Parenting 101 (I don’t want to go)

We have a ritual in our home on Saturday mornings. Depending how late each of us work, either my wife or I take our daughter to her swimming lesson. It had snowed the night before, and even though I came home late, and wrote a couple of articles before retiring, I was up very early the next morning. 

Unable to go back to sleep, I shoveled the deck, and removed the snow from both cars. I found my daughter with her head at the foot of bed, browsing through her phone. 

“You’re simply amazing,” I teased her. “You heard me shoveling, and did not come outside to help.” 

“I didn’t know that was you.” 

“Don’t you have swimming this morning?” 

“Yes,” she murmured, stretching herself out on the bed. “Do I have to go?” 

“Your mother paid for those lessons. So, you better get moving.” 

I left her room before she could utter a response. The commotion had stirred my wife, and she queried what was our daughter fussing about. I did not care to repeat the conversation, and simply told her that our daughter needed to get ready. 

My daughter had reluctantly risen from bed, donned her bathing suit, and started complaining, that she had no desire to swim that morning. 

“Daddy,” she cried, “I don’t want to go. I really don’t want to. I’ve never really not wanted to do something this bad my entire life.” 

I grabbed my two stainless steel bottles, one containing protein, and the other with BCAA, and started making my way to the door. My wife insisted that I not leave her, because our daughter would dawdle and ended up being late.  

“Are you staying to volunteer?” My wife asked. 


“Why not?” My wife demanded. “You plan on doing nothing the rest of the day.” 

“Aren’t we going shopping?” 

“Not so early in the morning, you have time to volunteer.” 

“No! I already told them. I am not volunteering today.” 

I took a note of my daughter’s brazen response and left the house. I did not want to upset her prior to her lesson, but I was determined to deal with it after. We arrived at the gym with two minutes to spare. I drove around to the entrance, so she would have a shorter distance to walk. 

She reluctantly got out of the car, and for the second time in a week, she did not close her door. So once again, to infuriate myself even further, I started to drive around with the door slightly ajar. 

The annoying open-door warning sound pierced through the car, and only paused momentarily, when I had to stopped because of the SUV in front of me. I was going to let my daughter have it at the conclusion of her swimming lesson, when I noticed two young girls who was vacating the SUV. 

Each left the car from opposite sides, but with the same sullen expression as my daughter. The youngest one, exited from the driver’s side, but unlike me, the driver rolled down the window, and summoned the child to close the slightly ajar door. 

Duffel bag over their shoulder, they had both trudged towards the entrance. It must be universal I thought, my child is no different than any other teen. 

Her swimming lesson was only thirty minutes, which would be sufficient for me to superset biceps and triceps. Armed with my two stainless bottles, I was oblivious as usual to my surroundings, though her lesson had concluded, and she stood a mere three feet away from me.

My phone rang, and I noticed it was her calling. 

“Why are you calling me?” I asked, annoyed. “When you’re right there.” 

“I thought you saw me,” she said, pointing. “Out of the corner of your eyes.” 

“No, I didn’t. You’re finished already?” 

“Yes. I want to work out.” 

I sneered at her. She was dressed in a pink blouse, and had on Ugg boots. My daughter claimed that she had wanted to do arms with me, but the real reason for her intrusion would soon be apparent . . . 



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