2013-05-02 / General Stories

The Triple Phooey

My daughter, bless her heart, has an amazing capacity for empathy. Her heart is as big as Jupiter. Too bad she inherited one of my strongest genes: The one that requires her to forget critical pieces of information at crucial times.

I have a complex system of calendars, lists, and sticky notes designed to remind me of what I’m forgetting. I simply have to remember to look at them.

My daughter, on the other hand, has not developed such a system yet. This was evident the other day when she had to go to a tennis lesson, followed by a sleepover at a friend’s house. She was very excited about the sleepover, so I knew she would have little trouble packing for that. The tennis lesson, however, was an easy event to forget.

For this reason, I made sure she had her tennis racket in the car and tennis shoes on her feet. You may ask how I remembered. It was the tiny picture of a tennis racket that I drew on my hand in orange washable marker. My daughter packed a duffle bag for the sleepover.

Driving to the tennis lesson, a voice came from the back of the minivan:

“Oh phooey!”. which is the worst curse my daughter has ever been known to utter in her twelve years.

“What’s wrong?”

“I forgot my pajamas.”

Surprised, but not willing to turn around, I said, “Maybe you can borrow your friend’s PJs or sleep in your clothes. It’s only one night.”

“Yeah.” she said, clearly concerned but not wanting to complain.

A few minutes later, “Oh, phooey!”

“What now?”

“I forgot my hair brush.”

“For goodness sake! You have a huge duffle bag. If you don’t have your pajamas in there or your hair brush, what exactly do you have in there?”

“My pillow.”

“You put your pillow in a duffle bag?”

“I didn’t want to get it dirty. That would make more laundry to wash.”

So someone actually was listening to my ranting about laundry reproducing itself in the hamper. The girl has a way of making me feel guilty for my whining. “Maybe your friend has a brush you can use, too,” I said, still not wanting to turn around. We were going to be late for the tennis lesson as it was.

“Yeah.” she said, still not willing to complain.

We were almost there when I heard:

“Oh, phooey!”

Uh, oh. It was a Triple Phooey. That can’t be good.

“What did you forget this time?”

“My toothbrush,” she said miserably.

Something told me that her friend would not be as accommodating with her toothbrush. I used to have a spare toothbrush, still in its package, in my glove compartment. Don’t ask me why. That question had never been sufficiently answered and is probably the reason why the toothbrush was no longer in the glove compartment. We could buy one if there was a store between the tennis lesson and the sleepover. I mentally went through the route. There wasn’t.

At this point she was missing her pajamas, her toothbrush and her hair brush anyway. These thoughts led to only one conclusion.

I said, “Oh, phooey!” as I turned the minivan around.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com, or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com

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