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Archive for October, 2008

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to not look somewhere.img_Oct_30_2008_40_28
Quick. Don’t read this.
See?
This morning, when my wife fled the house for some fun (making photocopies for Fontaine’s first-grade teacher), I was here with Elizabeth and Rose.
“Let’s play hide and seek!” Elizabeth said.
O.K., you hide, I said.
Then Elizabeth added, “And don’t look behind the brown chair.”
Rose was doing what one-and-a-half year olds like to do, which seems to be run around, jabber and squeal while simultaneously strewing crumbs of some sort about the house and putting small objects in her mouth.
But Elizabeth somehow convinces or corrals her to get behind the you know what and, uh, hide.
As I walk around the living room, I hear Elizabeth whispering and Rose yammering.
Then I hear, “Remember Daddy, don’t look behind the brown chair.”
So I walk around some more, fill my thermal coffee cup up for work, brush my teeth, and go find them.
They scream and giggle.
Then Elizabeth protests.
“Daddyyyyy, you weren’t supposed to look behind the brown chair!”
O.K. girls, my turn to hide.
Don’t look upstairs under the covers of my bed. I won’t be up there catching up on my sleep.

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At dinner tonight, img_Oct_27_2008_49_39Elizabeth, age 4, of the 700 block of…oh sorry…Elizabeth asked: “Daddy, who are you going to vote for?”
I began to explain the importance of voting, while she said, “Say McCain. Say McCain. Please say McCain.”
Ah, I thought, Big Sister’s gotten to her.
It seems that the family vote, just one week before the election, is stalemated.
We got two.
They got two.
Pretty sure, if I could extrapolate personality two or three decades forward, Fontaine would indeed be a McCain Republican, likely a party donor as either a corporate attorney or whatever kind of lawyer those lawyers were who sued the living breath out of the asbestos manufacturers and tobacco companies.
Elizabeth, if I had to guess, would not. She might work for other people or help save cute, furry animals.
(Is this entry going to land me in huge trouble when the girls see it later, or what?)
Anyway, the determination of the electoral votes for our house now rests with the 17-month-old Rosebud.
It is 10:30 p.m., and she is upstairs in her crib, fielding Robocalls.
From her sisters.

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img_Oct_25_2008_39_29Fontaine’s very concerned about the election. As I tucked her into bed tonight, she grilled me:
“Daddy, who are you going to vote for, Obama or McCain.”
I told her.
She told me, she was going to vote for the other guy.
I knew that. That’s Fontaine: You say tomato, I say peach.
But she told me, “I think Obama’s going to win.”
Why?
“Well, when we were <a href=”http://www.7-election.com/”>at 7-11</a>, I saw like seven people come out with Obama cups and only one with a McCain cup.”
I attempted to explain that the demographics of the area immediately surrounding this particular 7-11 could, um, seriously weight the outcome she had observed and that there was probably a different 7-11 in the suburbs that was strongly favoring McCain.
She asked why I was voting for my guy.
I explained that, while I was a strictly non-partisan journalist who has had his brain removed and replaced with high-grade plastic so as to prevent me from having an opinion, many people believe that Obama would better represent families who have a similar amount of financial wherewithal as us (i.e. none), would be concerned with providing better schools and health care for kids like her and would perhaps end the war in Iraq, which is costing our country $10 billion a month, more quickly than McCain.
She argued, however, that she had heard that despite McCain’s support of the $700 billion financial bailout he would be a better advocate of a strong dollar, which, while it would initially prove harmful to our trade deficit, would in the long-run enable CEOs and bond traders to make mad profits, and in the end that would benefit every American.
“I’m confused,” she said. “I don’t know who I’m going to vote for.”
I told her that it didn’t matter, as long as she read up on the candidates and voted. That was the main thing, in our country: To vote.
“Daddy?”
Yes.
“I need to see pictures of Obama and McCain.”
O.K.
“I don’t care if it’s on the computer or in the paper, whichever is faster.”
We’ll do it in the morning, buddy.
The fate of a nation, not to mention the color of a Slurpee cup, hangs in the balance.

