Peppered with Truth

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July 3, 2012 by jooshanoosh

Alright, I have been a parent now for two years and four months. And a parent of two for seven weeks and one day. There is a distinction between the two–it turns out having another kid is 100% additional work; for some reason I thought it would be half that.  So, there are things about parenting that I wasn’t ready for: for example, tar poop out of a new born, a two-year-old’s ability to quote conversations she wasn’t listening to, and how much you just lie.

Daisy was looking for potato bugs in the back yard and I was making dinner. (I know, this is the life I have!) Then she either got bored or, more likely, realized that “Looking for Potato Bugs” is an assignment given by dad to get you out of his hair, so she came in and found me.  She used her super cute but horrible English to ask me to come out and help her look for bugs.  When I had given her the assignment I had come prepared with a mason jar with grass and twigs inside and holes cut in the lid; that effort alone should have got me a half an hour to finish making the Strawberry and Black Pepper Ice Cream I was making for Book Club. (No really, this is the life I have!)   So, I’m crushing pepper corns with the bottom of a measuring cup, not nearly as effective as a grinder, and I get the tug at the bottom of my shirt,

“Daddy, you go look for podado bugs wif Da-zee.”

I tell her that I’m making dinner and she keeps tugging and I keep deflecting; you all know the drill, it can go on for hours, or rather until one of us is lying on their back screaming at the top of their lungs that they hate the other.  So instead of letting it get to that point, I lie.  And really what bothers me was not the lie–it was quite clever–but how fast and easily it came.  I mean, here she is, two years on Earth with nothing but her parents to guide her like the bird man through the twisting swamps of Florida, and I lie.  Slow and easy.

“Oh look, there’s some potato bugs on the floor, all rolled up.”  Several peppercorns had escaped my butchering and took refuge on the kitchen floor and they looked like a family of potato bugs out on vacation. 

She was elated.  Slowly and one by one, she picked up the rollie pollies and dropped them gently in to the jar. 

“They sleeping?”  She asked.

“Yup.  They are so tired from coming all the way into the kitchen that they will be sleeping for a while, oh look there’s some more over there by the sink.”

There is this moment in every Father’s life when he realizes that this child is wholly dependent on him. It’s my job, better, my life’s quest, to teach, protect and provide for this little girl, and she will soak up every drip I drop.  There is another moment when that father thinks, “Oh, she’ll fall for this, I’m her dad…but then should I really be abusing my power over a innocent little girl?” Then he realizes that he no longer has to sweep the kitchen so he makes sure she gets every last sleeping potato bug into that glass jar motel.  Those two birds never saw that stone a-comin’!

Please tell me I am not the only one.  And if you do, please tell me that you will not report me to child services. And if you do, please remember my name is Chris Clark.

What easy lies have slithered off your tongue? And I don’t want any Christmas or Toothing lies, those are perfectly socially acceptable and therefore not wrong, like marijuana. No, just your day to day why-did-I-say-that-it-was-more-difficult-then-the-truth lies.

Also, if you see a little black girl walking around with a jar full of pepper and grass, take a second to complement her on how well she’s able to rocks those wild bugs to sleep…I mean at one point she was singing lullabies to the jar…what a dope.

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