A Horrible Story That I Told to My Five-Year Old Daughter
Okay. I am going to tell you a story about Christmas or Thanksgiving. I don't remember which. It is a very horrible story. It has a horrible ending. Do you want to hear it?
Okay. What happened was: my life was really good, for the first two or three years I was around. And then my parents started having other children. Isn't that awful?
That is not awful!
I had to start sharing my parents.
They're not just your parents.
They were just my parents up until my brothers and sisters started coming along. Then I had to share them. So, I don't even remember how this story happened exactly, but I think I was about six, and for some reason we were going down to see my grandparents in northern California for the holiday, and I guess our automobile broke down.
Heh heh heh.
Heh heh heh.
I think that my Grandpa came and picked us up, and I don't remember exactly what the chain of events was. It's kind of hazy, so I'll probably make up some of the details that I don't remember. Basically, what happened was the greatest thing in the world, which was that I got to drive, in my Grandpa's little tiny truck, with my Mom and my Dad all by myself. Without my brothers and sister. So it was kind of like returning to the greatest time in my life. Are you with me?
What happens in the winter?
Yep. What is a blizzard?
A really bad storm.
Yep. Is it easier to drive, or harder to drive when there's a blizzard?
Yep. My dad was driving, and he's not near as good of a driver as I am now, so -
- Umm, Daddy?
Can you tell me that one story when you talked really funny to your Dad?
No. I'm never going to tell that one again.
So, my Dad was driving, and he was doing a horrible job driving, and for some reason he chose to drive through this icy patch. He hit some ice, and then do you know what he did?
He made the truck spin around, and it slammed into this snowbank.
Ha ha ha ha!
It's not funny.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Not funny. It was very scary. We hit the snowbank so hard that I bet my Dad just about tooted in his pants.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
My Mom was really scared. My Dad was really scared. I was just laughing. Okay, I was a little scared, but I was the least scared of all of us. So we got stuck there, and then my Dad got the shovel out, because we were stuck on the side of the road, and I said,
Daddy, you need to start shoveling.
And he said I know, Joey. Thanks. I know. But thanks for pointing that out.
Why are you sitting in the truck then?
Because it's very cold, and somebody has to dig us out of the snowbank! Are you going to do that?
No Daddy, why would I do that? I'm not the one who crashed.
Magdelana: Ha ha ha ha!
So my Dad said: The reason that we're all safe is that I responded how somebody should when you crash: Okay? I helped us crash safely. We're stuck outside, in a blizzard, in a snowbank, but nobody is injured. You're welcome.
My head kind of hurts, Daddy. It's really sore. Probably because you crashed us.
I didn't crash us! We hit ice, black ice, and I was driving perfectly!
Well…you actually weren't driving perfectly, or you wouldn't have crashed.
I was driving perfectly! There's nothing I could have done!
You could have driven on the other side of the road.
If I had driven on the other side of the road, then I would have hit an oncoming vehicle.
Well…you don't know that.
Yes! I do know that! Look out there on the road: there are a lot of cars coming from the other direction, and if I had been driving on the other side of the road, illegally, which means 'against the law,' then we would have gotten hurt. And probably other people too. And I would have gotten a ticket.
Well…are you going to get a ticket now?
No. Why would I get a ticket?
Because you crashed.
You know what, you little twerp, if you keep talking like that, I'm gonna make you do all the digging.
I can't do the digging because I'm just a kid, and you're the adult who crashed us. So you better get digging, Daddy.
I'm swear…I'm going to throw you in the snow and start piling ice up on top of you.
Mama, Daddy said he's going to throw ice on top of me!
Lee, why would you tell him that? He's frightened?
Mama, I'm so frightened.
whisper to my Dad: I'm not frightened.
So my Dad started digging and digging, because he had to get the tires out of the snow. My Mom and I were trying to stay warm in the cab, but it was really, really hard for us because there we were, almost freezing to death in the front part of the truck. It was so difficult for us, because while we were freezing in the cold truck, my Dad got to be outside, playing, and staying warm by shoveling snow.
So I opened the door, leaned out and said:
Hey Daddy, can you hurry up, Sir? Mama and I are getting very cold, Sir.
