Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#166 In which our hero marvels at his daughter.

On Sunday the entire family went out to eat. We wanted to go to Red Lobster… and when I say “we” I mean me because they have all you can stuff in your face shrimp AND I had a $4 off coupon! Apparently, everyone else in town did as well; when we found out the wait was 45 minutes, we decided to go elsewhere.

But! Before we hit the restaurant, we stopped at the Halloween Store. This is one of those quickie shops that take over an abandoned retail space for a month, sell a bunch of cut-rate costumes, they just as quickly blow town. I’m amazed by these places… the operating cost must be dirt cheap, and the fixtures inside definitely are: it was all hastily constructed 2x4s and pegboard. But I bet those guys make a ton of cash.

Lily was a little put off by the life-size talking Freddie Krueger at the door and the spooky sounds soundtrack blaring over the speakers, but she quickly got over it. She was drawn to the endless colorful costumes and accessories. Macey, of course, didn’t care one way or the other.

We went specifically to get me a hat. A most spectacular hat for the costume I have planned. It is going to be -- in a word -- awesome. My hope is that there’s a costume contest at work. I know there’s a party, but no word on contests yet.

So I find what I’m looking for, and it just so happens to be next to a display of other hats and whatnot, some of them kid-sized. Lily finds a plastic police riot helmet and it fits her perfectly. It’s really cool and has a visor that flips down to cover the eyes. As I tried on my (awesome) hat, Lily tried on her helmet. She liked it a lot.

I mean, A LOT.

She really wanted that helmet. Never mind that we’ve had her costume (a pink Carebear that she picked out herself) for more than a month, she wanted that helmet. She wasn’t at all happy that Daddy got to buy a hat, but we wouldn’t buy her the hat she wanted. She whined and sniffled a bit in the store, which carried on out to the care and to the restaurant.

“I really wanted to buy that helmet!” she lamented. “It makes me really sad that you wouldn’t let me buy that helmet!”

As an aside, how cool is it that my daughter wanted the riot helmet? Not the princess hat, not the queen's tiara, but the beat-the-hippies-with-a-truncheon helmet.

We tried to comfort her, acknowledging that yes, honey, we understand that you really wanted it and it makes you sad and mad that you didn’t get it; and it’s hard not to get what you want.

But I’ll tell you, for a three year old, she handled it really, really well. It wasn’t a fall-down-screaming-and-kicking fit, it was just general soft crying and complaining. I was impressed. She only mentioned it once after dinner, and she was still unhappy by not nuclear about it. Of course, later on when she was telling the story to her grandfather on the phone, he screwed us by suggesting that maybe if she asked Santa for it he would bring it to her on Christmas. It had occurred to me to take this route, but I figured it would be more trouble than it was worth. Would the helmet still fit in two months? We’d have to buy it now, and by December would she be “what the hell is this?”

The Scientist says that even though it was hard now, every time we don’t cave it will make it easier in the future. Which I suppose is true, but I still hate to see her upset. Even though she handled it like a champ.

I never thought I would be proud of my kid just because she didn’t throw a screaming fit, but I was am. This little girl is growing up, and she’s turning out to be pretty cool.

We’ll see how it goes when I tell her I won’t buy her a car at 16.


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