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25 Things About My Daughter Violet

By Serge Bielanko |

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.

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I Love You Magic Daughter: A Dad's Appreciation

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!


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.

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

More on Babble

About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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29 thoughts on “25 Things About My Daughter Violet

  1. Kira R. says:

    Our favorite dino book is Ten Little Dinosaurs! it has googly eyes that stick out and roll all around whenever you move the book. At the back of the book, it lists all of the dinos in the book and how to pronounce them. Pretty sure we got it at Barnes & Nobel.

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks so much, Kira! Gonna be on the lookout for that one.

  2. LolaK says:

    This is precious! Violet reminds me a lot of my 4 year old daughter. From the bouncy curls to loving on the labs. I feel like going home tonight and writing my own list of 25 things about my girl! :)

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Do it, Lola. Write that list. It’s amazing how many things occurred to me when I was doing it.

  3. Barb says:

    We’ve been through lots of dino books. One of my 4-year-old’s favorites is Patrick’s Dinosaurs by Carol Carrick.

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks for the tip, Barb.

  4. Adrienne says:

    This reminds me so much of how I think (know?) my Dad felt about me. We always had that special bond. I’m so sad that he won’t get to have it with my son and future children (he died in 2006). Thanks for reminding me how magical the father daughter relationship is and how lucky I am to have had a Father like you are to Violet- caring, focused, and most importantly open to letting her be who she is going to be and celebrating it, and so very very much in love with his little girl

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks a lot Adrienne, for your comments and for reading my stuff.

  5. Trish says:

    The hand holding! How could I (almost) forget the hand holding? Our little guy (22 now, 6’1″) held my hand in parking lots until he was around 12. I miss that but he’s never held back telling his dad & me he loves us… front of his friends with absolutely no worry of being made fun of. Kids are wonderful, yes.

  6. Pam2 says:

    I know it’s a “fur piece” from you kids, but there’s a cute little dinosaur place in lower KY.

    It’s a little kooky, but great fun if ever you;re down this way!

  7. Heather in CA says:

    I’ve been reading you for awhile, Serge, and nothing has touched me the way this post has. I can’t stop thinking about it and your extraordinary love for your children. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Sarah says:

    I also lost my dad at a young age. We had an incredible bond. Is it crazy that I want a daughter so that I can watch the same bond form with her and my husband? There’s just something so sweet about a dad and his daughter…..This was exceptionally touching, Serge.

  9. Hanni says:

    I love this…one of my favorite writings of yours, Serge. We have a lovely 5-year old daughter and she is the absolute light of our lives. She also has a special bond with her dad, and seeing them together playing fish/war, laying on the hammock or running races just melt my heart right down to nothing. And she’s a wind girl, too…ever since she was tiny, she’d turn her face into the wind with the most serene, delighted expression on her face. I love that she’s an outdoor girl/daddy’s girl…

  10. Starsky says:

    My son loved dinosaurs when he was little. One of his favorite books was Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff.

    We used to go to the Museum of Natural History in New York City to see the dinosaurs, and because the U’s in the sign look like V’s, my son renamed it the “musvevum”. I guess you had to be there, but it still makes me laugh.

  11. victoria says:

    This is a no brainer, y’all: make a day trip (or an overnight) to Pittsburgh. The only two museums in the US that have comparable dinosaur collections to the Carnegie are the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian. I’d definitely suggest a visit before August 30, because the M is for Museum exhibit they have there is really top-notch, and Violet would LOVE it.

  12. Beth says:

    The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh has wonderful dinosaurs and lots of great kid activities (I remember going to a party there when I was little where we actually got to dig for pretend dinosaur bones and keep them!) You’re not too far from Pittsburgh, right?
    Also recommend National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia. We read a few pages a night and then make up songs with the dinosaur names, like “Argentino-saurus is a giant dino-saurus.” Have fun!

