Tonight I was trying to persuade Ariah to eat her dinner. She replied, “I love you, daddy,” climbing off her chair to give me a hug. I placed her back on her seat and said, “If you truly loved me, you would eat your dinner.” She replied, “But I love you,” and came over to give me another hug. I said, “I love you too, but now’s not the time for hugs, it’s time to eat,” and I put her back on her chair. After looking at her food and not touching a bit of it, she turned back to me and said, “I love you, daddy.” I replied, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” She replied, “But I love you.” – “Show me that you love me by eating your dinner.” – “But I love you.” – “You’re just saying that you love me. If you really loved me, you’d eat your dinner.” – “But I love you.”
To my horror, I realized that she was exactly like me. To a tee. She had the exact tone of voice and obnoxious antics with which I’d enjoyed torturing Teresa over these last six or seven years. Her dominant-expressive personality, uncompromisingly smug, could not be reasoned with or overcome through any amount of force or persuasion. She was my fate, my punishment, my just deserts for being me and causing others to endure it.