Between my daughter and a hard place

Between my daughter and a hard place



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — My lovely, youngest daughter — the one that everybody thinks is so adorable and clever — is blackmailing me.

The church-going, horse-riding, people-pleasing little extortion-ella, who I love dearly, has been calling her mother to tell on me whenever I do anything remotely questionable.

One could argue that if I stopped doing remotely questionable things I would be in charge of my own destiny. However, I think I might say directly to that one: blaa, blaa, blaa.

Now that my little sweetheart, my darling of a daughter is vacationing from school, she watches my every move. It’s her job. To hear her, it’s the only way she can pay her bills.


Annie thinks I won't say anything about her television watching. If I were to spill the beans on that, she could, conversely, reach into her bag-o-terror and draw out something with my name on it ... about which she could tattle her brains out.

She can observe just about everything from her perch on the couch where she watches eighty hours of daytime TV a day. But I have come to realize that television is just her ploy, her ruse, her modus operandi. It’s a horrible little catch-22 that has developed under my very nose.

Annie thinks I won’t say anything about her television watching. If I were to spill the beans on that, she could, conversely, reach into her bag-o-terror and draw out something with my name on it, and possibly a photo stapled to it, about which she could tattle her brains out.

She has me gutted and hog tied.

So, I greet her in the morning and say something polite, submissive, but non-committal like “How is the new remote working for ya?” Then we get along famously.

If, however, I were to say anything like “when you are through watching TV today, please fill in the perma-impression in the couch with seven or eight of the decorative pillows,” she would go ballistic, working her cellphone and her Facebook simultaneously to report my crime.

I have tried to find where she makes annotation, but the little darling doesn’t use pen or paper notes. She has it all memorized. The same girl who can't remember how to spell “cantaloupe” remembers that two Thursdays ago I called into my work 10 minutes late and that I used my wife’s good guest towel on Labor Day.

If I could harness that power of hers for good and not ill, one of us could rule the world.

Related:

At least she has graduated from mindless tattle to tattling for personal gain. She used to spurt out everything at day’s end to her mother, my wife, giving it away for free. We would be sitting down to eat — happy family time — and she would just start spurting uncontrollably.

“Dad watered your plants with skim milk, then he used your work socks to stain the cabinets, and bought a watering hose and weed whacker replacement cord with the ATM card he told you he couldn‘t find.”

How does one respond to that?

“Oh, and the registration on his truck is expired, and he said the 'P-word.'”

I once tried bedazzling a canine shock collar to pass it off as a stylish, fashionable, truth-sensing accessory. But before she tried it on, Annie realized that she might have found herself a part-time job. Her randomly spurting my activity for the day (or lack thereof) stopped when she realized that this information had both intrinsic and monetary value.

Now, when she asks if she can have an extra hour on her curfew and raises her maniacal little eyebrow at me — implying a collection of information at her disposal that she is willing to share with my wife — I say “how high” or offer her a few more minutes.

“Of course you can, Honey,” I say with a smile. “And how was Katie Couric’s new show today?

My little Annie. The entrepreneur.


Having young adult children means that I have to walk the walk I have talked about all these years. I am sure I would have figured this out without the extortion.

Having young adult children means that I have to walk the walk I have talked about all these years. I am sure I would have figured this out without the extortion.

In the current economy, I just can't afford to be a mess-up. So, I’ll stop using a china cup for watercolor. Dropping water balloons at my son through the laundry chute is something you won’t see me doing. I’ve vowed to be mature.

When I straighten up and fly right, Miss Tattle Pants will be out of a job. Then, being unemployed, she’ll come to me — her mature, responsible father — for spending money.

Which I will graciously supply with no strings attached.

Yeah, right.


*

About the Author: Davison Cheney --------------------------------

*Davison Cheney writes "The Prodigal Dad" series every week on ksl.com. See his other musings at Davison at davisoncheneymegadad.blogspot.com.**

Related Links

Related Stories

Davison Cheney

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast