"She's a big girl now and should learn to do that on her own..."
This statement has many applications. I'm sure many of you probably just thought of several examples. In this case, my wife was referring to my daughter being able to fall asleep by herself. She tends to want to cuddle on Daddy's lap before bed.
Of course, age and size have nothing to do with where in her development she 'should' be. Those that believe as much tend to be the same people that give disapproving looks when I am out and about with my daughter. They consider her to be 'unruly', 'obnoxious' and, my personal favorite, 'misbehaving'. Once they are done passing judgment on my daughter, they turn their steely gaze on me as if to say "You're unfit to be a parent and should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail!"
To those that would condemn, judge or condescend: I have two girls and one boy that I need to impress on a daily basis, you are not allowed within my circle of impressiveness. Don't worry, whenever I start to feel too impressive I can always rely on my wife to, with one look, place me firmly back into the cold doghouse of humility. ;-)
With regards to my daughter's inability to fall asleep without Papa Bear, my wife and I both know that my daughter is starting to assert her independence. We know that she is ready.
My wife wasn't talking about my daughter. She was talking about me.
Because Papa Bear isn't ready...