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25 Things About My Daughter Violet

Violet and the neighbors

Once upon a time, back before she came along, I was just a stick covered in bird crap hanging in the wind.

Life was good, don’t get me wrong. But, like a lot of guys do in their late 20’s and early 30’s, I spent so much time focused on myself. Too much time. I was hunting down things in the wide-open night that don’t even exist.

I was stalking the shadows of shadows.

Everything was all about me, me, me. Work, art, music, money, sex, friendship, Friday night, Sunday morning: it was always about me and just me.

Somewhere out there I knew there had to be something else, something vastly different and inherently better than the self-serving locomotive I was tied to.

I was lonesome.

I was lonely.

Then, out of what seemed like nowhere, Monica came along and we fell in love and got married. And before too long, we had decided together that we did want a child and that the time was now.

So, we set out, scared and green, down that strange path and before long, she came to us. Violet.

Our little girl.

And hot damn.

Nowadays, I spend a good part of my week trying to make sense of how something so wonderful ever managed to come my way. I wasn’t a bad person or anything in my life before my daughter, but I had never pictured myself as someone who was going to be on the short-list for a super kick-ass prize either.

But that’s just what I got, what we got, with the kid.

My happiness has never been more explosive than when I am with her and her brother, Henry. Some guys can’t really talk about how much they love their kids, it seems awkward for them and hard to just say out loud. And I understand that, I guess. I really think I do.

But for me, it’s different.

Before I had Violet, I was a guy standing out there on the corner, smoking a cigarette/watching some creeping bus heading uptown.

I was a just a dude waiting for the world to start.

But with Violet, and then Hank, I am ten thousand Titanic engines, lined up as far as your pretty eyes can see, racing the world around like it was all mine.

Thanks kiddo, for waking me up as much as anyone ever could.


