I love how kids tell stories in one long, run on sentence. Here was C's:
(Pushing me back down) No Daddy, I said you had to stay in your chair.
Now, a more sensitive and thoughtful Dad may have figured out a way to deal with the situation that helped their daughter develop a better sense of self worth and independence. Or at the very least have found some words of comfort and care that combined a confidence building phrase or two with some stern fatherly direction.
Instead, I spewed forth with...
While I'm always happy to be told when I should act and when I should just remain in my chair by a female member of the species (I am after all just a goofy, clueless male), at that moment I feared that I may have failed that particular test.
Was my daughter looking to me for an alternate solution to the issue?
Was she hoping that there would be some nugget of advice I could produce that would both make her feel better and get the ring back without causing her any embarrassment?
Was the most obvious solution of direct confrontation that my Neanderthal mind spewed forth inappropriate in the politically complex dynamics of the neighborhood pool arena?
In retrospect, I think my little girl was just looking for a little reassurance from me that I had her back, in the event that her solution to the issue caused a tad of turmoil.
In the end, Dad's are always good for turmoil.