First of all, Joey, don't call me 'Sir' in that tone of voice, because it doesn't sound very respectful. It sounds like you're saying it like…like you're joking. Like you don't really mean it.
I used a very good robot voice and said:
And don't call me 'Commander.' It sounds like you're making fun of me.
I kept my robot voice going.
I would. Never. Make fun. Of you. Even though. You. Crashed our. Car.
So he kept shoveling away, playing with snow while my Mom and I were so cold. We were in there, singing and telling stories and eating chocolate bars, and finally I leaned out again and said,
Daddy. Daddy Sir. Daddy King Sir, who crashed us, you're taking so long that I think that Mama and I are going to have to get into the back of the truck to stay warm. Are you done playing in the snow?
I am not playing in the snow! I am working to get us out of this crash!
So my Mom and I moved to the back of the truck. I leaned out and said,
Daddy, it's still so very cold back here! Can I have your gloves, please? Do you think you could be done hogging the gloves and being selfish with them?
I am the one out here shoveling snow! You're the one in the warm cab -
Actually Daddy, it's called 'the back of the truck.' Do you think when you're done yelling and being mad then I could have the gloves? It's hard, because when I'm eating chocolate back here then my hands are so cold and I don't want to take them out from underneath the blankets…
Look at YOU! Inside the truck, with three blankets on top of you, AND A COAT! You're telling stories, and reading books, and eating chocolate! What am I doing?!
Umm…it looks to me like you're playing in the snow, Daddy.
He breathed heavily.
I am so exasperated with you. Little twerp.
Daddy, that's the second time you've called me a twerp. Mama, it makes me feel bad.
Lee, would you stop calling our son a twerp?
Daddy, why are you breathing heavy like that? Are you pretending to work hard?
No! I am not pretending to work hard! I am working hard!
So finally, with my encouragement, my Dad finished up with his play-shoveling in the snow, and he got us out, and put chains on the tires, which were supposed to help you drive better in the snow. And believe me, if there's anyone who needed help driving in the snow, it was my Dad. Because if he had been doing a good job driving, then obviously he wouldn't have needed chains on the tires.
So finally, he got the chains on, and he got in, and I said, Don't you think it would be a good idea if Mama drove? Because you've already done a bunch of crashing today.
I have not done a bunch of crashing! I crashed one time! And it was because of extenuating circumstances. Not because I did anything wrong. I did everything right! For example, when we started spinning, and sliding on the ice, I turned the wheels in the direction we were sliding instead of slamming on the -
- Daddy, will you tell me a story?
I need to concentrate on -
- Will you tell me a story?
I'm trying to concentrate on the -
- Daddy can you tell me a story?
Joey, did you hear what I said? I said that I need to concentrate on the road so that we don't -
- Daddy can you tell me a story?
I'm explaining to you right now that I want to concentrate on driving, so that we don't -
- So that we don't crash again, like you've been doing all day?
So that I can pay attention and look out for ICE ON THE ROAD! Sometimes, it's hard to do that when I'm telling a story. It's hard to concentrate on driving safely and also try and tell a story. Do you understand, Joey?
No, I don't really understand. I don't understand at all. I just like for you to tell me stories, and I don't understand why you're not going to tell me a story. But…okay. I guess if you're not confident in your driving abilities, then you don't have to tell me a story.
We got on the road.
Daddy, remember not to crash. Again. Like you have a bunch.
Go to sleep, Joey.
Magdelana: Huh?! Daddy, that's not a good ending.
You're right! It's not a good ending!
Because secretly I thought it would be fun to keep crashing, so that I could hang out with my Mom and keep telling stories and eating chocolate, and I was having so much fun hanging out with just my parents. Just me, my Mom, and my Dad. And they loved it so much. Me and my Mom, sitting in the back of the truck eating chocolate and telling stories with a flashlight, while my Dad was outside, playing and shoveling snow.
So the horrible part is that we got back and I had to share my parents again, and that is the horrible ending. The End.
Magdelana: Daddy! That's not a horrible ending! It's not! It's not horrible!
Fine. I guess we have different definitions of horrible.
Well, you don't think I'm horrible, so why do you think your brothers and sisters are horrible?
Fine! I guess you win. Suppose you have a point.
Well, that's my job to win.
No. I'm tired of you winning. I'm ready to start winning some things, you little twerp.