Continued from Part 1

On the other hand, option B was to cave in with all the moral fortitude of melting jelly and grant his daughter the request for “one more time”. In this case he would lose about an hour of his evening. But with a bit of luck Jasmine might go to bed a little earlier and the anticipated event of eleven pm could potentially be brought forward to a less soporific hour.

Donald sighed deeply. “No contest,” he thought to himself as he caved in to his daughter’s demands yet again. “OK Sweetheart,” he found himself saying before he even realised it “One more time it is – but this is the last time we do and then we head home, understand?”

“YES Daddieeee! Yes!” Jasmine bounced up and down on the back seat, expending more energy in ten seconds than Donald would have chosen to do himself in ten hours.

“So what time will it be Sweetie pie?” he asked her. The child stopped moving instantly and sucked her thumb. Choices of this philosophical consequence are, of course, impossible to make without an adequate period of thumb sucking. Presently she spoke again. “Ummmmmmmm….” Donald winced. Jasmine’s “Ums” had been known to last upwards of thirty seconds at a time. On a good day the volume would rise in tandem with the length of the “Um” and reach a peek decibel level that rivalled the inside of a ship’s engine room. Mercifully, this was a relatively inconsequential “Um”, since in reality she had already made up her mind on which time to choose. “JURRASSIC!!!!” she yelled so enthusiastically that she woke both her mother and her little brother.

Simultaneously Peter screamed at the top of his voice and Maria yelled automatically at her husband. “Donald!” What have you said to upset the children now? Why can’t I get five minutes peace without you wrecking their composure. Just look at what you’ve done to them!”

Donald sighed inwardly again. He knew it was no more use arguing with his wife that it was with his daughter. And God forbid, if he attempted it, they might end up ganging up on him. Their mutual anger had been known to char male flesh at twenty paces. A meek answer had long since proved a preferable strategy to confrontation. “Yes, dearest,” he found himself saying as a result of ten years unpunctuated acquiescence. “Jasmine wants to do one more time before we go home – Jurassic. I said yes. Is that all right with you?”

To Be Continued

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