Will My Girl use her mind control powers for good or evil?
I’m standing in line at DQ with my cheeks puffed out, pretending I have a jumbo marshmallow in my mouth as I place my order for a small (who am I kidding… large) chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard.
Yes. Standing in line, in public, pretending I have a jumbo marshmallow in my mouth, while talking to an actual human being.
The question I’m sure you’re asking is why? And what?! All good questions.
Did I mention I have a child?
My Girl – the Jedi Master
I wish I knew exactly when it was that I lost control of my house… my public actions… my, well, let’s face it, everything.
I think it started out with small things: My Girl convinced me to jump over the sidewalk cracks when walking into the library. No problem. It’s fun. She talked me into singing ABCs as we browsed the cereal aisle at the grocery store. If no one’s in earshot, why not?
But now, I’m standing in line at DQ with my cheeks puffed out and the people behind me staring questioningly. I can’t even defend myself by saying: “I’m a mom… You get it.” Because with the imaginary jumbo marshmallow impeding my speech, it would come out: “I’w a mwowm… You ged id.”
I don’t think that would help my case.
It’s at that point that I realize: My Girl has some serious Jedi mind trick capabilities.
She has the deepest, most expressive, brown eyes. They are beautiful, but now I’m beginning to think they are hypnotic. I imagine her eyes turn into red, rotating spirals, courtesy of Kaa from The Jungle Book.
She gives me the sweet, brown-eyed stare and I find myself cleaning the house wearing puppy dog ears, Mardi Gras beads and rainbow hair extensions.
The Mind Control of ‘Peas’
And her voice… That one I can pinpoint. It contained magical, persuasion powers pretty much the second she started forming words.
She learned how to say “please” when she was 18-months-old on a trip to Florida. It came out “peas” in her baby voice, and was, hands down, the most adorable thing I have ever heard.
That should explain why we came back from Florida with a backpack full of new stuffed animals and increasingly spoiled (and vocal) toddler.
Now at age eight, she remembers the power of “peas”. She’ll say please like a polite girl, but if I’m not giving in, she’s resort to “peas.” Then she’ll add:
“Peas… Remember when I was a baby and I said peas? Remember how cute it was?”
Then the brown eyes come out. I’m not going to admit on paper how many times that turns me into putty.
My own Jedi mind control
I like to think it’s hereditary. I’m sure as a child, I magically talked my parents into all kinds of crazy things.
One thing that sticks out most in my memory is a crazy thing my dad did for me in high school – though this might have been because he’s a great dad, not so much because I have mind control over him.
My dad, no matter how much he worked (and he worked a lot), always made it to my sporting events. All my sporting events. And there were a lot – soccer, basketball, swimming, more soccer, and a brief stint with track and field. My mom was always there too, but with my dad’s work schedule, he gets a little more credit today.
Especially when it came to a swim meet my senior year of high school. It was a Saturday relay meet with tons of much bigger schools, held about two hours away.
My dad drove the two hours to watch me swim. Since this meet was only relay races, I didn’t swim my usual 500 free (yes, I was a long-distance swimmer). For some reason, I swam with my buddies in the 100 free relay.
If you aren’t in the know for high school swim events, the 100 free broken down between four high school swimmers is one length of the pool. Not even one down and back. Just down. I was an ok swimmer, and if memory serves me correctly, I could swim the 25 in less than 15 seconds, in one breath.
That was my only race for the entire meet.
So my dad literally drove four hours round trip to watch me swim for less than 15 seconds. If anyone deserved a medal that day, it wasn’t me.
My Girl’s not the only Jedi Master
When I think of some of the crazy things My Girl has convinced me to do – take a flossing lesson in the middle of a campground parking lot, create (and use in public) a new language where bing is yes, bong is no, and te ta too is I love you – I really question my backbone and sanity. But I’m not alone in this.
Let’s take B. Swift for example. It’s no secret that B. Swift is the super mom I aspire to be. But also, she be crazy. (Did you read about how she bought her kiddos baby ducks to keep them occupied during quarantine? ICYMI)
So, she’s crazy, Super Mom, and way nicer than I am. All those result in her kiddos talking her into all kinds of crazy shit.
The other day, Cindy Lou convinced B. Swift to pick up trash on the side of the road. That may not sound like Cindy Lou’s best use of her Jedi mind tricks, but in B. Swift’s own words: “You know I’m no the trash on the road cleaning type.”
Apparently, Cindy Lou is. I blame her Girl Scout training. I’m more like B. Swift who spent the twelve minutes of roadside cleaning ready to puke.
Other victims of My Girl’s mind control
But, My Girl’s Jedi mind control often has entertaining results, and not always (though mostly) at my expense.