  • Mizz Mix-A-Lot 1 of 25
    Mizz Mix-A-Lot
    My daughter, Violet, loves to mix her own food up. Scrambling eggs, whipping cake batter, it doesn't matter...she loves to mix it up. And should you decide to try and lend a hand, be warned! She does not like other people's spatulas or forks anywhere near hers!
  • Plastic Beasts 2 of 25
    Plastic Beasts
    Plastic beasts play a huge part in our lives because Violet is both a collector and a sharer. Farm animals, jungle creatures, deep sea dwellers, and dinosaurs: if they exist in plastic form then chances are Violet has one or six. The best part is that you never know when you are going to find a small dollar store hippopotamus hiding out behind the milk in the fridge.
  • Quiet Time 3 of 25
    Quiet Time
    Our little girl, like a lot of three year olds, is capable of talking and playing for hours on end. But she also really seems to dig what we call (so originally!) 'Quiet Time.' Then, she heads into her room, with her favorite books and just reads to herself for a while. It's a nice break for us...and for her too. Plus, I really like that she is able to entertain herself at a young age.
  • Pool Party Peeps 4 of 25
    Pool Party Peeps
    Violet is a huge fan of the plastic swimming pool her Pop-Pop got her from Wal-Mart, or wherever, last year. She loves to dump a load of plastic beasts in there and maybe a bucket or two, and then invite our dogs around to cool off on a hot summer's afternoon. It's a relaxed scene. Well, until you try and get her out. Then...it's World War Three Year Old.
  • Frightened and Fearless 5 of 25
    Frightened and Fearless
    Like most kids her age, Violet has certain things that scare her or freak her out. And that's cool with us. Kids have their own way of sorting out the world, their own way of dealing with what they see before them. Sometimes it might just be a new character on a cartoon that sets her off in a tizzy. You would think she'd been stung by mad hornets or something, but it's just some Yo-Gabba-Gabba thing tripping her out. Yet, then there are times when she is just fearless. In a big bad flood, she just waded on out to her favorite bench without even considering whether to be scared of all that water or not. It's all kind of fascinating, I think.
  • The Beals 6 of 25
    The Beals
    The first band Violet ever heard of was a pretty good one. Her mom got her a shirt at Old Navy and it wasn't long before it became my top choice to put her in every morning. Sometimes I even keep it in the clean drawer although it smells like maple syrup and sour milk and puke just so I can hear her say The Beatles in her own wonderful way. "Iss Da Beals," she hollers when she sees it. It makes my damn day.
  • The Dinosaur Kid 7 of 25
    The Dinosaur Kid
    Straight up: my kid Violet is super into dinosaurs. Books. Plastic beasts, stickers she sticks all up and down my arm when I am trying to watch TV in the evening and at a commercial I notice that there are thirty stegosauruses waiting to rip my arm hair out. She has whole books of the suckers memorized and loves to sit there and read their names aloud fifty times in a row. And I couldn't be more proud. Honestly. I am the one who started buying all this dinosaur stuff when she was like two weeks old, just hoping that she might be a dinosaur kid someday. Hey, I just thought of something! If you have any favorite dinosaur books or museums where you've been or whatever...let me know in the comments! Thanks!
  • Little Lady 8 of 25
    Little Lady
    For all of her good- time-rollin'-in-the-muddy-grass personality traits, for all the little individual quirks that make me fall for her every couple of minutes, it is still a dazzling bit of magic whenever I happen to see Violet in a dress, for Easter or maybe the Fourth of July. It's hard for me to put in to words how astounding it is, as a big dumb daddy: seeing his little girl assume a bit of poise and grace all on her own. I watch her understanding she is all dolled up, and I see how much she just loves it. Then, I melt into a ball of mush.
  • Hard Workers 9 of 25
    Hard Workers
    Our daughter really seems to love to help me or Monica out with stuff. It might be carving pumpkins or making the dishes 'squeaky clean'. It might be riding in the backpack with me while I push the mower around our 65,000 acres of Bionic Backyard. Whatever job she takes on with us though, she never gets bored or batty when we're in the thick of some real labor. And she can always be found biting her lip a little too, supremely concentrated on the task before us.
  • Mommy’s Girl 10 of 25
    Mommy's Girl
    Violet has a special thang with her momma. It's hard to describe but they are both hard-headed beautiful ladies who seem to know that they have a really special partner for life in each other. It's almost as if there are times when I can sense the invisible lightning bolts of Ladydom shooting out of Monica's forehead, plunging into Violet's bouncy curls and on in to her little mind. It's kind of magical, actually.
  • Sweet Toof 11 of 25
    Sweet Toof
    I guess most kids take after their parents in a gillion different ways, huh? So it's no real surprise that one way my daughter takes after me is her big old Sweet Tooth! Yep, just like her old man, Violet has a soft spot for those delicate moments in life when we are presented with opportunities of the sugary persuasion. And yes, what I'm talkin' about is people who leap at the chance to eat cake batter out of the container. Don't judge me. Or us.
  • Little Cow 12 of 25
    Little Cow
    When she was almost two, Violet was a cow for Halloween. She loved being a cow and took the job very seriously, parading up and down the streets of Salt Lake City mooing to everyone in sight. She still is really into seeing cows and not a day goes by without us being out in the Honda, spotting cows out in this field or over in that barn. I'd venture to say that we are the Cow Spotting Champions of the Valley.
  • The Hand Holder Of My Heart 13 of 25
    The Hand Holder Of My Heart
    There was a time, not too long ago, when Violet would yank her hand away from mine whenever I tried to fold it up in my palm. But oh how things have changed for the sweeter. These days, we will be out somewhere and out of nowhere she will be next to me, talking up to me, saying "Hold hands daddy!" And then she lifts her tiny fist into mine. And then I want to fight entire armies of gladiators by myself just to show her how much that means to me.
