It started a few months ago, the general feeling of being fed up with hearing her old man tell her what to do.

“Put your clothes on,” I’d say, two or three times, each time more strained than before.

“OK, Dad,” Ella said. “OK OK OK OK OK OK Dad!”

“Alright alright alright alright I’m hurrying!”

“I KNOW, Dad! I’m doing it!”

She’s not even 3 yet!

On Saturday I was in the back yard and Ella came out to enjoy it with me, but she was wearing only a t-shirt and her pull-up, fresh from a nap she didn’t take.

“Ella, go inside and put some pants on,” I said.

She complied.

Later, Trish told me, “Ella came inside and said, ‘Dad said to put on some pants.’ ”

Then Ella affected her deepest, daddiest voice: “put on some pants, put on some pants, put on some pants.”

She’s mocking me. It’s hilarious! That evening I asked Ella, right after I’d told her what to do, “I’m on your case all the time, aren’t I?”

“Yeah.”

“Am I always telling you what to do?”

“Yeah.”

Hey, as long as it’s working. …

She’s growing so fast, before I know it she’ll be saying, “do your homework, do your homework, do your homework,” but eventually I’m hoping for, “I’ll support your old age, I’ll support your old age, I’ll support your old age.”

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