She's good at it, you know. Persuasion, that is. With me the willing victim, always falling before the power of those blue eyes and that sweet voice. Especially when she says "Please?"
It came down to a choice. A regular occurrence when she is with me: "Do you want to do this or that? We won't have time to do both", I intone in a voice not serious enough by half, "So pick one." She does, as always, but not without a half-dozen or so flip-flops in the space of a minute. This time she picked the television show over the books. I was only a little disappointed. The show she wanted to watch was "Chopped", on the Food Network.
This was nirvana, after a barrage of Spongebob and iCarly. To her credit, she asked me to change the channel when "Big Time Rush" came on. Perhaps the ad hoc music indoctrination, er...lessons...I have been impressing upon her are beginning to pay off.
She pulled the comforter off her bed and brought it to the couch, saying she was chilly. She unfurled it as best she could and asked me if I wanted to stay warm, and I did, so the end of the comforter was mine to share. She wrapped herself up and settled in for the show.
I was struck by how interested she was in the subject. She asked me what the ingredients were, did people really eat deer, what do yams have to do with dessert. I was alternately amused and distracted by her questions and comments. She even did some critique of one or two dishes, saying that "Keith should win, because they said he was more creative. Daddy, why did he put marshmallows in the chicken?* That doesn't sound very good".
She watched with interest as the episode unfolded, as did I. It was fascinating to see her level of interest, even willing to forgo reading books before bedtime, for the sake of seeing who would win. She fought off drowsiness, and she did make it to the end. She seemed pleased to have seen the winner. Yawns were yawned, eyes were drooping shut. I had feared a bit of a scene ("Please, just one book!") but she was true to her word, and went to bed without a fuss. I turned out the light, and said "I love you, sweet pea".
From under the covers, her muffled voice drifted back. "I love you, too, daddy."
For the first time in years, having spent an hour or so watching television didn't seem like a waste of time at all.
*Yes, there were marshmallows, and it was turkey, not chicken. But she asked a good question. I couldn't find a good explanation on the FN site, but maybe this link might help.