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When I lived in Scotland, I had a Spanish friend named “Jesus.” Of course, it was pronounced like “Hey Seuss,” but to img_Oct_21_2008_40_28make this story work you have to pronounce it like Americans do.
Jesus.
So my friend lived in a house with some Scottish people, and one morning he heard the family’s Mom hushing the kids: “Be quiet, Jesus is upstairs sleeping.”
Who could blame her? If Jesus was upstairs in your house sleeping, you’d not want to wake him. Maybe if he were unrested, he’d put out some crazy commandments or set the wrong bush on fire or something.
So the other day when my Mom was here I don’t know what she said, but I heard six-year-old Fontaine exlaim:
“You mean, Jesus was born on Christmas?!”
Well yes, my mom explained, that’s where Christmas comes from…Jesus Christ.
Fontaine didn’t take the time to consider the root word and the entymological breakdown.  She just said:
“I thought that was a bad word.”
It is, if you take his name in vain.
Two lessons seem apparent.
One: We need to get these girls some Sunday Schooling.
Two: Jesus, not Hey Seuss, has some trademark infringement issues on his hands.

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This is toimg_Oct_14_2008_52_18oth fairy night.
Last night, Fontaine woke up around 3 a.m. and had a loose tooth in her mouth. Not a loose, dangling tooth; a disconnected, wandering-about-the-tongue-area tooth. And allow me to just say, Thank Goodness. That sucker looked like a fang sticking out of the top of her mouth.
Anyway, the tooth fairy. We just decided tonight that she probably has excellent teeth. Because she brushes them a lot. Twice a day. Wasn’t that a lovely parental layer added to tooth fairy lore?
When I was a kid, the tooth fairy ponied up to the tune of a quarter a tooth. These days, best I can figure out, the going rate is two bucks, though one seven-year old at the playground got three, but that’s because the dentist had to extract that one. I’m pretty cheap, but have to admit extraction ought to get a kid an extra buck.
Fontaine, at this moment, has constructed a shrine to the tooth fairy’s visit. Two notes, one lauding the tooth fairy’s virtues and another asking to please leave money, but don’t take the tooth. And an open jewelry box, with the tooth on display, illuminated by a yellow night light.
And let me tell you, it’s a blessed thing that the tooth fairy floats, because when I was leaving Fontaine’s room, our 90-year-old hardwood floors were popping and creaking like crazy.
I mean, if that tooth fairy walked, almost anywhere she stepped on the way to that box could make a horrible noise. The kind of noise that could wake a sleeping six-year-old.
Lucky she floats.

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As adults, we might sometimes find something we like and over-do it for a few weeks or months, then tire of it. But the img_Oct_14_2008_34_28mind of a four-year old girl must be a wonderful place. No overdoing, no second thoughts.
Elizabeth has always been our Princess. I seriously think her first complete sentence was: “I am a P’incess.” And she’s right.
But here’s what she got for her fourth birthday, last week. If she is not puke-sick of princesses after this, I don’t think she’ll ever turn the corner.
A Princess birthday card with princess stickers (again, the genius of being four is that this $2 gift may have produced more delight than other gifts that cost ten times that).
A Princess dress.
A Princess towel.
A Princess bubble wand.
A complete set of Disney Princess figurines (because she got these on her last birthday, but gave away three of the princesses and the juju of the universe has not been right since, so we had to find another set…seven bucks, Target).
Complete set of framed Disney Princess photos, suitable for bedroom wall display.
Fabric coloring books, Princess style.
For dinner, we went to an Italian/Greek (when did those countries join forces, anyway) restaurant called The Castle, and Princess Elizabeth wore one of her Princess gowns.
Halloween’s in two weeks. Guess what Elizabeth is going as?
OK, then guess which one?

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img_Oct_12_2008_04_31As adults, we might sometimes find something we like and over-do it for a few weeks or months, then tire of it. But the mind of a four-year old girl must be a wonderful place. No overdoing, no second thoughts.
Elizabeth has always been our Princess. I seriously think her first complete sentence was: “I am a P’incess.” And she’s right.
But here’s what she got for her fourth birthday, last week. If she is not puke-sick of princesses after this, I don’t think she’ll ever turn the corner.
A Princess birthday card with princess stickers (again, the genius of being four is that this $2 gift may have produced more delight than other gifts that cost ten times that).
A Princess dress.
A Princess towel.
A Princess bubble wand.
A complete set of Disney Princess figurines (because she got these on her last birthday, but gave away three of the princesses and the juju of the universe has not been right since, so we had to find another set…seven bucks, Target).
Complete set of framed Disney Princess photos, suitable for bedroom wall display.
Fabric coloring books, Princess style.
For dinner, we went to an Italian/Greek (when did those countries join forces, anyway) restaurant called The Castle, and Princess Elizabeth wore one of her Princess gowns.
Halloween’s in two weeks. Guess what Elizabeth is going as?
OK, then guess which one?

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