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I Suppose this is Why I Wasn’t Picked to Be the New Secretary of State

If you ever wonder what I do when I’m not blogging, this is my secret – I am wasting my valuable time arguing with my 10-year-old daughter.

“You need to get a flu shot this year.”


“Because you got the flu last year.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did!  I can’t believe you don’t remember that.  You missed school for almost a week.”

She got the flu shot.  Only because I made her father do it, too.  He didn’t remember having the flu last year, either.

One month later:

“I think we can skip the electives fair tomorrow since you already know what you want to take.”

“Awww.  But I want to go.”

“But it’s a waste of time.”

“No it’s not.”


She got sick that day, and couldn’t go anyway.

“You have your scoliosis screening tomorrow, so don’t forget to wear a halter.”

“No, I don’t.  It was today.” (when she was home sick)

“No.  It says on my calendar it’s tomorrow.”

“No.  I’m positive it was today.”

I find the website for her school’s calendar.

“See. It says it’s tomorrow.”

“Well they told us today.”

She was sick for the scoliosis screening.

It turned out it was the flu.  She missed school the rest of the week.

Thursday night, still sick, she came into the living room at 10:15 p.m., where I was watching The Daily Show with Wonderbutt.  (I mean that I was watching the show with our bulldog, Wonderbutt, not a show called The Daily Show with Wonderbutt, though that might be a good title for a show.  And, I don’t mean that Wonderbutt was actually watching the show.  He was just snoring and passing gas on my lap while I tried to make out the screen through his toxic haze.)

“What’s up?” I ask.

Mumble, mumble, mumble.

“I can’t hear you,” I say.

Mumble, mumble, mumble.

I mute the T.V.

“I still didn’t hear you.  What do you need?”

Mumble, mumble, mumble.

I get up, and approach her.


“Oh, never mind!!!!!”  She turns to leave.

“No, what?  What did you want?”


“Uh, what?”

“Just cards!”

“Um, what kind of cards?”

“Geez, just cards!!!!”

“Like thank you cards?”


At this point, I realized that she must be asleep.

“I think you should go back to bed,” I said.


She whirled around and ran back to her bed.  I followed her back, and she was curled up and asleep before I even entered her room.

The next day, of course, she remembered nothing about the incident.

“What did I say?” she asked.

“”You said, ‘I need to buy a card that says my mother is always right and I should never argue with her again.'”

“Yeah right!”

I have now calculated that all of the time that I spent on arguing with her about the flu shot and the events of this week adds up to the number of years that she has been alive.  Years that I could have used to invent a time machine that would take me back to the day she was born and told my idealistic self that it is absolutely pointless to ever quarrel with your 10-year-old daughter.

Of course, I probably would have argued with myself about that.


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