Dannielynn is growing up fast! Our own Mark Steines jumps into the play pit with the late Anna Nicole Smith's daughter and dad Larry Birkhead, who shares how his pride and joy is coming along -- and it seems she's quite a handful!
"Dannielynn is bright, she's intelligent, she's met and exceeded all of her developmental milestones by all accounts from her teachers and, you know, medical personnel," says Larry. "Anybody that comes in contact with her talks about how bright and intelligent [she is] and how she leaves an impression."
"It's hard enough for me to keep up with her social calendar," says Larry, who adds that as a single dad, he has a "non-existent romantic life." "[Dannielynn] keeps me on my toes, because she's very smart and she's asked things already about her mom. … She can walk by her picture and she'll give a kiss to her mom in a photo album, or at Christmas, we were sitting at home and 'The Naked Gun' came on with her mom in it, and I let her see an appropriate little clip of that, and she knew right away her mom was, you know, 'There's my mom. That's Anna Nicole.'"
"My goal was always to keep [her late brother] Daniel and Anna in her mind and let her know who they were without overdoing it," continues Larry. "You have a responsibility to keep Anna's memory alive."
Dannielynn, who sports a Guess? Kids dress (echoing her mom's Guess? modeling days) in the ET interview, has also become savvy to the paparazzi and being in the spotlight. "She knows that, when we are like out and about, that people take pictures, and she knows that people are following us," explains Larry. "We were in New York and, as crazy as that is, she could pick a [paparazzo] out of a crowd."
Of course, Dannielynn is still like any other four-year-old child, and her dad reports, "She loves cheese. … She doesn't like the things that all kids like, like ice cream and pizza, things that kids go crazy for she doesn't, she's not there yet. … She knows what she wants, like her mom."
Earlier this month in the Anna Nicole drug case, two conspiracy felony charges against Howard K. Stern were dismissed, and Larry was called as a witness in the case.
"I felt like, really, Dannielynn was on trial, because of the things that they were saying about her; it really made me angry," says Larry. "I never thought that Howard would be convicted of any of those charges. … I think the judge felt like, at many times, that the whole thing went off track, that it became kind of tabloid-y. … At the end of the day, they portrayed [Anna] like she stayed in bed all the time, never got up, and basically was looking for her next fix with, you know, drugs."
Larry says that he and Howard maintain a good relationship and that they are friends, and "he happens to be a brilliant attorney when it comes down to it." The feeling appears to be mutual, as Howard tells ET that Larry is "doing an amazing job raising [Dannielynn]." Of Howard's recent court battle, Larry adds, "Every story needs a villain and a hero, and I think Howard was made the villain."
With that trial over, another one looms: Dannielynn stands to inherit the fortune left by Anna Nicole's late oil tycoon husband, J. Howard Marshall, and oral arguments are scheduled for next week before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the case.
"That saga has gone on longer than the 'Dallas' TV show," says Larry. "You know it's like 15 years now running [with so many] twists and turns … Some people say Dannielynn's the four-hundred-and-something million-dollar baby … If Dannielynn's entitled to something via her mother … then that's fine. If Dannielynn's not entitled to it -- I mean, Dannielynn has everything she needs now, because she has me, she has her family … she's getting a great education, she's starting out great."
"I'm not entitled to any of it, it's not my money," he concludes. "I'll still work as normal, and do everything that I can to provide, and if Dannielynn receives something she receives something."
Watch ET for more with Larry Birkhead and little Dannielynn!