Before he knew it he noticed he only had one blue and one green ring left in his cereal bowl. Looking towards her, he saw he was clearly going to win. Coming at the rings from the side, he lifted them out of the milk with one experienced motion. After removing the spoon from his mouth he shocked her with the news.
“Guess what? Looks like I win.”
“Huh uh, daddy. I’m gonna win.”
“Nope. I already won. Don’t you understand? You can’t win.”
“Huh uh, daddy. You don’t get the trophy.”
“I most certainly do get the trophy. I do. Don’t you see that I won? You always tell me very clearly that when you win, I lose. Well, today I won, and that means I get the trophy.”
Her tears really didn’t bother him until the sound of their creation became deafening. And that only happened as he grabbed the trophy. Not a total arse, he put the trophy back on the table. After all, she was only three-and-a-half. The roar softened to a whimper.
Taking his bowl to the counter, he kept up the banter, making sure she didn’t miss the lesson. He came back and saw she was finally done.
“Can I have a little bit more?” she asked, making the universal sign for ‘liddle bit’ with her thumb and forefinger.
“You can, but you need to understand that this only further proves that I won. Having more cereal after I’m already finished means that even if you had finished the first round before me, you still wouldn’t have won today. Today, I won and you lost. Don’t worry about it. There’s always tomorrow.”
She nodded to placate him.
He watched her finish her second helping. Now carrying her bowl, he made his way around the corner into the kitchen. Upon returning to the table, he noticed she was gone. Her bedroom was in direct line-of-sight only 15 feet further from him than the table. Sensing movement, he peered into the darkness and recognized the little girl. “Why the hell is she standing in her bedroom in the dark?” he thought to himself. His eyes adapting, he saw a shimmer of gold–center mass. Moving only his eyes, he looked down at the table. The trophy was gone.
“Like they say, ‘If y’ain’t cheatin’, y’ain’t tryin’.’,” he thought to himself in a southern accent, smiling proudly.
She will grow up to be one helluva woman. That’s my girl.