I love my daughter. I really do… but some days…
Act 1 – The Family Dinner
Child: What did you make for dinner, Daddy?
Dad: Meatball soup.
Child: I don’t like that.
Dad: Yes, you do. It has potatoes, meatballs, and soup. You like those things.
Child: I don’t like that.
Dad: Eat it. And you’re welcome.
Child: Aw, man…
Dad: If you eat your dinner, you can have apple pie afterwards with mommy, daddy, and your brother.
Child takes two bites of the broth.
Child: Can I have dessert?
Child: (Whining voice) Why nooooooot?
Dad: Because you haven’t eaten your dinner.
Child: I did eat it!
Dad: Eat. Your. Dinner.
Child stares at bowl for ten minutes, stirs the soup around for a bit. Stares at it again.
Child: Can I have dessert now?
Child: (Whining voice) Why noooooot?
Act 2 – Dessert in the living room.
Mom, Dad, and Brother are eating pie in the living room watching TV. Child climbs up on couch next to Dad. Puts her hand in his apple pie.
Dad: No! What are you doing? Moves her hands away.
Child puts her feet up by Dad’s face.
Mom: Knock it off now.
Child sits up and puts hands on Dad’s plate near pie. Dad moves hands away.
Dad: Last warning, kiddo.
Child ignores Dad. Puts hands back Dad’s arm near the plate as he’s trying to take a bite of apple pie.
Dad: Okay, go get me a toy. I told you to stop and you didn’t. Now you owe me a toy.
Child: NO! I just wanted to hug you!
Dad: That isn’t what you were doing. Go get me a toy, or I’ll choose one myself.
Child: No! No!
Mom: Okay, Dad can choose the toy to take away and now you owe us a time out.
Dad goes to get a toy. Child tries to physically block him from her room. Dad ignores her. Picks a cheap happy meal toy Child has had buried in a drawer for six months.
Child: NO! THAT’S MY FAVORITE! NO! TAKE THIS OTHER TOY YOU BOUGHT ME AS A PRESENT! I DON”T LIKE THAT ONE ANYMORE!
Dad contemplates inventing time machine to go back in time and warn past self to wear a condom.
Mom: Go to timeout.
Mom: You don’t say no to us. Go to time out or Dad will have to take another toy.
Dad takes another toy.
CHILD: NO! I’m SLEEPY! I’m so tired!
Mom: Then you can go to bed if you’re not going to listen.
Act 3- Early bed time.
Child uses whining voice throughout entire act.
Dad: Get in your pajamas, please.
Dad: Does daddy have to dress you like when you were a baby or are you going to be a big girl and put on your pajamas?
Child: I don’t want to go to bed.
Dad: Your choices are bed or time out. Pick one.
Child: I just want to watch TV
Dad: Well, you could, if you went to timeout and sat quietly for four minutes.
Child tries timeout. Plays with a toy she found buried under a chair. Dad takes it away. Child puts feet up on the wall. Mom tells her to stop. Child ignores Mom.
Dad: Well, this isn’t working, so back to bed.
Dad carries her to bed. Child kicks and cries the entire time.
Dad: Okay, put your pajamas on.
Dad: Do you need help with your dress?
Starts to unzip the back of dress.
Child: I”LL DO IT!
Dad: Okay, Sweetie. You do it.
Child changes Clothes. Dad tucks her in.
Dad: You know, I don’t like punishing you. I just want you to listen to mommy and daddy.
Child cries, then starts playing with a toy.
Dad: (Sigh) Fine. Good night.
Child comes out of room four more times, loses two more toys. Dad almost starts dropping F-bombs on multiple occasions. Manages to refrain, but does mutter, “Jesus Christ….” under his breath once before drinking a few glasses of wine and wondering about that time machine again.