I inherited a personality trait from my grandfather. He derived great pleasure in teasing his grand-children and found great amusement in their reactions. Now I find great pleasure in teasing my daughter too. I offer rewards for meaningless achievements or small favours and then try to find loop holes to justify not making the award and keeping the prize for myself. I relish the ensuing debate as to why I should make good on my promise and defend myself against allegations of cheating. I often brag about myself in tall stories that she knows are not true, but she cannot disprove. A favourite tease of mine is to come home from work and tell her I had been to McDonalds for lunch. Just as her mouth is watering I take some treats from my pocket by way of consolation, only to discover to my dismay a manufacturers warning on the packaging stating the contents must be kept out of the reach of children. A new debate is underway, with me defending the indefensible until her mother intervenes and instructs me to grow up.
On Easter Sunday morning, to my dismay, I found my 10-year-old daughter was wising up to my antics. Knowing that she and her mother had several Easter eggs and I did not have any, she smiled at me and very kindly offered to share one of hers. I could not resist the opportunity and advised her that to share meant giving me half of all her Easter eggs. Affronted by my greed her smile turned to a scowl. The debate was on!
She had set me up. She had chosen a battle she could win. She had the winning hand as the Easter eggs were hers. If she tired of my unreasonable case, she could justifiably choose not to share. If she won, she could dictate the share I would receive. She put forward her case that she was a child of ten and was offering to share her property with a greedy man. A man who as her father was setting a very bad example in trying to take advantage of her kindness. I had to concede and agree that I was indeed greedy and apologised for my selfishness. The debate was settled.
She beamed with pride at her victory. I beamed with pride at my little girl. She had taken the moral high ground and defended it without resorting to teaching me a lesson by denying me any share in the eggs. But little did she know that she had inherited her great-grandfathers personality trait, thus ensuring future debates.
And little did she know that I do not like Easter eggs anyway.
With all the challenges parents living with MS face, it is the little moments like these that are especially important to savour. What real-life moments do you cling to that help you get through your tough days? Share with us on Facebook.