I used to play a game in college called “Bet the Bottle Cap.” It’s a simple game that is meant to be played in conjunction with Poker. Here is how you play: place a dollar in the side pot and then affix the bottle cap to your forehead. Once the cap is firmly in place, you cannot touch it. After every hand, if the bottle cap is still on your forehead, place another dollar in the side pot to continue the game. If the bottle cap falls off your head or if you touch the bottle cap, you lose. Last person with the bottle cap still on their head, wins the money.
Every once in awhile when I am watching a sporting event on television, I will open a beer bottle and affix the cap to my forehead to see how long it will stay. It isn’t under the same conditions as when I used to play “Bet the Bottle Cap” many years ago, but it makes me smile as I remember my old college days. It’s like a little trip down memory lane. The added bones these days is that every time I place a bottle cap on my forehead, my kids take the cap off my head and stick it to their own foreheads. Why is all of this important? Because it rained last Saturday!
Rainy days are an adventure in our house. We have two young children who are constantly underfoot and who vie for mine and Stephanie’s attention. We spend rainy days engaged in a multitude of activities and finding a few minutes in the day just for me is always a golden opportunity. It allows me to take a quick breather before “losing” again at games like Candy Land, Monopoly and Uno for the eighteenth time in a row.
So as the rain came down last Saturday afternoon, I took a few minutes to watch ESPN so I could catch up on the college football scores. As I was watching the highlights, I looked over and caught Chloe licking one of her doll house pieces sticking it to her forehead. I stared at her in disbelief while her plastic dollhouse chair was stuck to her forehead for about thirty seconds. When the chair finally fell on the ground, I chuckled to myself as I turned back toward the television and remembered the conversation I had had with Stephanie early in the week…
“Guess what your daughter was doing today?” she asked rather coyly.
“I have no idea. What was she doing?”
“She was licking pretzels and sticking them to her forehead,” Stephanie replied with one of those look what you did gazes as I nervously laughed at what she had just told me. “Oh, and better yet, she was teaching the boys she was playing with how to stick pretzels on their foreheads as well, which meant that I had to explain to the other parents why Chloe was sticking pretzels to her forehead in the first place.”
“Sounds like good times, Sweetie, I guess my work here is done,” I sarcastically replied as I laughed harder at her story and immediately changed the subject. What else could I say? The damage was done. There was no sense in beating this horse to death. The point was well taken.
Besides, do I think Stephanie found the pretzel situation as humorous as I did? I don’t know. And I’m not asking. I am sure this will get added to the long list of look what you did moments which have permanently scarred my wife whenever she takes our children out in public. But my kids could have learned these things anywhere. The fact that they learned them at home is a good thing because we completely understand why the children do what they do.
Now with that said, I think Stephanie is convinced that my children will one day share all of my “quirky eccentricities” with their therapists if they ever end up on the couch in their twenties or thirties, but I am not too worried about it. This is what being a Dad is all about, having fun with your kids and helping them make sense of the world one idiosyncrasy at a time; especially on rainy days!
So I don’t see a problem here. It’s like putting a few dollars in the side pot of life and seeing who wins. Sometimes funny stories and great memories are created. So when in doubt, throw caution to the wind and do what I do; “Bet the Bottle Cap!” I guarantee it will be worth it!