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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stroke of Genius


Before I get to Day 2,  I was asked to post this on my blog.  If you are a FB or Google+ friend, you already know what happened and this is just the whole version.

So, I was taking the kids to one of those very rare trips to see the grandparents.  I feel bad that I don't take them there enough considering my parents live less than 30 minutes away.  (I know.  Bad son, right?)  But we were on the way over the river and through the woods when, from the back seat, my 6YO starts doing her normal thing...

"Daddy, Go SUPER fast! I want to see 3 numbers!  I want to see 100!" (I have a digital speedometer and she wanted to see it go to 3 numbers.)

I have explained to her on several occasions that going "super fast" can get me put in "super jail".  She doesn't care.  Apparently, she has an insatiable need for speed (at 6) and can't be bothered by such details as her father going to the BIG house.  To her, that's just dad taking one for the team.

Today was different, however.  SHE WOULDN'T STOP!!!  If you have children, or work with children, you know this day.  It happens every now and then.  (More now and less then.) If you are over 35, it's much like a record skipping on a song you really didn't want to hear to begin with.  If you are under 30, I probably just sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher, "WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH!".  What?   I lost you at Charlie Brown, too??? Good Grief!!!  Well... trust me...  it's not fun.  It goes a little something like this...

"Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!"

(That was the short version. This can literally go on for hours if you let it.  Their mind goes into some sort of cruise control and it takes their mouth along for the ride.)  Notice, you don't hear any of my dialog in that.  That's because when they are in this mode, there's really not reason to respond.  You just let them do their thing.  Any response, at this point, just leads to a series of "WHY?" questions.  You will be able to answer some of the WHYs but most you won't.  And that leads to more WHYs.  It's all lose/lose (like politics) from here.

This is also the moment where you realize that this form of Kiddie Verbal Viral Warfare is working!  You know you won't be able to take much more.  You are merely mortal.  Humans were only designed to take so much.  Male humans were designed to take even less.  I was about to push that little Civic to the limit and I didn't care if I got caught or not.  I was fully prepared to make an O.J. convoy 20 police cars long directly to the jailhouse just for some quiet when I was hit with a stroke of genius.

I decided to give my little one what she wanted.  My daughter wanted 3 numbers and she was going to get 3 numbers!  That's the kind of father I am!  So, I jammed my foot onto the accelerator.  I leaned back in my seat as if I was taking off in a space shuttle.  I even made a loud VROOOMMMM noise.  (That part was absolutely necessary since I drive a Civic.  No matter how hard I push the engine there's not enough power to make the engine roar.  So, sound effects are needed.)  Then, to complete the request... I pressed the "turbo" button!  Sadly, my turbo button doesn't actually make the car go any faster.  All it does is change the digital speedometer reading from Miles Per Hour to Kilometers Per Hour.  So, instantly, I was going 110! (At least that's what my display says.)

My little one was EXTREMELY excited that her father went over 100!  She could hardly contain herself.  It was great!  I managed to make her happy and not get a ticket... which made ME happy.  All of this was at the push of one button.  And that's what fatherhood comes down to.  Sometimes you are charged with making sure everyone is happy.  And all it takes is a little creativity and deception.  (You know... that point sounded a WHOLE lot better in my head.  But you get what I'm saying!)

**********

Since I originally thought about putting this story to print, the "genius" plan has backfired on me.  Now, BOTH of my little ones loudly object when I change the speed back to mph.  So, now, I will eventually get the ticket anyway because I have NO idea how fast I'm going.  I wonder if the officer will understand.  If he's the father of young girls... he will.