And Remember, This is Her at Nine

Earlier today:

Athena: [Tells me some trivial and obvious lie]

Me: Really? You expect me to believe that? Listen, sweetie, if you’re going to lie to me, make it big lie.

[Beat]

Athena: I love you, daddy.

27 Comments on “And Remember, This is Her at Nine”

  1. Did you give the obvious response in this case? “What, you mean you HATE me?”, followed by ridiculous displays of shock and dismay.

  2. Adam J. Whitlatch – Bonaparte, Iowa – Adam J. Whitlatch is the author of over sixty works of speculative short fiction and poetry, as well as the young adult science fiction novel E.R.A. - Earth Realm Army and the urban fantasy novella Retribution: Book I of the Blood Raven Saga. His work has appeared in Six Sentences, Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales, Dead Science, Shroud, Crossed Genres, The Drabbler, and Vicious Verses & Reanimated Rhymes just to name a few. Adam lives in southeastern Iowa with his wife and two sons. He is currently studying to become an English teacher.
    Adam J. Whitlatch

    Oh, damn! You got served! LoL

  3. lannalee – Westbrook, Maine – Lanna Lee Maheux is a speaker, podcaster, actor, geek, silly person, femme fatale, singer, lover, twit, and recovering Stand-Up Comic. Host of the podcast Lounging with LannaLee. Since 2010 she has co-hosted The Lex and Lanna Show with Alexis Lyon. In 2011 she and her husband Edmund, started their own bi-weekly podcast, The Bureau of Awesome.
    Lanna Lee Maheux-Quinn

    Trouble. At least she’s funny.

  4. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in pain

    We call that leading the witness in my household.

    You’re creating a monster.

    You think you’re in control.

    You’re doomed.

  5. Oh LAWD! I swear it’s WORSE when they’re funny (and you, the female parent, apparently have the sense of humor of a 12 YO boy).

    I live with Chris Rock (age 12) and Adam Sandler (age 14)

  6. My wife used to give me proper hell when my daughters lied to us, because my response was always a tutorial.

    “Don’t insult my intelligence by telling me stupid lies; that’s just making it three offences rather than two. Do me the courtesy of telling me something I might actually believe, if you’re going to lie to me at all.”

    She seemed to think it was asking for trouble. Go figure.

  7. Annalee beat me to it.

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in pain

    JS, I stand corrected. You, like me, are the lone human male in a house of females. There’s not even the illusion of control.

  9. FWIW Chang in pain – gender has nothing to do with the illusion of control. My almost-six-year old daughter makes me realize that we are doomed. Maybe it’s worse because I *know* exactly what sorts of mischief will be bubbling about in her head, since it seems frighteningly like my head at that age. Except she seems to have more self-confidence, which is great and horrifying.

  10. Kelly Naylor – I read. A lot. And I write, and do art, and sing (but don't dance), and contemplate the great questions of the ages.
    Kelly

    Ooooh, John, you are gonna be in a world of trouble when Athena hits puberty. I’d tell you stories of my daughter (to whom your daughter bears a striking resemblance in attitudes and behaviors), but I don’t want to scare you more than you already must be.

    Be brave, man. Be brave.

  11. A guy’s guide to raising children.

    Boys: Worry for the first 21 years.

    Girls: Worry after Age 12.

  12. #20 Kelly,

    She is pubescent. Were she not she’d hardly be as snarky as she is. She is full of herself, and she knows the power of cute. Thank of her as a cat without the good sense.

    What she needs at this age is a good tickle. The kind that leaves her exhausted, gasping for breathe, giddy, and peeing herself. When they’re nine nothing establishes daddy authority better than a good tickle

  13. Since my daughter was good for this particular line of defense to parental challenges by age 3, I don’t think you really have too big a problem. Things were occasionally ugly, lots of confrontation and much noise, but no true trouble. Plus she’s now an adult and married and I get to wish her a daughter “just like her” when the time comes. Something I’m certain my mother did to me although she denies this.

  14. Heh. Forget the teenage years. Fear the 20’s, when you still have to deal with ’em, and have absolutely NO authority. You have to depend on respect, and lord knows THAT’s in short enough supply…..

  15. It reminds me of a stand-up divorced comedian who told the story of when he exclaimed to his young daughter, “You’re just like your mother!” and she shot back, “No I’m not; I can still tolerate you.”

  16. It gets worse before it gets better. If she survives to age 15, she’ll be one formidable young woman! (Age 15 is when is starts to get better.)

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