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6/26/11

A Toddler Divided

When it comes to toddlers, you might think that the biggest decisions they face in their youth are pretty inconsequential. Do I want blueberries or bananas for breakfast? Should I play with my Busy Ball Popper or gigantic stuffed bunny first? Which bathroom drawer should I empty out today? Should I poop in my diaper or wait until I'm in the bathtub and create havoc for everybody? Day-to-day life is pretty easy, without any groundbreaking choices existing. But my daughter has an incredibly important choice to make at some point in her younger years, that is simply bubbling and growing as each day passes: will she be a fan of the Kansas Jayhawks or the Nebraska Cornhuskers?

My dad is an avid KU fan. Amanda's dad is a hardcore Huskers fan. In less than 2 years, both have already made valiant efforts to sway Ava's sports loyalty to their side of the proverbial NCAA fence. From books to clothing to lessons on saying mascot names and other applicable phrases (Go Big Red, Rock Chalk, etc.), there has been no shortage of attempts to place a bug in my daughter's brain. We've got  a serious Grandpa sports allegiance battle on our hands, and it's hard to say how it will end.


This collection is just the beginning..

Right now, KU seems to have taken a slight lead in this race. Ava can say 'Jayhawk' (kind of, it comes out as 'cock' or 'caw-cock') and is able to identify them upon sight. And she does seem to have developed a bit of an affection for them. But, with her, I know that could change at any moment. It's entirely possible that one day she'll see Herbie Husker and decide to drop her Jayhawk crush like a bad habit. Neither Grandpa has any sort of guarantee that Ava will stay loyal to their side.

Of course, this is all just the beginning. Chances are, this isn't a battle that will end lightly or immediately. Whenever she grows out of her current KU and Nebraska clothes, they'll be quickly replaced. Sooner than later, she'll be reaching the age where she can go to her first sporting events, and I don't doubt that Kansas and Nebraska games will be thrown in the mix. I'm already envisioning Jayhawk and Herbie Halloween costumes being suggested. And in 16 years, Ava will have voices in either ear, telling her she should go to college in Lawrence and Lincoln.

So who will come out on top and earn Ava's allegiance? I have no idea, and I don't plan to push her either way. If she likes the Jayhawks, great. If she decides she wants to chant 'Husker Power', then so be it. And for all we know, she may decide to fool us all and decide to cheer on a completely random team. Maybe she'll start wearing green and cheering on the Oregon Ducks (she does love to say 'Quack quack' as it is). Hey, given her obsession with monkeys, she might decide to be a Pitt State fan based on mascot alone. Maybe I'll throw a wrench in things and start buying her a bunch of Creighton University (my alma mater) stuff in hopes that she'll decide to be a Bluejay fan (fat chance). And obviously, there's always the possibility that she will loathe sports and think we are all idiots for devoting so much time to athletics. Honestly, I'm kind of putting my money on that one. Regardless of what she ends up deciding, I'll support it.

As long as she doesn't decide to be a Missouri Tigers fan.

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