There are days when I really feel for my little girl, Allison.
And they are the days when I realize that a lot of her is a lot like me.
My precocious 5-year-old daughter loves the ABC show “Dancing With the Stars.” Loves it. She doesn’t know who any of the people are or why they are on it when the show begins each new season, but since its premiere a few years ago, she’s been a staunch viewer, rooting hard for Helio and Julianne last year.
She always picks her favorites in the season premiere, relying on nothing but the color and look of the dresses that are being worn by celebrities and non-celebrities.
This year, though, she made a curious selection. Based mostly on the fact that her dress was red on the first show this season, Priscilla Presley, of all people, became Allison’s pick to click.
While Presley’s high ranking on the creepy scale is enough to turn anybody off, hoping against hope that she will win a dance contest on television is especially troubling. And with worse and worse scores coming in each week, the writing was on the dance floor. Only Allison, still a few months away from kindergarten, couldn’t read it.
And so when Presley was booted on Wednesday night, a meltdown of nuclear proportions ensued at the Podlogar household. My poor wife bore the brunt of it and was forced to settle Allison down in time to get her to bed, but I swear I heard it all the way inside the brick walls of the Herald newsroom.
My lovely wife and I talked about it a little on Thursday, with Becky telling me that she explained to Allison that things are OK, that “Dancing With the Stars” is only a TV show and not worth getting so hung up about.
But I don’t practice what I preach.
I can remember vividly, living in northern Virginia and being 7 years old, waiting with baited breath for my beloved Washington Redskins to take on the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. And I can remember the Skins falling behind early — and I can remember me running crying to my room because I couldn’t stand to watch it.
I also remember my dad coming upstairs to talk me off the ledge (of my bed), drying my tears and getting me to come back downstairs, where I joyously scampered around the room when John Riggins made his big touchdown run, sealing the Redskins’ win.
But I can also remember reacting just as badly when the Oakland Raiders destroyed the Redskins a year later in Super Bowl XVIII.
Worse, I can remember all the way back to Sunday, slamming the TV remote against the couch as Brandt Snedeker, the guy I was rooting hard for, missed short putt after short putt in the Masters.
It is my hope that my little girl will outgrow these tendencies to become attached to something or someone she wants to believe in, even though those somethings and someones really have nothing to do with her daily life.
To her credit, Allison does know to tell me to calm down she hears me yelling sugar-coated obscenities (“Shoot the bug!” “Dog-gone it!”) back at the TV while watching the Chicago Cubs blow another late lead. (“Calm down, Daddy!”) It seems that she understands the lunacy of that kind of behavior.
She just can’t control it, either.
Just like her old man.