For the last couple of months, my youngest daughter has freaked out over any notion that she’d be left alone. She’s thrown tantrums about being left in the car with me while her mom runs into a store to grab something; she’s had similar fits if I go in and she stays in the car with her mom.

Last night, she threw another one of these fits. I picked her up from school, and we stopped to get gas on the way home. It was about five below zero at the time, so there was no way she needed to get out of the car. I told her “Hey, kiddo, I’m going to get out of the car and get some gas. But I’m going to be standing right beside the car; you can just look out your window and see me.”

This was fine, until about halfway through the fill. I could tell she was hiding her eyes, and after I finished the fill I looked into the car to play peek-a-boo with her and I could tell she was crying. So I got back into the car, and I asked her what was wrong.

All she said was “help.”

I said, “Kiddo, I’m right here – I was never more than two feet away from you. It was too cold for you to be outside, and you could see me the whole time! Please stop crying.”

She just responded in her little meek “pay attention to me while I’m pretending to be shy” voice, repeatedly “help… help… help…”

I looked at her in the rearview mirror and said “Kiddo, I’m right here – you do not need help.”

She caught my eye, pointed at the window, and said again “help.”

I turned around, and with her little four-year-old fingers, she’d inscribed “help,” spelled “HLEP,” into the fog on her window.

This is now officially the funniest thing she’s ever done.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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3 Responses

  1. Kimberly says:

    She’s brilliant!

    You have a beautiful family. They don’t need HLEP.

  2. Joel says:

    Man, that broke my heart. 🙂

  1. December 10, 2009

    Bloggination: "HLEP" http://andybartlett.com/?p=341

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