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Disney almost always gets it right.
No detail is too small. No flaw is overlooked.
So a few months ago, when Wife sent me a picture of a new Disney Princess cup that Rosebud had picked out at Target, and when Wife questioned the placement of the straw in this cup, I gave the Disney Empire the benefit of the doubt (and wrote Wife off as a perv).
American marketing has a long history of slipping a little cheap sex into packaging, like the lovely maiden on the “Land O Lakes” butter package that can be folded into a Triple D suitable for one of Hugh Heffner’s girlfriends. And Joe Camel’s penis nose. These were obviously done for 13-year-old boys decades before the simpler times of today’s Internet porn (no hyperlink provided; find it yourself).
Anyway, I’ve now come to Wife’s side of thinking on Belle’s completely perverse drinking straw placement, and can’t believe it took me so long to write about it.
Look at her. You want your three-year-old daughter sucking liquid out of that? I love the way she’s got her arms folded across her chest, so prim, so proper, so demure — yet a ginormous Dirk Diggler poking out of her midsection and proclaiming its happiness to the world.
And it’s not just us. We just so happened to have left the Belle penis cup on a coffee table last month, while visiting Wife’s brother during Spring Break. First, Brother-in-Law comes downstairs, looks, and says, “Oh my god.”
Five minutes later, Sister-in-Law comes down, looks, and says, “What’s up with Belle?”
Well, do you mean WHAT is up with Belle, because that is pretty obvious, or do you mean, “Why did Disney put a straw where Belle’s thang would be?”
The Beauty sure doesn’t need The Beast when she’s dragging this thing around. Headline: Princess Arrested for Indecent Exposure.
Belle, please contact your doctor immediately, as this, this, this event has clearly exceeded four hours.
Couldn’t they have put the straw, well, just about anywhere else?

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Kindergarten Koalition

Elizabeth has been a little bummed out of late.
Comes home from school, you know, just not having had a good day.
Somewhere along the way, Wife got good advice from another mom about what to ask your kid about the day: Who did you sit with at lunch? Who did you play with on the playground?
So an answer to the latter question yields this (changing the names, of course): I played with Emma, and she’s too bossy.
The next morning before school, I hear Wife telling Elizabeth, “why don’t you make it a goal to find new friends and play with someone different on the playground today?”
We were so delighted at the end of the day when we asked Elizabeth how things had gone.
“I made a new friend!” she said proudly. “And we played on the playground.”
Oh, how did that happen?
“Sarah and I played together, because Sarah usually plays with Taylor and she’s sick of Taylor. And Emma and I are sick of each other. So we switched friends. Taylor and Emma played together, and Sarah and I played together.”
Well, great, I mean, OK, that’s not exactly like….it’s sort of like when…right, well, good Elizabeth, at least you are happier.
So, like, you and Sarah didn’t launch surface-to-air missiles at Emma and Taylor?
Right? You didn’t do that, did you?

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We’ve always tried to instill in the girls that they can do anything they want when they grow up.
No restrictions.
No glass ceilings.
They don’t have to do chick jobs; they can do dude jobs, too.
Fontaine wanted to play baseball this year, not softball, so she is playing baseball on an otherwise all-boy Little League team.
And so it was, last night, when I was reading an “Olivia” book to Rosebud, and at the end of the book, Olivia pictured herself in the middle of a group shot of the U.S. Supreme Court.
What is that? Rosebud asked.
Oh, that’s the Supreme Court; they are all very skilled attorneys who decide the most important legal issues in the country.
Can anyone be on the Supreme Court? she asked.
Sure! This is AMERICA.
No burkas here.
The Supreme Court is open to any race, any ethnicity, any political belief.
We live in a meritocracy, where achievement rather than connections (hahaha, OK, so I was spinning it a little too much, but…) is what matters.
You could be the first female, curly-haired, fiery redhead on the Supreme Court. And look at those robes! You could hide a week’s worth of Trader Joe’s cereal bars in there and no one would know.
How do you get on the Supreme Court.
Well, the President has to choose you, but he can choose ANYone.
She looks.
“But I’m just a kid.”
OK, OK, so you may have to wait a while, but…but, but, but, well look, Olivia’s a pig.

