Lucy owns me. And one day she’ll own you. She’s been engineered to take over the world. (Or at least a company near you.) And while her attributes will very likely mean she will completely and utterly dominate the professional realm, well … they can be challenging to parent.
Example 1: She is a mean negotiator.
A few nights ago, I was roughly two hours into a deep and satisfying slumber when Lucy tiptoed into my room, got up in my grill and tapped me on my nose. I woke with a surge of adrenaline and confusion, thinking my home was being invaded or I was witness to some type of paranormal activity. Nope, it was just her first negotiating tactic: Catch your opponent off guard.
Lucy: I’m bored.
Me: It’s the middle of the night. You’re supposed to be bored.
Lucy: I’m going to sleep in your bed tonight.
Me: You’re getting back in your bed, right now.
Her second negotiating tactic: Let your actions do the talking.
Me: SHHHH!! SHHHHH!!! Lucy, LUCY—please stop. Please stop screaming. You need to sleep in your own bed.
Me: Because if you don’t, I’m taking away your dresses for the next week.
Lucy: Ok. I’m going to wear my long fancy shirt. That’s kind of a like a dress. I love you daddy.
And before I knew it, she was asleep in my bed. I think I even apologized to her. She’s smarter than I am.
Example 2: She knows how to cut through the bullshit.
We were about to leave for school. I suggested a trip to the potty.
Lucy: I don’t have to go.
Me: Lucy, get on the potty.
Lucy (in a tempered voice that sounded like Kermit the Frog speaking through a kazoo under his breath): Stop bossing me.
Me: What was that?
Lucy (in same voice but louder and marginally more audible): You’re bossing me, dad.
Me: That’s because I’m the boss.
I dragged her into the potty and broke into a diatribe.
Me: Lucy, this is for your benefit. You need to listen to your body and make good decisions, and you need to stop fighting me. Why are we even having this conversation?
She looked at me with puppy dog eyes, and raised both palms to the sky with a shoulder shrug and said, “Well Dad, you know. Blah blah blah.”
She “blah blah blahed” me! I fought off the smile and hysterical laughter, determined to maintain a stern upper hand. But in this moment of pause, I was hit with the realization that she was actually right. My logical argument was really just a bunch of blah.
We did not go to the potty.
Example 3: She likes to win.
My wife recently taught her how to play Go Fish. She picked it up quickly—you have to be cunning if you’re going to run a company someday—and by the third game, she legitimately won, though not very gracefully.
Lucy: Mom, did you want to win the game?
Marie: I wanted to have fun.
Lucy: Did you try to match all of your cards?
Marie: Why are you asking me?
Lucy: I matched all of my cards. You should have matched your cards too.
Marie: I’m glad you enjoyed the game.
Lucy: You were supposed to match your cards. I did.
Marie: I’m not sure I want to play with you if you are going to make me feel bad about losing.
Lucy: Do you feel bad because I matched all of my cards? Did you think you were going to win the game?
Marie: Do you want to play again?
Lucy: I bet you want to match your cards this time.
Marie (to me): Your turn, Dad.
So to all future employers – take note. She’s the total package, but hire with caution. Because if she wants your job, she’ll eventually get it. She has her ways.
–The Big Papa Avocado, Executive Assistant.