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Archive for January, 2009

img_Jan_28_2009_24_24Fontaine told someone the day of my birthday, two days ago (yeah, thanks), that the girls made about a hundred drawings for Daddy.
And so, on my birthday night, after dinner I said, “Weren’t there some gifts?”
They came back, gleeful, with what can only be described as a wad. Like something you could slay someone with.
On the outside was an envelope. It’s retro stationary, and I’m not going to tell Dick Van Dyke what they did to his face.
We thought you wouldn’t like that scratchy faced guy, Daddy, Fontaine said.
That’s him up there. They snuffed him out. Soprano style. He is no more. I’m glad I’m me, and not someone they think I don’t like.
Inside the scratched-out formerly scratchy-faced guy envelope they had stuffed a couple of drawings.
I think they’re lovely. If that’s me in these pictures, I’m having a great time. I wonder what’s in those drinks? Are we on a tropical island? Ah…
Click on the drawings if you want to see them larger.

img_Jan_28_2009_27_02 img_Jan_28_2009_27_34

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So, poop there it is, on the right. It’s really a pretty-dry diaper (sans poop), which my wife put on the upstairs floor img_Jan_24_2009_48_14the other night to prevent an immediate trip downstairs.
That’s really not a problem. But this might be: Fontaine immediately said, “Ooh, poopy diaper, I have to get a picture of that.”
She captured it with a Fuji 2 megapixel point-and-shoot, but I think you’ll agree that it has many artistic qualities.
So she got the shot, she and her sister then made up a song: Poopie Diaper in the middle of the floor…Poopie diaper in the middle of the floor…
Then they danced away, and left the poopie diaper in the middle of the floor.
Just like the media. Get the shot of the fire, but don’t help pull anyone out.
I’m worried she’s going to follow me into the information gathering business.
We gotta get her a science kit.
Then she could blow-up the poopie diaper in the middle of the floor. (Really, don’t worry, it’s been removed).

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Uncool, and Ancient

img_Jan_20_2009_54_21The other day, Fontaine asked me what would happen if a comet slammed into Earth. I guess it’s cool to ponder such things, or worry like heck about them, when you’re six.
(By the time you’re 44, you have a ready list of people you might wish a comet would land on).
“Depends on how big the comet was?” I said, trying to mask not knowing.
“A really big one,” she said.
Well, I began explaining, it has happened. A woman I work with once wrote a story about a meteor that crashed into the Eastern Shore. But that was millions and millions of years ago.
“Oh my gosh,” Fontaine said. “You used to live on the Eastern Shore. Were you hurt?”
No, I wasn’t hurt.
But I’m a little wounded now.

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It started so innocently.img_Jan_15_2009_51_07
That’s what I thought.
On Saturday morning, Fontaine announced a birthday party for “Bow.” Bow Bunny, because the little stuffed rabbit sports a bow. (For a while, I thought it was “Beau” or even “Bo,” and I feared we had lived in Virginia too long.)
She drew a beautiful invitation and gave it to Elizabeth: “Please come to Bow’s birthday party. Wear pritty dresses.”
Aw, how sweet, I thought.
One step ahead.
They have a little tea party or something, which Rosebud, as Fontaine once put it, “destroyolates.”
Two steps.
Fontaine calls us all in to the living room, you know, to sing Happy Birthday to Bow. I kind of mouth it, it being 8:30 on a Saturday morning and not wanting my scratchy deep voice to ruin the innocense of the moment.
Three steps ahead. I still don’t see what’s going to go down.
Then there’s some sort of gift for the teddy bear. I can’t remember what it was. A tiny teddy human? Somehow, it gets opened.
Four ahead.
Then…”O.K.,” Fontaine calls out, “Thanks for coming everybody, but first, the gift bags!”
There are GIFT bags!? The modern-era thing where kids get gifts for going to someone else’s party. Fan-tastic.
Five steps.
She goes and finds some empty decorative plastic bags from Halloween, hops up onto the kitchen counter…
You see what’s happening here?
…and starts tossing stuff from our out-of-reach candy bowl into the bags.
Six steps.
Check.
She zips back into the living room, and it’s 8:45 in the morning, and hands thems out.
“I think I’ll start with this one,” she says, and starts throwing down the chocolate.
Chocolate, on a Saturday morning, a long day lay ahead.
But what were we supposed to do? It was Bow’s birthday.
Checkmate.

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I heard this thing on NPR about people who try online dating, and how some of them pay professional profile img_Jan_08_2009_47_52consultants to write their blurbs. Professionals who know to write “enjoy the outdoors” instead of “live in a tent.” And people who understand the opposite sex.
They charge as much as $2,200, but the NPR interviewer in his NPR-y dry style allowed that gaining true understanding of the opposite sex might be a “relative bargain” for two grand.
Around here, I get a boat-load of such advice, and I don’t even have to pay for it.
Why just this morning, for instance, Fontaine was dragging butt as usual getting out of the house for school. I, her driver, was as usual trying to lay low and be calm but eventually my head exploded and I turned into a drill sergeant.
COME ON!
WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!
LET’S GO!

We walk out the front door onto the porch.
She turns around to say goodbye to Mom for the 27th time.
We make it down the steps to the sidewalk.
C’MON, WE HAVE FOUR MINUTES TO GET THERE.
She strolls at a pace that indicates she wants to relish every second of this lovely moment of her childhood.
School starts at 8:15, Fontaine. It’s not my rule!
“Daddy,” she says, calmly, explaining, “you can’t rush a lady.”
That one stopped me for a moment. Where the heck did she get that? She’s six.
O.K., Lady, just get in the car.
Twenty-two hundred dollars, was it?

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img_Jan_06_2009_59_28I’m going to document this, so I know the exact day that it happened.
It was Saturday. I had long had an itch to hear “Benny and the Jets,” and I had gotten an iTunes gift card for Christmas (Should I make like a real blogger and link to iTunes? Nah.) and I downloaded it. I plugged my iPod into our Bose Sounddock (Again, nah) and started playing it.
Fontaine had recently shown an interest in the piano, and I pointed out the piano parts, as I took a trip back to riding on the school bus in the ’70s and hearing that song.
Fontaine feigned interest. It was an extremely mild form of feigning.
I looked at her. I looked at Elizabeth.
“I know,” I said, “someday you’re going to tell your friends: My dad was so un-cool. He made us listen to old music all the time…
I barely finished, when:
“You’re already not cool, Dad.”
“Yeah,” Elizabeth chimed in. “You’re not cool, Dad.”
(Context: They’re six and four.)
I’m not? I thought I was hanging in there. Oh wait, I mean, “still could kick it.” I might be slow, but I can text.
I may not link, but I do blog.
This is so discouraging.
I’m going to have to find a way to get my cool on.
Wonder how I’d look with a Hannah Montana backpack?
They still call them “backpacks,” don’t they?

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