Family Magazine

Dr. Hellcat? Not If Walmart Has Anything to Do With It

By Chase
Dr. Hellcat? Not If Walmart Has Anything to Do With It

“No, Hellcat, you can’t paint my face…”

Hellcat and I have a special relationship. It basically amounts to me doing whatever she says, whenever she says.

At least that’s how Kick Ass Wife — likely rolling her eyes – would describe it.

(Coincidentally, this is the exact same relationship KAW has with her dad, but don’t tell her I said that.)

So it was that I found myself prone on Hellcat’s bed last night.

HELLCAT: “Daddy, will you lay with me?”

ME: “No. Your mom said nobody is laying with you.” (Yes, I play that card. Frequently.)

HELLCAT: “But –”

ME: “Okay.”

What can I say? She’s convincing.

So I crawled up into bed with her, and she immediately asked me to tell her a story.

ME: “No. We read books right before bed.”

HELLCAT: “But –”

Me: “Okay.”

I know, I know. Just quit with the eyerolls.

Anyway, I asked the 5-year-old mind melder what she wanted a story about. She said the dentist.

ME: “Like you’re a dentist?”

HELLCAT: “No, like I’m going to the dentist.”

ME: “I’m not going to tell you a story about you going to the dentist.”

HELLCAT: “But –”

So I told her a story about her going to the dentist.

In fact, I just retold the factual account of her actually going to the dentist a couple of months ago. No frivolous details. No embellishment with leprechaun hygenists or a whimsical dentist using a unicorn horn to check for cavities or a magical prize drawer containing cotton candy floss. Just a retelling of a boring-ass trip to the dentist.

She loved it.

After the story, I decided to try to levy a parenting moment out of the bedtime in hopes that I’d feel better about being such a pushover.

“You know, you could be a dentist when you grow up, ” I said hopefully. “You could be Dr. McFadden!” (I’m already assuming a disposition lending itself to a nickname of “Hellcat” isn’t going to result in a flurry of marriage proposals.)

To which said Hellcat replied – with a look equal parts conviction and disdain, visible even by the meager illumination of a nightlight — “I’m not going to be a dentist. I’m going to be a Walmart worker.”

To which I replied — with a look equal parts conviction and disdain, visible even by the meager illumination of a nightlight — “What?”

Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with Walmart other than whenever I go there it seems about a thousand other people are doing the same thing, and I’m generally not a big fan of situations involving other people, thousand or otherwise.

And definitely don’t think this has anything to do with feminism and sending a message to our daughter that little girls can grow up to be whatever they want to be, just like boys. Hellcat can look at her mom and figure that out. She’s no dummy.

Graduated with a minor in barista sciences.

Graduated with a minor in barista sciences.

No, my only hope for our kids is that they grow up and find something that makes them happy.

And — more importantly — pays somewhere in the six-figures range.

Hell, I wouldn’t care if Hellcat worked at Walmart. Scanning things, sorting things, stacking things. I’m sure it’d make her very happy.

Ditto for being a “chai maker,” which she proclaimed was her destiny after “graduating” from preschool. (CARD: Congratulations on managing to turn 5!)

No, I’d be proud if she did either of those things. If doing so paid an annual salary of $250,000+.

Because at least one of these kids is going to have to support us when we get older. I mean, I’m a writer, for Christ’s sake! Chai makers are practically Trump-like compared to me.

So I’ll keep telling Hellcat stories about dentists and doctors and professional football players and Cirque du Soleil performers (they probably make some decent coin) in hopes that I can eventually break her and convince her she wants to grow up and be one of those things.

Unless she says she wants a story about a Walmart worker.

Then I’ll just lay down and tell that tale.

Seriously. Enough with the eyerolls already.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did it work out? Anyone actually know what Cirque du Soleil performers make? I’ve been working on my flexibility. Think I might take a swing at it…


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