This morning I invented a new competition for my daughters: The Daddy Massage Open. Because, I believe that a little sibling rivalry is a good thing. It builds character. And, if my shoulders have to serve as judges, so be it. I am willing to suffer. The things I do for my children.

Coming into this morning’s competition, Julianna (she’s 9) is the presumptive favorite, having dominated the last two battles in a row: “Where’s My Phone” and “Get Me a Beer.” So, she is poised for a trifecta.

She begins her routine. And, while she she shows a deft touch, she certainly has left the door open for the competition.

Isabella (7) digs in, and her grip is so tight that I whip around expecting to find a small Chinese man, well-schooled in the Ancient Art of the Massage. Instead, it’s just Isabella smiling with the last three teeth still in her mouth.

Me: Dang, Honey. That’s some good stuff. Where’d you learn that? I don’t care. Keep going!

She squeezes again, then (and I don’t know where she got this idea) she started to lightly scratch my back.


This competition is over. There is a new Champion!

I knew those hours of gymnastics lessons (with the hanging from the bars and all) would eventually pay off. For me.

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