Archive for November, 2009

Wife’s working tonight, which again puts me in charge of the ladies. Here’s the note I’m not going to leave her:

Tonight largely stunk. Fontaine ignored me, mocked me, added her own numbers when I counted her down and, finally, got sent/chased to her room by a shouting father.

Elizabeth did a bunch of stuff that indicated she had sent her brain to bed at 5:00.

Rosebud had to be wrestled, pried and wedged into her pajamas screaming, as usual, as you know; actually, pajamas is incorrect and you will notice that I gave up on the top so her top and bottoms don’t match. She’s wearing the same top she wore all day. Also, she refused to be tucked in, which she carried off by refusing to lie down in the crib, so last I knew she was sleeping sitting up like a homeless guy propped against the wall.

Also, there’s a monster in her room. She said you knew about this, and I am surprised you didn’t mention it — dang thing almost bit my head off when I walked in there to turn on the lamp. I told her that you had put the monster in a trash bag and put it out in the garbage bin and the city trash truck had come and picked it up and taken it to the landfill that would later be turned into a skateboard park and greenspace.

But she still wouldn’t let me tuck her in.

Finally, heads up. There’s a big birthday bash tomorrow for one of Fontaine’s dolls, named “Sarah Carl Rose.” I asked, and we are permitted to refer to her as “SCR.” Just so you know, S. Carl Rose (also permitted) likes sports and wants sports stuff for her birthday.

O.K., good night, I’m heading upstairs to sleep with the monsters.

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Mom Missing; Missing Mom

You all know, I don’t usually get serious on here. And I certainly don’t usually write about my wife (Not much point: I wrote a Mother’s Day tribute for her and it took her a month read it).

But, Wife’s out of town. Her mom, very very likely, is dying.

That leaves me “running” things. The girls have been nice, but signs are showing that someone else is the heart and soul of this shop:

Fontaine this morning: “Daddy, you know I love you, but when’s Mommy coming home? You’re doing a good job, but I think things go better when TWO adults are around.” (For instance, Mommy and someone else.)

Elizabeth, yesterday, upon being told she couldn’t have a second piece of candy…shouting: “YOU’RE NO FUN. I WISH MOMMY WOULD COME HOME!!!” (So one piece of candy isn’t fun anymore? Back when I was a kid a single piece of candy was SO much fun.)

Rosebud, last night, before bed, looking out her window as I held her: “Goodnight trees. Goodnight trains. Goodnight raccoons. Goo’night Mommy. She didn’t hear me. GOOOOOOO’NIGHT MOMMY!”

(I think she heard that one from 200 miles.)

Fontaine, tonight: “Is Mommy coming home tonight?”


“How about tomorrow morning?”

I’m not sure.

“How about by lunchtime?”

I’m going to talk to her in the morning.

“How about after Rosebud’s nap?”

I hope so. The sooner the better.

I’m serious.

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Over the past seven years of kid-dom, the dinner-table issue of dessert has arisen often. Like, every night.

Is there dessert tonight? What’s for dessert tonight? Did I eat enough to get dessert? How many more bites do I have to take, to get dessert? Is this a big enough bite?

Which brings us to last night. Dinner. Rosebud is just two, but she seems to have taken note of what works and what doesn’t, and she took a tact neither of the other two had yet tried. All the sudden, Rosebud called out:


Rosebud threw up her hand as she said it, demonstrating sound leadership. Elizabeth’s hand was up before the second syllable of “dessert.” Fontaine seemed caught off guard and just sat there, as did Wife and I.

This is where it reminded me of the great hand-raising scene in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” when Jack Nicholson’s character tried to round up enough votes to get to watch a baseball game on the communal TV. “Chief, put your hand up, we need ONE MORE.”

Lacking sufficient votes, Rosebud called out again:


I wasn’t really sure if we even had dessert options, but I knew the ladies got me a cupcake earlier and I wanted to eat it, so I raised my hand. Fontaine and Wife threw their hands up too, making it a rare 5-0 landslide.

And a child shall lead them…

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Shower of Babble



Wife was at work. I had the three daughters for dinner. The old “Breakfast for Dinner.”


Here’s how it went:

Elizabeth: “Daddy, you forgot to put peanut butter on every piece.”

I think I put it on all of them.

“Then why don’t all of them have peanut butter? Look.”

It must’ve soaked in (I was fond of this one: I mean, peanut butter, soaking in?)

Rose: “Look, Look, Daddy! Look, look, look, Daddy. Look!”

I see.

Fontaine, leaning back in chair, then sitting chair down on foot: “OOOOH. MY TOE! MY TOE! MY TOE!”

Elizabeth: “I know, someone stepped on my toe too!”

Fontaine: “MY TOE! Oh man, some people could kill me.”

Elizabeth: “Like me.”

Fontaine: “YES, like you!”

Rosebud: Ramming, poking, beating Elizabeth with a plastic scoop from an EZ-Bake oven, saying, “Jab! Jab! Jab!”

Fontaine, hilariously injecting a flourish of etiquette, “Daddy? Can I be excused, please?”


Elizabeth: “I got the pillow!”

Fontaine: “No, I called that. I said you couldn’t touch it or anything else.”

Elizabeth: “I called the pillow.”

Fontaine: “Push me over; you’ll never do it.”

Elizabeth: “Yes, I will.”

Then “dinner” ended.


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class rulesSo Fontaine, the wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world second-grader, decided that Elizabeth was not nearly enough prepped for the rigors of kindergarten that she would face next year. Naturally, Fontaine set up a simulated kindergarten curriculum, of which, naturally, she was the teacher in charge.

Elizabeth was the kindergartener. I wasn’t paying much attention. I was cooking dinner. I was psyched they were entertaining each other, even though I figured poor Elizabeth was probably being emotionally abused again.

But eventually, I came over and saw Fontaine pointing at the white board, lecturer style. I read the list: It seemed to be, basically, a list of things that Elizabeth had probably done — turned into “rules” after the infraction had been committed.

I slowly read down the list, until my eyes rested on number seven: “No Tackling the Teacher.”

I looked at Fontaine. She looked at me, raised her eyebrows and said, “You wouldn’t think I’d have to make that rule, but…”

I noticed one more thing. The number eight was already written on the board, in anticipation of the next crazy infraction.

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See those wrappers?wrappers


All night long, as we walked around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, Fontaine (Pippy Longstocking) kept asking if she could eat another piece of candy.

How many have you had so far, I’d say.

“Two pieces,” she’d say.

(Cop: How many have you had sir? Just two, officer)

So we got home, and I dug into her Chinese-made plastic candy-holder pumpkin. Wrapper, another wrapper, wrapper, wrapper, wrapper…

I gathered them all and cupped them in both hands and looked at her.

“You just made the blog, pal.”

I’m sure, upstairs sleeping with sugar coursing through her veins, she’s not sweating the publicity.

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