  • The Eye-Lock Kid 14 of 25
    The Eye-Lock Kid
    Something I have noticed about my little girl is that she has that rare power to lock eyes with me and convey some subtle message she is trying to get across with just her stare, or her glare. This, I find exhilarating whenever it happens. Usually it's when I'm reading to her and she wants me to slow down or go back a page or something. I reckon she is going to continue to use that look to her advantage down through the years.
  • The Trouty Kid 15 of 25
    The Trouty Kid
    Violet has shown a bit of interest in trout lately, which is a subject near and dear to my fatty heart. I love fly fishing for the critters. A lot. Things started heating up way back when Monica would show up stream-side with little Violet in tow. Then we would all just mess around with casting and pretend fishing. But nowadays we go to this gorgeous park where we feed the park's resident gang of huge trout with crackers from a high wall. Violet gets SOOOO into it too! She hollers out at the rising fish and later when we pass other streams she says,"That's where the trout live!" I am so excited; I just bought her her first rod and reel this week. (Also, fwiw,: this photo is my all-time favorite one ever taken of me and V. My wife took it and it rules my world.)
  • Against The Wind 16 of 25
    Against The Wind
    Simple fact: whenever we emerge from the Honda or the supermarket and step out into a hard high wind, Violet is overcome with gusty joy. And every single time she waves her arms wildly and takes deep gulps of whipping air. This picture is her in her wind. That face is her Wind Face. In my book, people who dig wind are just plain cool.
  • Balloons! 17 of 25
    Balloons!
    Our daughter is a real balloon lover. She can spot balloons fifty aisles back within seconds of us strolling into a store. We can be riding down the highway at 80mph and she has no problem spotting the three or four red/white/blue battered balloons flopping around, tied to a pole a half mile away in the parking lot of some used car lot. I think she might be out to rescue all the neglected balloons out there in this hard world. And I'm helping her the best I can.
  • Welcome To The Jungle 18 of 25
    Welcome To The Jungle
    Violet takes after me and her mom when it comes to good old fashion hard headed-ness. She's got it, just like we both do. It manifests itself in humorous ways too. Lately, she is all about telling you that whatever you say is pretty much way off. For example: DAD: "Look Violet! We're going on a hike through the forest! VIOLET: "OKAY! ALRIGHT! THAT'S NOT A FOREST THAT'S A JUNGLE!
  • Rock’n’Roll Girls 19 of 25
    Rock'n'Roll Girls
    Whenever we get in the car nowadays, I play this little game with Violet where I switch on my jazz channel on the satellite radio, a little Miles, a little Coltrane. Then we drive maybe a block or two and shazam!: she is hollering from the back" Dat's not wok-n-wole! Play da wok-n-wole!" Then I'll switch it to like Big Bands and she will listen for maybe ten seconds and unleash the barrage again. It's so classic. But, of course, I always end up flipping it over to the 60's or 70's channel and then I see Jimi Hendrix or The Who wrap her up in their arms in the rear-view mirror. Then she just looks out the window at the cows, contentment in her sparkling eyes.
  • In The Driver’s Seat 20 of 25
    In The Driver's Seat
    Violet still digs rides in her stroller, though the days are numbered, I suppose. She loves to sit up there in her "driver's seat" and point out where puppies she knows/imagines live, which wooden lawn windmills have caught a little breeze, and that the rooster and the chicken are "dancing" (they're really making chicken love!). But each ride now, she wants to get out and hoof it sooner and sooner. It makes me sad to imagine the end of her stroller days, but that's the way it goes, I guess.
  • Two Protectors 21 of 25
    Two Protectors
    In our house, we are second fiddle to the whims and flighty ideas of Max and Milo, our two black labs. And they are Violet's buddies in every way/shape/and form. She follows them around, pulls on their ears and pokes their eyeballs, hugs them like a crazy baby squeezer, and just generally loves them to pieces with her rough and tough Toddler Love. Still, they have both been around for all of her life so far, and I can sense their deference to her/their affinity for this Kooky Bird Kid whenever she walks in their midst.
  • Beatdown City 22 of 25
    Beatdown City
    It ain't all puppies and sweets in VioletTown, ya'll. She's a toddler and toddlers are tiny drops of snake venom dressed up like booger snotted Dora fans. And so we have been witness to more than a few instances of Violet whacking her baby brother on the noodle with a big ol' slab of Green Eggs and Ham or a Wiffle Ball bat dipped in dog dirt. She loves him, but she is, as of this date, utterly resistant to nearly all of his many charms. Most days, it's only a matter of time until we hear Hank crying back in another room...and more often than not: when you walk in there there is a giant billboard that says GUILTY up there where her little face used to be. I hope Henry ain't the vengeful sort. Oy vey.
  • Color Me Impressed 23 of 25
    Color Me Impressed
    Crayons. Magic markers. Chalk. The only thing Violet hasn't gotten her mitts on yet is a can of Krylon, at least as far as I know. But man, does V love to color stuff. And not just coloring books ya'll ! Nonononono! She has taken her talents to the walls of our house/ the fridge/ Henry's canvas of skin/and her own darn face.
  • Cowboys! 24 of 25
    Cowboys!
    We live in Amish country and for a spell there Violet lovingly believed they were simply "cowboys." Given their hats and all, I say fair enough. They're cowboys, kiddo! Yeeeee-haw!
  • Together 25 of 25
    Together
    I know one day Violet is going to start to climb up in my lap, then change her mind and walk away from that little thing of ours. And I will understand, I guess. But, I try not to think about that because she still loves to sit up on her daddy's thigh and that still makes me happier than anything ever has or ever will in this lifetime, or the next.

 

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More from Serge:

The Time Flies Baby And Everything Else Blues

25 Super-Cool Baby Keepsakes For New Dads!

The Littlest Victory: A Tale Of Potty Training With Dinosaurs

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