, turned the lock, and quickly scanned a page.
The kid can read, but she can’t exactly spell—"everyone" was spelled with an "F," "with" had an "E," and "" looked more like "butter." The pages were also slathered with stamps and stickers, which made the sentences more difficult to interpret.
“Dad!” Lainey yelled. “I said don’t read it!”
“Sorry,” I pouted.
“Okay,” Lainey relented. “You can read the first page.”
“Awesome!” I smiled.
I flipped to the first entry and translated her scrawl the best I could, reading aloud.
“I don’t think I’m cute—“ I began, and paused worriedly.
“Stop!” Lainey yelled, and snatched the book from my hands.
“Lainey!” I said, “You are so cute and wonderful. I can’t believe—”
“Don’t say that!” Lainey frowned. “And don’t read my diary again!”
Lainey smiled guiltily, shrugged her shoulders, and locked her journal.
“You know you’re cute!” I insisted.
What in the world was this kid thinking? Hadn’t I flattered her enough? Is some kid at school telling her she’s ugly?
To offset her sentiment, I complimented Lainey all day, and she loved it!
But her sour journal entry still bothered me, and at the end of the night, I discussed the matter with my wife.
“Lainey let me read a page in her journal,” I explained. “She wrote that she didn’t think she was cute!”
My wife smiled and nodded her head knowingly.
“Did you read it too?” I asked.
“Yep,” my wife giggled. “You didn’t read the whole page! She wrote: ‘I don’t think I’m cute, I think I’m beautiful.’ ”
The kid tricked me! She’s cute, beautiful, and too.