Volume 16 • Issue 19 | October 07 - 13, 2003

Children



Size doesn’t matter to ‘The Boss’

By Ed Katz

I call her the Boss. A mere three feet tall, she reigns over me like the Lord of the Manor. She demands that I acknowledge her authority. If I dare to sit on her chair, I must ask her permission. If I think, even for a moment, to give her a cup other than her favorite pink one for juicy, it’s off with my head. You may think me weak, to bow to the will of a child of three. And perhaps you are right. But you see I have tried reasoning with her. I have tried bullying her but alas she has the iron will of Zeus! But instead of a heaving searing lightening bolts to battle my demands, she slings loud wails of protest and a look that could kill.

“Now Daddy,” she says as she sits down right in front of my six-foot, 240-pound frame, her little blue eyes inches from mine “don’t you eat any more cereal.” She has cut me off because she doesn’t like the fact that my serving size is a little bit more than hers. Okay a lot more than hers. She just knows that when I leave the table, her favorite cereal will be gone once again. And the odds of her getting it again, very soon, verges on nil to none. So she puts her little kid size six shoe down to let me know how things are.

Of course I have lost control over the remote. The one thing that really defines my manliness has been taken away from me. Through the years my wife, bless her, has allowed me to believe that it is I who controls it. Before kids, I could watch whatever I wanted as my wife could care less about TV. But now I compete with the Boss over sports vs. “Dragon Tales” cartoons. Needless to say I lose often. The Boss has no concept of this illusionary need of mine. Or perhaps, and even worse, she does but doesn’t really give a hoot. In fact, I think she enjoys taking the remote from me or hiding it from me. I do detect a gleam in her eye when I can’t find it and she tells me that she has no idea where it is as she manually changes the channel that I’m too lazy to change myself.

And when we are at the playground, like Rockefeller Park, there are behaviors and activities to be adhered to. First I must be at the Boss’ beck and call to play catch. We bring a magic tennis ball that somehow makes children appear. It’s really quite amazing. We bring out the ball and before you know it there are six kids playing catch. This can get old after a few minutes, so I am summoned to toss the Boss and whoever else happens to be there up in the air from the latticed “spider” web straps anchored above the play area. The Boss doesn’t care if my back is feeling a little bit under the weather, my job is to toss and that’s what I do.

Now all that playing tires everybody out, including old dad. But only the Boss gets a ‘piggy’ ride home upon my shoulders. I complain to the Boss but my cries for help are trumped by her cries for a piggy ride. All the complaining and moaning in the world is for not. She wins again and is at once satisfied, giggling and pulling and squishing my face this way and that all the way home.

My satisfaction comes in knowing that when I am really old and pooped out, I will have these ‘piggy’ ride tales to use to get what I want. I’ll be sitting there in my beat-up old recliner with tape holding the seat together and I’ll call her up at her home and ask her to come over to keep her old man company. And when she says she’s too busy, I’ll clear my throat and say, “Don’t you remember, Boss, when you were a little girl, I used to carry you around on my shoulders everywhere, when it was cold or hot, raining or snowing, don’t you remember? Even when my back was hurting, don’t you remember?...You do...good... then get over here and keep me company!” That’ll show her.

But for now, the Boss is in charge. Wait a minute. I hear her calling. I’ve got to go.


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