I’m a bad dad.
I lose my temper.
I get frustrated and annoyed.
I don’t make time for her like I should.
I let work, my own wants/desires get in the way of what she wants.
I make arbitrary decisions with no reasons other than that is the way I feel at the moment.
I make mistakes while trying to do my best.
I work too late in the evenings and don’t come home in time to tuck her into bed.
I leave too early in the mornings and don’t see her wake up or have a chance to kiss her good bye.
I’m moody, tired, grumpy, annoyed, want to be left alone, wish she would just mind for once.
I set boundaries and make her behave when she just wants to play, trying to be the adult when I just want to play with her.
I wish she would just do what I say, mind me without question, not try to negotiate a better deal for what she wants (winning more than losing).
I wish she wouldn’t run and scream, laughing at the dog as they play tug of war, making me watch and laugh and want to play with them.
I want her to not fall down or run into walls or trip outside or scab her knees or elbows or chin.
I get terrified when she jumps up and down on the bed or from the coffee table or from couch to chair to floor and yell at her, in my fear, to stop.
I want her to be shy but friendly, reserved but outgoing, quiet but not a wall flower, mindful but have her own mind, talented but have to work for what she gets, respectful but sassy, polite but firm.
I want her to want to cuddle with me and play on her own, laugh at my jokes and shake her head when they’re not funny, to understand when I tease and when I reprimand
I want to protect her from the world that has dangers I am now only beginning to see.
I want her to pick her battles wisely, unlike I have done. I want her to be strong and stand up for what she believes is right, even when others tell her it is wrong.
I want her to be all the things I want her to be and to be her own person, talented and capable, smart and wise, all the things I am not.
I want her to be the best of me and the best of her mom, leaving the worst of our lives behind her, but learning and knowing and loving us anyway.
I want her to be the best her she can be, despite how bad a dad I am.