Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Probably won’t be able to use that one again.

Got home and got supper ready last night and then split up for the various activities. Reba graciously took Cat and Jonathan with her to go get Ashley’s hair cut, and I took Rebecca to the park. Which was completely dark. Seems the black flag was flying, meaning the fields were too wet to use. Or pirates. In either case, no practice.

So, back up the road to retrieve the other two kids from Mom so they could go ahead and get the rest of their homework done and scrub the playground off of themselves in the tub. I had a feeling that Catherine would be unwilling to leave, since the hair cutting shop is a wonderland of stuff to get into. I needed some way to convince her to come home with the rest of us that would not create a public spectacle. Hmmm. I reached into my fatherly bag of tricks and decided it might be time to employ the most diabolical means at my disposal. Really, it was overkill, but Cat’s almost seven and she’s never had it employed against her, so I went ahead.

Rebecca and I got the Head Start shop and walked in. Some black-tee-shirt-and-black-jeans-clad chick came slowly walking toward the register running her hands up threw her hair as she stretched her arms above her head. I’m almost positive she thought this looked sexy. It didn’t. Anyway, she mumbled something and I pointed to the kids and said, “I’m just here to pick them up.”


You know, no one’s ever said that to me quite that way before.

Catherine started immediately balking and saying she wanted to stay. “BUT, if you come home with Daddy, I’ll give you a SURPRISE!” Her abounding avarice overcame her reticence about leaving, so she happily jumped up and headed for the door, asking all the way what kind of surprise it would be. “If I tell you, it won’t be a surprise, now will it!?”

Hard to argue with that. After I had them all safely strapped in and was well underway, I finally revealed my secret weapon. “Daaaaddeeeeee--what kind of surprise? What kinnnnnnnd?”

“Cat, if you are REAL good, and get home and get your clothes off and put them in the hamper and take your bath and be REAL good, I will give you…A YANKEE DIME!”

They all went nuts, and I know I have used this in the past on the other two, but apparently they forgot about it, because they were just as mystified as Cat and just as excited to see the Yankee dime. They began yammering about it and about how big it was compared to a quarter and all kinds of stuff, all the way to the top of the hill.

Catherine nearly split a seam getting herself out of the van and upstairs, dutifully putting away her dirty clothes and getting clean ones and settling into the tub.

I did a few chores and was sitting in the bedroom when she came by and stood beside my chair. “I’m ready Daddy!”

“For what?”

“Daaaaaad, I want that thing you said--the yam…, the yeek…”

“Yankee dime?”


“Okay then, close your eyes REAAAAL tight, and stand riiiiiiiight here--KEEP THOSE EYES CLOSED!--and hold real still.”

I reached up and gave her a soft kiss on each cheek.

She opened her eyes with a look of utter and terrible disappointment--”THAT WASN’T NO DIME!!” She threw herself into a small howling pile on the floor, and I began to mockingly cry and wipe away fake tears, “You don’t like my kisses anymore? Oh, BOO-HOO. HOO. HOO. They’re worth more than ANYTHING, and YOU don’t like them--BOOO-HOO-HOO.” Underneath her wild mop of curls she began chortling like a little demon, “Now you’re LAUGHING at your PO’ OL’ DADDY!” The giggle could not be stopped, and when Boy and Middle Girl came running in to see what was going on, she could barely contain herself--“Come here, Jonathan, I wanna give you a Yankee dime!”

Mom got home later and Cat had to go through the scenario once again and everyone had to give Mom Yankee dimes for her birthday present. As I said, I don’t know if I’ll be able to use that one again, but it turned out pretty well this time.

And as for Catherine’s initial disappointment, she ought to be very glad that it was me who bedimed her, rather than some ancient aunt who dips snuff and smells like camphor.

(No, I don’t know why it’s called a Yankee dime.)

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