I Should Have Just Given Her Some Money to See What Would Happen

07/25/2013 By Shawn Burns

Erin has been participating in summer camps for most of the summer. Emily drops her off in the morning, then I pick her up in the afternoon and take her with me to get Adrian from his year-round preschool. I picked her up yesterday and told her we had to stop at the grocery store. We have once-monthly snack duty at the preschool, and our turn was coming up. Fine. A plan! Erin loves plans.

Erin was sitting directly behind the driver’s seat. It being a fine, hot day, she was trying to open one of the water bottles we keep in the car for the kids. They have those push tops that reseal, meaning no spills. Think of a gym water bottle, but with Tinker Bell on it. That’s the one.

For some reason, the top would not pop up for her on this day. She pulled. She strained. She fought bravely. And then, just on the verge of defeat, victory! Of a sort.

I had no idea any of this legendary struggle was occurring in the back seat until I was suddenly deluged with water that had previously resided in a pink Tinker Bell gym bottle. “Erin?! What the….?”

“Sorry, Dad.”

“It’s okay, honey. I know it was an accident. But why were you trying to pull the lid off in the first place?”

“I wasn’t. The top wouldn’t open, and, uh, I guess I don’t know my own strength.”



“Are you wet.”


“Will they still let you in the grocery store if you’re all wet?”

“Well, it depends, honey. If you are soaking, dripping wet and you are going to drip all over the floor, then no. They wouldn’t want you to make the floor dangerous for people who are walking around.”

“I have a great idea, Daddy! If you’re too wet, you can give me the money and I will go in and get the snack for you and then you don’t have to get the floor all wet!”

As with so many of Erin’s plans, this one was two parts considerateness mixed with one part self-servingness. “I’m sure I’ll be fine, Erin.”

Minutes later, we pulled up to the grocery store, and Erin had one more question for me.

“Daddy, is there somebody outside the grocery store who can maybe watch over people who are soaking wet?”

Plans. This kid always has plans.