I will occasionally take off my vegan and cheapskate shirts to go out to eat.

No, it’s not cheapskate. It’s more like, I can cook something tastier, better for us, more beautiful, and cheaper at home (most nights, y’all come on over, I have plenty and love guests). But I actually love to go out to eat, anywhere with some semblance of attractive atmosphere, dressed up people and a bar.

So  Saturday night my husband was back in town and had slept all day after twenty four hours on the road. He called Friday night from LAX to say he was so tired, he’d been on his computer for so long and the activity in the international terminal was so mind boggling that he was starting to hallucinate. Or maybe that was leftover smoke from the concert he attended Thursday night???

Anyway. Better him than me. I don’t handle that stuff well AT ALL.

So when he got up about five he took the baby to Brusters for ice cream, and after work I got my Saturday night bubble bath and we dressed up and went off to Carrabbas.

Yes, in yet another worst mother in the world moment (remind me to tell you about taking her to see “Marley and Me” on LAST week’s date night) I let my kid have ice cream for supper and then put her in all black with sparkly stuff and took her out with us on a supper date.  We didn’t even arrive til shortly after nine.

But it was definitely a night to celebrate and relax. Baby and I had been on our own all busy week, the house was STILL a mess, I’d worked all week, I’d just gotten paid… So. And supper was delicious and we had a great time.

Toward the end of supper baby inveigled me to play tic tac toe with her.  I beat her and she got pissed. Then she wanted to play in such a way that each person went twice on each turn and she always went first– and won, of course.

Then she wanted to play three handed. My husband agreed and went third. She wanted his spot. He said I’ll thumb wrestle you for it.

Her hand is a one-fifth size miniature of his.  At almost six she still has baby smooth skin and baby dimples on her knuckles. She proceded to whip his ass, over, and over.

It was the funniest thing ever. She takes no prisoners. It’s something about the close range combined with her willingness to win. She would pin him, take his spot, win that round of tic tac toe, and say YESSS! and pump her arms in the air like she’d won some sort of Olympic event.

He says it’s not that she’s really better than he is. He says her itty bitty hand, her tiny fat white dimpled thumb about 1/4 the size of his huge hairy brown one, and her aggressive play make him bust out laughing before he can even thinkabout trying to win, and then she’s got him.

Yeah right.

So when we got home we codified the rules of our new game.

First you choose your weapon, er, crayon, and your shape to put in each box of the tic tac toe grid.

Then you find some cutthroat or arbitrary way to determine who goes first. We got down to drawing straws after doing shortest to tallest, oldest to youngest, cutest to not cutest, youngest to oldest, and rock paper scissors. Thank goodness they’re something of rock paper scissors experts in my husband’s office. (And they do what? And make how much money??)

Then, anyone can challenge anyone to mark over their spot.

In six games, I won three and baby won three–she by thumb wrestling, I by guile.  Now if it had been cutthroat rock paper scissors my husband would have whipped us, for sure. But it wasn’t, so she and I did rock paper scissors to break the tie.  She won. 

When I put her to bed she said, I have to go tell Daddy ‘good game.’ I said baby, I am so proud of you for being such a good sport. But why don’t you tell him… I whispered in her ear.

She padded down the hall and I heard a sweet ‘Good Game Daddy.’ During the perfect comedic pause to allow my husband to melt at the cuteness he started to say awwwww… and then with perfect timing she continued ‘even though I KICKED YOUR BUTT!’ He busted out laughing. We’re working so hard to teach her good sportsmanship but when the loser is a huge hairy man five times your size (and luckily a very good sport)– ya gotta enjoy the moment.

We put her to bed and watched Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Ah, the good life.

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