AT THE HELM: THE AMAZING POWERS OF THE PARENTAL UNITS
April 04, 2008 11:00 pm

By Scott Graves

Pilot staff writer

My 5-year-old daughter Alia thinks I know everything.

That's because I've brainwashed her into thinking so. But it can backfire.

The other day, when Alia asked me why Amazon tree frogs have red eyes, I was stumped – and I admitted it.

"Don't be silly, daddy," she replied. "You know the answer. Remember, you know everything."

I had to act quickly – my reputation was at stake. To buy more time I asked her to find her favorite stuffed animal. While she was searching for it I ran to the computer and typed "Tree frog red eyes" into an Internet search engine. A minute and three clicks of the mouse later, I had the answer. Yes! Daddy is a star!

I'm not sure how long I can keep this up, though. While I am getting more wizened, Alia is getting wiser every day. She's nearly as smart as I am.

However, she has yet to grow eyes in the back of her head. That's her mother's speciality. And it gives Jacque goddess-like status in our home.

I've witnessed this she-sees-all phenomenon myself, have been the target of it, and it's unnerving. I still don't know how Jacque does it, and I've been unable to find the answer on the Internet.

One thing's for certain, the extra pair of eyes keep Alia and me from getting into trouble – well most of the time.

Okay, Jacque doesn't actually have optical organs on the back of her head, but she does have the innate ability to look for clues to our mischievous in the unlikeliest of places. It also helps that Alia and I have yet to learn how to cover our tracks.

So it's no surprise that Jacque knows when Alia and I have been playing outdoors or playing video games instead of cleaning the living room or eating dinner. And not only does she know we've been goofing off, but exactly what we've been doing.

Perhaps it's the mud stains on our pants and grass in our hair that gives us away. Or perhaps it's the video game controllers left on the floor in front of the TV.

Of course, as a parent and a wife, Jacque has to decide what's more important: a clean living room or her daughter and husband playing together. If you've seen the inside of our house lately, you know she's picked the latter.

However, despite her benevolent nature, Jacque never misses a chance to remind us about those darn eyes in the back of her head. After all, her goddess status would be jeopardized if she didn't constantly amaze us with her powers – how did she know Alia and I had cookies for dinner? (It must have been that half-full glass of milk in the kitchen. Jacque knows nobody in our family drinks milk without cookies.)

Jacque doesn't know everything though. The other day I asked her why Amazon tree frog have red eyes. She didn't have a clue.

Ahah! Perhaps the goddess has an Achilles heel.

Don't worry, honey. Your secret is safe with me – as long as you never tell Alia I don't know everything, either.

Deal?