Sunday, October 4, 2009


“Hey, B you want an M&M?” That got me nothing as I eyed her in the rear view mirror. “How about a piece of gum?” again nothing except her pudgy little hand that stretched forward toward the front seat. By the time my oldest daughter turned four she had me figured out. I had bet her she could not make it all the way home without speaking. B was talkative to say the least; her endless questions could rattle on for hours.
“Daddy, can we work on my play house tomorrow?”
“No, not tomorrow I have to work.”
“Because it’s a work day and I have to make money?”
“Because if I don’t go to work we won’t have any money to buy supplies for your play house.”
“Because that’s how I earn money.”
“Because I choose to work rather than steal from banks.”
“Because stealing is wrong.”
Because it hurts others when you steal”
“I don’t know maybe that’s the way God wanted it to be.”
“Because, He’s God and He gets to decide how it will be”
“Because he is God”
“You will have to ask God”
“Because your dad doesn’t know all the why’s.”
So, as you can see with little B in the car a husband and wife having a conversation was laughable. Her little voice dominated the airwaves.
My wife had come up with a coping method called quiet time. This method had limited value but usually gave at least some relief. She would tell B when the verbal onslaught peeked demanding peace, ‘Okay, B it’s quite time until we get home.’ I knew B would never be able to make it without tapping into her competitive spirit. Thus the challenge from Dad, she couldn’t go the distance without talking. (Isn’t Grayquill’s motives honorable?)
The plight of being mother of B and husband of Grayquill left her as the lone adult in the car. To think peace was attainable was foolish at best. Thus Grayquill began badgering B trying to break her silence. “B, when we get home instead of taking a nap would you like me to push you on the swing?” After the M&M and gum failure I was sure the swinging was random enough to break her concentration. The instant response I got was a whack from my sweet wife who had turned into mother bear protecting her cub.
Still hoping B would break, I checked the rear view mirror. Staring back at me were those sterling blue eyes along with a determination that said I will win and you will lose. D’OH!
The whack from mother bear kind of ruined the game for Grayquill but it was fun while it lasted.
B won that day.


Karthik said...

Ha ha.. :) Very cute.. Loved the post.. :)

Arkansas Patti said...

That was a fun post. There were three of us so my parents instigated 1,2 3 quiet. Who ever broke the silence had to do the chores for all three kids that evening. Being lazy, it was easy to be quiet. Parents must be sneaky to survive.

Sylvia K said...

A fun post indeed and did bring back memories of my four in the back of our station wagon and the chatter that never stopped, particularly on long trips/short trips/on the way to school -- well, you get the picture. Thanks for the laughs and the memories!

Anita Jeyan said...

Hey your daughter reminded me of ME!!! Unstoppable..!

Mary said...

Great post, Quill! It brings back memories of our two (both boys, but one quite verbal; the other one off the chart talkative) and perfectly captures the typical strong, stubborn 4 year old--some stronger than others, of course.

I'm glad to have found your blog, via your comment on Bill S's.

Grayquill said...

Karthik: Thanks - it was a fun post to write – brought back some sweet memories.

Science: Thank you

Arkansas Patti: You must be the well adjusted middle child. The survival thing is true – heck once you have three you are outnumbered and all those little munchkins have to do all day is think about out smarting mom and dad. It’s worse than big time wrestling.

Sylvia: Long trips, short trips, on the way to school – what’s left? Oh yeah, the drive home from school. It was sure fun though wasn’t it.

Anita: I have actually had that thought myself about you. Many similarities - Determination is on characteristic for sure.

Mary: Us parents have to stick together – thanks for making the effort to drop by – It is appreciated. I love a new face.

Debra said...

I used to stump mine once in awhile when they started with the "why's". I would ask "why do you ask"???They would then look at me like I was crazy LOL...

Tall Guy said...

That was nice!!

I also have the habit of asking a lot of question sometimes answering a question with a question :)

Ashley said...

B sounds adorable...and inquisitive...She must have grown up into a very smart young lady :)

Blunt Edges said...

actually B didn't talk much apart from asking "why"...grayquill was the one dominating the show ;)

Grayquill said...

Debra: That’s a good one – maybe you just saved some young parents sanity. Good job!

The Survivor: Of course that is what you did – has anything changed?

Ashley: The smartest! – And, since this is my blog I will take all the credit.

Blunt Edges: Aren’t you the observant one. Don’t tell anybody else, okay?

Meghana Naidu said...

i've been here, on and off, a reclusive reader ;)
decided to come out and say hi today!

this was such a heartwarming story and it most definitely reminded me of my dad and I
i think it did that to all those headstrong daughters who read it ;)

Grayquill said...

Meghana: Well, Back at you HI... so you are a bit head strong huh? That is a very wonderful trait - salt it with a bit of grace for others and the sky is the limit.
Thanks for stopping by.