GUIZERIX: I guess that makes me the villain

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Halloween is knocking on our doorstep, and I’ve come to realize I’m no longer the main character in this narrative.

That realization hit me like a Mack truck in the back aisle of the Flowood Target on Sunday afternoon as I saw my toddler’s eyes light up when her little pork chop hands wrapped themselves around a glittery mermaid costume. Thoroughly obsessed with “The Little Mermaid,” or “Muh-Maid,” as she says it, I knew that was it.

My baby will be the red-haired mermaid for Halloween — which means I’ll have to be Ursula.

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It’s emblematic of this stage in toddler parenthood, where my perfect baby disappears for just a moment, allowing me to get a glimpse of her fiery personality. In between the moments of my adult life, I have the pleasure of stopping her from either electrocuting herself or slamming her fingers in the door or encouraging her to try a new food or to please, just once, wear the outfit I’d laid out for her.

I’m sure, in some moments, I’m the villain.

When she doesn’t want to go to bed, or doesn’t like the snack I’m offering, I’m the bad guy. If she disagrees with our choice of television programming, I’m the one to blame.

And God forbid I sing the wrong lullaby — even if it was her favorite minutes before, I’ll draw the ire of the crown when her majesty tires of my song stylings.

Even though I’m all too often in the position where I have to be the bad guy, I know my daughter knows how much her father and I love her. I know she has boundaries and, for the most part, is learning right from wrong.

Even when she is angry with me, she’s got about a 30-second rebound rate at this age and is right back to giving hugs and saying “I love you, Mama” in no time flat.

And I know it won’t be long before “being the villain” will be more than trips to time-out or bickering over which pair of identical pajamas she has to wear.

So for now, on Oct. 31, if you see me walking down the street wearing tentacles and white-coiffed hair, toting a tiny mermaid, just know I’m content to play the villain.