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Archive for September, 2008

The other nimg_Sep_25_2008_14_01ight at dinner, the two bigs were having their favorite dinner discussion: Are we having dessert after dinner?
What would it be?
Have I eaten enough to get dessert?
How much would I have to eat to get dessert? Two more bites?
Mind you, this repetitive verbal barrage usually begins after I’ve sat down and had two bites and while my wife has just scooched in her chair after pouring three different drinks (soy milk for one, two percent for another, whole milk for another) and cutting pasta into precisely the perfect length noodle for each of them.
So I had to go Dad:
<i>From now on, there’s a new rule around here at dinner: No talking about dessert until dinner is over!</i>
<i>You already made that rule,</i> Fontaine said.
Apparently, I had already gone Dad. A couple of weeks ago. And forgot. Apparently what I’ve gone is straight through the tunnel to Crazyville.
But the beauty of being Dad is, never admit you’ve gone crazy. So I said:
<i>Well, now we’re all going to start following the rule</i>.
Oh, just take your dessert. Eat some cookies. But no, there’s no whipped cream. We’re cracking down around here.

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That’s right, I’m not going to Google Images and typing in “vagina” to find an illustration for this entry. Lord knows what you’d get, and this is a work computer.
But the fact is, those things are all over this house, it’s a four-to-one ratio here. And since we taught the girls the biological term instead of making up some silly word, they don’t hesitate to use it.
Examples:
Fontaine:  Oh yeah, that’s right, I forgot Daddy doesn’t have a vagina.
Elizabeth, one of the all-time greats, at the dinner table at my parents’ house, in direct earshot of my old-school Dad: This necklace is long…it hangs all the way down to my vagina.
Elizabeth, while dropping off her older sister one day at elementary school, observing that a kindergartener’s Dad was riding the five-year-old’s bike over to the bike rack (a grown college professor, riding a kid’s bike instead of just pushing it…it did look outrageous): He’s not sitting on the seat, where you’re supposed to put your vagina.
So I supposed I shouldn’t have been surprised, the other night while giving Rosebud, the 16-month-old her bath, when she looked, um, there and said…‘gina.
Vagina, vagina, vagina, vagina.
Man, this web site’s going to get some hits now.

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Non, Nein, No, Nyet

Before we had kids, we used to go out to eat at least once a weekend, sometimes twice. That was fun.img_Sep_13_2008_25_06
We used to go see bands. That was fun.
We used to sit on the porch in the early evening and rock in chairs. That was fun.
One summer, we even pronounced The Summer of Fun, and it did turn out to be.
So the other day, after the 16-month-old has learned to say “no” and say it often, my wife said: “Tomorrow, I’m going to count how many times Rosebud says <i>No</i>.”
I said, “That sounds like fun,” but really what I meant was that it didn’t sound like much fun at all.
Wife says, “I think it would be.”
Rosebud continued about the house, saying “no” to just about everything for the next several minutes and my wife looked at me:
“Tell me that wouldn’t be FUN.”
I looked at her. It seemed hard to believe that fun had deteriorated from going out to eat downtown, going to see bands and hanging out on the porch to counting the times your daughter says “no.”
There could be only one response.
“No,” I said.

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They were out of the infamous No. 2 pencils at Walgreens on Sunday. The whole row, whole stack, whole display img_Sep_02_2008_29_31case…gone.
Must be the parents of kids from my first-grader’s class, I thought.
See, each kid in her class was supposed to show up with four packages of 20 or 24 No. 2 pencils. You know how many pencils that is, for the class, for the year? Eighteen kids in the class, times 80 pencils each, that’s 1,440 pencils.
What’re they going to do, take every standardized test on the planet, 50 times? How many standardized test grid circles can you color in with 1,440 pencils?
Aren’t they exceeding government standards for lead exposure?
My wife was at Wal-Mart, where they were also sold out of No. 2 pencils (Shouldn’t that be a national headline: “Wal-Mart Fails to Anticipate School Supply Crush.”) My wife told a clerk how many pencils she was supposed to provide for the school supplies list.
“Are you a teacher?” the clerk asked.
(No, I don’t have a copy machine, and I’m going to duplicate “War and Peace” in pencil.)
Now, what I think is that the public schools long ago shifted this school supply burden to the teachers, and the teachers shifted it to the kids. But that’s just me. And I’m obviously crazy, because I personally haven’t used the sum total of 80 pencils in my entire life.
Oh yeah, and we’re supposed to bring them sharpened. So I guess we need an electric pencil sharpener, because as my wife points out:
Can you see us sharpening 80 pencils with one of those little plastic pencil sharpeners?

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