Defcon 5

We at DEFCON 5 here.  It's all hands on deck, batten down the hatches, save the women and children.  Take defensive positions at the main wall, raise the drawbridge and pray to your God.  All before 7 am, that has got to be a new record in how quickly my daughter will mysteriously meltdown.

I have no idea what happened or what prompted this meltdown.  We were having a good morning where there was breakfast on the table and soft music was playing in the background.  The house was clean and everything for school was packed and ready to go.  It was a peaceful morning filled with groggy eyes but slowly warming up to facing another day at school.  My kids love school too, the don't dread going.  There will be funny stories to be told at lunch, little secret whispers during class and games at recess.  We were all set to go.  Then the bomb went off and I'm not sure why.

To be clear here, I have no sage fatherly advice to pass on.  I have no insight into 10-year-old girl behavior.  You would think that I would, but I don't.  When this happens I have no clue what's going on or what to do about it.  I'm just the unwitting passenger screaming at the driver on this one.  The best I can do is hold on tight to the oh-shit bar and hope we don't roll into a ditch.

"God!" she said.  "I can't even get a hair tie this morning, how am I supposed to go to school!"  She pushed violently away from the table which sent the rest of dishes rattling while my other kids were trying to eat.  A cereal box fell over and wham, there you go.  Now we are in full on meltdown.

I thought about pointing out that I have a zillion hair ties laying around.  Between my wife and my daughter, I have a little collection going.  I walk around the house and say hey, here's another hair tie.  I better put this into my pocket.  By the end of the day I have a backpack full of them.  I dump them on the counter before I go to bed and then wonder how my life has gotten away from me.  I have been reduced to a hair tie recycler.  It's not the most glamorous job but it's a needed as my current morning is pointing out.

I can't say anything however because she is already heading upstairs, each footfall landing like an earthquake.  I am amazed that someone so small and tiny can cause such a thundering boom walking up the stairs.  I should rent her out on demolition jobs.  I'll take her to the job site and then tell her that the last hair tie she had broke and that I don't have anymore.  We would make a fortune but I'm afraid she wouldn't know where to stop and entire neighborhoods would be laid to waste.

Perhaps this is one of those times where I just need to stay out of the way.  Maybe I should just grab a helmet and retreat into my pillow fort until it blows over.  Doing that though will leave my other two kids by themselves to face this squall and there is a small voice that says screw it, one of those two bastards threw wet toilet paper in my shower so they can suck it.  It's tempting but that's running away from a problem and I only do that when the children aren't looking.

So I stay and get ready to face this meltdown.  I stay at my sink washing the same dish over and over again, delaying as much as I can so that I can come up with some sort of defense.  I hear the earth quaking steps coming down the stairs and I know that my time has grown short.

"Who wants a hug!" I say when she gets to the bottom of the stairs.

My black eye should heal in a couple of days.

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