That’s how she got my father-in-law, Grandpop, to dress up as a prince and dance to “Someday My Prince Will Come” almost every Sunday when he would visit.
That’s how she got The Husband to sit and braid Rapunzel’s hair one time and play Barbie dress up. And she’s gotten all three of us recently to play American Girl dolls.) I have to say, if I had the hypnotic eyes like My Girl, I would get The Husband to play American Girl dolls every night because he’s damn good at it. His dolls have sass, a British accent and killer fashion sense.)
But the most impressive was when she convinced my parents to play hide and seek.
A few things to understand: My mom will get down and play with My Girl like a champ — card games, books, princesses, safari animals, dress up. She’s a favorite of My Girl’s playmates.
My dad, though a champion sporting event spectator, is not much of a make-believer. Tickle monster, yes. Card shark during a game of Chutes and Ladders, definitely. Companion when My Girl is drawing murals on their drive-way with sidewalk chalk, always.
Hide and Seeker, though, I didn’t think so.
When mind control results in an inappropriate bathroom experience
But one winter night, to avoid a bad case of cabin fever, all five of us (My Girl, The Husband, me and my parents) started a house-wide game of hide and seek. Actually, six of us. The weiner dog (literally, our mini dachshund) joined us as well. He’s an excellent seeker, terrible hider.
My dad (nicknamed Papa Pickle once by My Girl, because he’s a “tickle pickle”) committed to the game wholeheartedly. I can say that with all certainty, because My Girl and I discovered him hiding under our guest bed. Kind of. His head and torso were hidden underneath the bed, but his legs were sticking out into the middle of the room. As I keeled over laughing, he said:
“I knew I couldn’t fit but I had to hide my yellow shirt!!”
(He was wearing a neon yellow, safety shirt.)
Later during the game, My Girl convinced The Husband to show off his contortionist skills. Actually, I believe no Jedi mind tricks were needed. The Husband is a master hider – inside cabinets, behind furniture, in tiny closets. I think that’s because he’s ridiculously skinny. It’s disgusting because I only have about a 20 pound leeway before I risk weighing more than him.
That night, he disappeared like Copperfield.
Quick side note on the relationship that The Husband and my dad have. It started out rocky. Really rocky. The first time The Husband met my dad was on the golf course. We had just started dating and, apparently, The Husband was just starting to learn golf too. He hit a bad shot, panicked and didn’t do the common curtesy of yelling ‘Fore!’.
The ball landed next to a man, who neither flinched when it almost hit him on the head nor moved as The Husband came up sheepishly to retrieve his ball. He already didn’t want to face the man he almost knocked unconscious, and his best friend didn’t help matters when he pointed out that the near victim was my father.
Luckily, my dad didn’t realize the jackass that nearly took him out on a golf course was The Husband until many years later, after he gave our nuptials his blessing.
Now back to the game. The Husband had been hiding for awhile. We checked the house over twice, but couldn’t find him. Finally, we all gave up. He finally revealed his hding spot: inside the dryer in the laundry room/half bathroom. Impressed, I ask him: “How long were you in there?”
Sheepishly he looks at my dad and says:
“Long enough for your dad to come in and use the bathroom… I thought about coming out and stopping him, but then realized it was too late.”
Finally, my dad laughs and says, “Good choice.”
Using Mind Control for good or evil
When, in the name of research, I asked my mom if I ever convinced her to do crazy things with my powers of persuasion, I realized the problem that I was soon going to be facing with My Girl’s Jedi powers.
Without any pause, my mom texted me a list of the things I convinced her to do in my later years. I mean, no pause whatsoever, y’all. It’s like she had been waiting to get this off her chest for ages.
All I could think when reading it was: Lord, help me when My Girl gets older.
In high school, my mom did allow me to get away with a lot of stupid stuff. Her examples were “camping” at a local state park for a weekend (we all know what “camping” with five other high school seniors involves), staying up all night to watch scary movies, going to parties where there was underage drinking.
There was no sneaking out to do these things because there was no need. My mom just let me do it. The really bad part was there was a spiral effect. My mom had the reputation among my friends for being the strictest. So the rule with many parents was if I could go, their teenager could go.
Dumb. Very dumb.
Does that mean when My Girl uses her sweet Imperius Curse on me, I’ll say yes to a drunken campground party where a girlfriend gets so pissed drunk that My Girl has to give her a fully-clothed cold shower?
Enter a cold sweat and a terrible premonition of the trouble My Girl is going to get into in the future – all with my consent.
Then My Mom ended the conversation with a cryptic:
“Your time is coming for that, too.”
I imagine she sent me that text and then deviously rubbed her hands together with an evil laugh. Bwahahaha!
So now the question I have is: Will My Girl use her Jedi mind control powers for good or evil?