Her mother and I split up when she was only three. The kids lived with me primarily for the first five years, but her mother and I always tried to do 'team-parenting' as needed and necessary. When Miriam was five she had developed a habit of writing on the wallpaper behind her bed some rather, ah, descriptive comments about her older brother. The spellings were very creative and I was pleased that she had developed an early aptitude towards written communication, but some of the creativity called for a bit of parental intervention. I called her mother. Team parenting.
Well the talk went well. We assured her we were not mad and would gladly furnish better writing materials. The inappropriateness of certain nouns, adverbs and adjective used to describe older brother were also addressed. Done Deal.
We also used the opportunity to touch on the subject of growing up and how such a creative and intelligent girl as our daughter could grow up to be ANYONE and ANYTHING she would like to be......even PRESIDENT!!
"I don't want to be president," Miriam said.
"Why not?", mother asked.
"Well, if I grow up to be president, no one will like me. No one likes the president."
"Fair enough," I said, " but what would you like to be? You can be anything!"
Mother was aghast! "Surely you don't want to be a waitress; you work hard for not much money and you are so smart! You can be anything you want to be!"
"Why do you want to be a waitress," I asked.
"Well, " she said, " No one likes the president, but EVERYONE likes the person who brings you dessert!"
Now that she is in college she is aspiring to be World Dictator. You can have any dessert you want.