  13. mr says:

    No info on dinosaurs, but another type of pass-along..
    Don’t know how big of a Pearl Jam fan you are, but I also really like a lot of Eddie’s personal work as of late. There is a song that he’s written/contributed for Every Mother Counts campaign called “Skipping”. It’s beautiful. Thought you might enjoy. The lyrics remind me a lot of your words and tone when you write about your kids.

  14. Mary T says:

    This post makes me want kids.

  15. Belinda says:

    Love this. I have a daughter aged 7 and a son aged 4 and my life is infinitely better since they came along. Your kids are just gorgeous Serge, glad I’m not the only parent who takes several hundred photos a day of their kids lol.

  16. Kristan says:

    I love Dinosaurs, my five year old son not so much. When I was almost the age of two my mother would sit down with me and go over the book with me. I struggle to this day on simple words but throw some big ones at me now and bam I get them! Your daughter is adorable and I love your piece you wrote!

  17. Bonnie says:

    This is awesome! She will apreciate reading your thoughts about her when she’s older. You can feel the love pouring off the page. :)

    Oh and my Boys are super into The Land Before Time. I know they are movie’s and not books but they love them. My little girl is still very little (just 4 months) but I’m sure with two older brother’s, she’ll be a dinosaur lover too.

  18. tammy says:

    Oh Serge….your blog is beautiful. I was tearful at every picture and caption. You Violet seems to be one cutie!

  19. Casandra says:

    I am married to my wonderful husband and he has one daughter from a previous marriage and two daughters with me. I hope that when he returns from his deployment he has a chance to sit down and do this for each of his daughters. Our youngest he has only gotten to be around for 24 hours and she is 3 months old. With 3 girls though, I feel it is really important for him to identify what makes each of them special.
    Usborne books has some great dinosaur books. Check them out:

  20. C says:

    If u come out to Los Angeles, you must visit the Natural History Museum and see the new Dinosaur Hall. The museum also has two giant TRex and Triceratops puppets that roam the halls. My 5yrs old & 2yrs old low them so much we joined the membership.

  21. just sayin' says:

    I remember when I was a kid I was obsessed with dinosaurs…one of my favorites was the game dizzy, dizzy dinosaur…you can still find it on eBay.

  22. Nic says:

    Serge, you and Monica are the reason I continue to read Babble. You two are awesome and the best parent bloggers I have ever read, full stop. No one has made me cry more times than you, for whatever that is worth. :-)

    Re: dinos…if you don’t already have it, you must get “Encyclopedia Prehistorica.” It is an absolutely gorgeous dino pop up book. My nephew was a dino nut and we got it for him for his fifth birthday a couple of years ago. I was pregnant at the time with our first (also a Henry!) and I thought it was so beautiful I immediately went out and bought a second copy for our kid. It may be a little old for Violet if she is still a book tearing sort, but trust me, she’ll love it. Get two copies so you have an intact one for Henry in reserve!

  23. Angela says:

    As a kid I was HUGE into dinosaurs… I was 10 when Jurassic Park came out in the theaters, and I remember my mom taking me to see it for my birthday.

    A book that you might want to check out for yourself (since I’m getting a vibe that you have a thing for dinosaurs yourself) and for her when she gets a little older is Raptor Red by Robert Bakker. My mom brought it home from the library she worked at when I was 11… and it blew me away. I loved it so much I kept asked her to bring it home so I could read it again.

  24. Laurie Mekelburg says:

    Beautiful blog…I am sharing with the young mom’s I know so they treasure the moments instead of worrying about perfection. I enjoyed many of your connections and LOVE your writing! The last one made me want to write, however, about her sitting on you lap. I sat on my Daddy’s lap until I was married (then it felt weird – mostly because I would sometimes sit on my husband’s lap which led to “things happening”). Crawling up and sitting on my Daddy’s lap is one of my very favorite memories. Love him more than breathing…

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Laurie, you just made my damn day. Thinking about the fact that, hey, maybe Violet WILL wanna sit in my lap, even if it’s only every now and then, makes me giddy like a schoolgirl. Thanks for you beautiful comment! Have a good one.

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