The elementary stage of daughterhood arrives soon enough. Dad is called on to help with science projects, build fires in the rain during class cookouts, erect club houses, and lead exciting hikes into the wilderness. Dad must know everything about climatology, geology, botany, astronomy, and especially animal husbandry. Harmless trips to the zoo become educational when Mr. Elephant decides Mrs. Elephant is looking particularly glamorous in her fresh coat of mud and makes his move. Be ready to answer the tough ones like, “What is he doing, Daddy?” Deep questions test Dad’s level of knowledge and he must stand ready to share the facts. “He’s giving her a hug because they like each other.” Daughters revere their Dad as a man of wisdom and are certain he would win any “My Dad is smarter than your Dad” competition. Dads, do your best, make up answers if you must, but above all, relax. Your words, fact or fiction, are golden.
In the elementary period our daughters are ready to master the finer points of speed shopping. We must train them to become successful hunter gatherers at the mall. We show them how to enter stealthily, avoid the crowds, find the best game lands, secure the necessary items, and escape in the shortest possible time. There is a mandatory stop for ice cream on the way home, especially if meal time is approaching. Nothing whets an appetite like a double scoop of the cold stuff.
Our daughters cannot get enough of Dad during their elementary years. They will accompany us anywhere – the hardware store, the gas station, or the city dump. As we walk toward the truck, jingling our keys, we hear their sweet voices, “Daddy, can I go?” Miracle of miracles is their second question, usually spoken on the road, “Where are we going?” It does not matter to them, as long as they are with us.
Sisters in the elementary age will dress identically and think it is the coolest thing. For your own safety, don’t try this after your daughters reach age 12. Pre-teen daughters have not fully developed their personal portfolio of style and will accept some parental input. Push the envelope as far as you can, enjoy the moments, and take tons of pictures you can use to embarrass them later.
To be continued…
Up next – Teen Scene