My 3 year-old daughter is an angry girl.
Today, for instance, I visited a driving range with Riley in tow. She hates golf of any kind unless it involves her riding fast in a golf cart, so in preparation for our trip, I attempted to placate her with a Slurpee.
This worked for me, but not for the unfortunate driving range attendant who attempted conversation with my little blond daughter.
"Some lucky girl got a Slurpee today!" he said.
Full of sugar and spice, she responded the way any sweet girl would.
"I'm gonna eat your brain!" she yelled. And then launched her amazing scowl at him, keeping one eye wide open, the other eye tightly closed into a squint and her mouth curled into a fierce grimace.
The attendant actually turned pale. I went with a different shade - red.
"Whoah," he said. "I hope that Slurpee isn't your breakfast."
This is what people say when they think one of my kids is getting too much sugar.
"It's not the sugar," I want to explain. "It's high fructose angst."
I shall present further evidence. A few months ago, my two sons were drawing and coloring quietly at the kitchen table. This was a remarkable coloring session in two ways. First, the boys were not fighting and, second, they were actually drawing AT the kitchen table and not ON the kitchen table.
Riley came downstairs and into the kitchen with her baby doll hanging from one hand and her thumb in her mouth. She took the thumb from her mouth, which made a popping noise. Then she looked at the boys.
"Woozers," she said.
This is Riley's pronunciation of the word "losers". Then she unleashed her angry girl scowl and went back upstairs.
Riley also wants to be a giant. Because she's maybe three feet tall, this might seem like a conundrum for other, less angry little girls.
Not for Riley.
Whenever the mood hits - and no matter where it hits - she seeks me out. Then she holds out her arms as if to hug me and announces, "I wanna be a giant." My job is not to hug her, but to hoist her on my shoulders and walk around to other, shorter people.
"I'm a giant," she declares defiantly.
Usually, people take this is good stride - which usually indicates they didn't get her meaning.
Riley has sweet moments, but these usually occur while she's asleep. When she's sleeping, she's a little, blond cherub sucking on her thumb and hugging her baby doll.
On the inside, though, she dreams of being a scowling giant striding across the landscape, harassing losers and well-meaning driving range attendants.