I Told You So

Being a parent sure can be rough sometimes.

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1. I Told You So

“Back, you foul beast!”

I lunge and parry with the giant mutated hamster, avoiding its wicked and sharp teeth. I duck, diving underneath its stomach.  I lance the monster with my blade.

It falls, and I feel a strange sense of justice. It serves it right for distorting the image of such a beloved animal.

I hear a patter of footsteps behind me. Another creature?

I snap my head around, looking for its source.

The crash of something falling wakes me from my dream with a jolt. What’s going on?

After a moment of silence, the scuffing of feet on the hardwood reaches my ears once more.

Of course. Isabella.

I peer at the clock across from me. It’s six am. She’s right on schedule.

“Ben,” I call, poking the blanket mass beside me.

He groans, rolling over.

“What?” he whines, still half-asleep.

“I hear Izzy.”

“No, you don’t. It’s only a dream.”

He wraps an arm around me, burying his nose in my hair. It makes me want to laugh.

Let’s just say my husband is not a morning person.

“You know she’s going to start knocking soon.”

“Not if we pretend we’re asleep,” he counters, yawning. “Or better yet, actually be that way.”

A light tapping sounds against the door.

“I was right,” I say, smug.

“She needs to learn she can’t have everything she wants,” he replies, burrowing deeper into his pillow.

“Mommy?” I hear a small voice ask. “Daddy?”

The knocking increases in frequency and intensity.

I move to get up and open the door, but I’m held down by my husband’s arms.

“Don’t do it,” he warns. “If you let her in, there won’t be any more sleeping.”

“She’s going to interrupt us anyway.”

“Mommy,” I hear Izzy whine again, her voice muffled. “Daddy, please.”

“Why did we have a kid?” Ben asks, sullen.

“I don’t know,” I reply, holding in a giggle at his tone. “You’re the one whose idea it was to get me pregnant.”

“You let me put it there.”

“Of course I did. I liked the idea.”

“Do you now?”

“Most of the time.”

The sound of sniffling comes through the door.

“Don’t you love me anymore?” Izzy asks, and my heart breaks.

“They’re not real tears,” Ben says. “She’s manipulating you. You’re too soft.”

“This coming from the man who dressed up as a princess on her birthday because she cried when the one we hired didn’t show up.”

“That was one time.”

All noise has ceased outside.

“See?” Ben asks.  “I told you it would work.”

“Okay, fine.”

I let myself drift back into my warrior dream.

The pain that then comes from my ribs is very real.

I crack my eyes open just in time to see Izzy pile drive her father in the chest.

“Breakfast time!” she cheers.

“Alright, alright,” he answers, defeated. “I’m up.”

As we trudge out of bed to make our daughter breakfast, I ruffle Ben’s hair.

“I told you so.”

“Shut up.”

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