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My mom was always fascinated with “birth order,” and being a kid, her kid, of course I blew it off.
But now that I have three of my own (and let’s just state here: kids are like cats; you don’t “own” them, they own you), I see the fascination.
So, let’s say you are Rosebud, the third of three girls. You can’t get attention by being a boy. You can’t get attention by being the only redhead (because your mom and oldest sister are). You can’t get attention by being sweet and quietly clever (Elizabeth snagged that role).
What, oh what, is a girl to do?
Demand it. Shout it from the rooftops. Work it, (Oh, Lord, so sorry about this, but…) gurl.
So, like, if you are three and at Disney World and it’s the Electric Parade and you are a Princess afficionado and the Cinderella float is going by, from atop Daddy’s shoulders, you cup your hand around your mouth and shout: “CINDERELLA! HEY, CINDERELLA!”
If you are at home, watching TV with your sisters, and the show is over and the theme song begins playing, you don’t tap your feet or quietly mouth the words. No way, you get off the couch and dance.
If you’re lucky to get to go to the older sisters’ school to pick them up, and you happen to get to go into the school and, well, it turns out every freaking student, teacher and Mom in the school already knows you, you come up with something.
Like when you are walking by the school office, and you see School Nurse Annie sitting way at the back, you kind of drag Daddy in there by waving to Nurse Annie and getting her to call you in.
And when you get in there, and you really have no excuse or much to talk to Nurse Annie about, but then you remember that little head lice outbreak from last fall? Well, you ponder: What would be worse, being thought a public scourge and having everyone avoid you because they think you have scabies? Yeah, that wouldn’t be good, but what if they thought nothing of you at all? That would be worse.
So, what do you do?
You catch Nurse Annie’s attention and you holler out: “I think I have lice!”
Yup, that does it. Next thing you know, the headmaster’s assistant is laughing, Nurse Annie is laughing, and you’re in Nurse Annie’s chair playing with her Super Duper Head Lice Examiner Flashlight.
And Nurse Annie is telling Daddy, “Several of us want to take this one home.”
Oh, yeah, the old “I have lice” schtick…works like a charm.

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About a week ago, late afternoon on a Sunday, around about 5 o’clock, with dinner on the stove and only minutes from being ready, a former neighbor and a friend stopped by.
It had been a while, and she just wanted to see how much the girls had grown and see the addition we put on the house.
Then the doorbell rang. Some other people stopped by: a mom and her twin daughters.
Dinner finished cooking.
Elizabeth gave the twins a tour of the upstairs of the house (yikes), and three-year-old Rosebud offered the former neighbor and friend a tour of the house.
Dinner continued to cook, or whatever dinner does after it has cooked enough.
Mom and twins left, eventually.
(I’m going to keep telling this story, mostly because I don’t think any of these people read the blog).
I’ll just speak for myself: I was ready to move things along.
I’ve done some reading on this, and a party host can achieve this by saying things like:
(Walking toward the door while talking), “Thanks for coming.”
Or, “Let’s not wait so long to get together again.”
Or, “Can’t wait until we see you again,” while simultaneously handing them their coats.
But the great thing about kids, they don’t need to fool with such obvious pleasantries.
The conversation went on, until Rosebud came into the kitchen and achieved the equivalent of blasting them out the front door with a fire hose.
“We’re having dinner now,” she said, loudly, directly, looking up at them, “AND YOU’RE NOT STAYING.”
Everyone laughed. Oh, those crazy kids.
Then, our visitors left.

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Wife’s out of town today, so I had to write e-mail notes to Fontaine and Elizabeth’s teachers about a few things. They went something like this:

Mrs. Jondrus:

Elizabeth’s mom is out of town today, and I needed to update you on a couple of things. Wife may have already sent you a note, but we communicate most often by text message and the wires get crossed sometimes.

First, Elizabeth will be staying for “After Care” today. I don’t know why you have named your after-school program like that of a mortician’s service, but nonetheless, Elizabeth will be there. Also, she brought her “reading buddy” book in today, although we didn’t practice it as we were supposed to last night. See, we couldn’t find it. That’s because Wife had put the dang thing exactly where it should have been, nothing is ever where it is supposed to be in our house, so essentially, it was lost.

I realize that Elizabeth’s technicolor quilt dress does not match her technicolor striped tights, but she already had them on so….I just wanted YOU to know that I know they don’t go together. For the record.

As for her snack, I don’t even know what she brought, but I hope there are no banned ingredients, like nuts, tree nuts, gluten, milk, sugar, citrus, flour, salt…

Finally, upcoming, Elizabeth will be missing a week of school, as our family is going to Disney World. She used to be our princess-fascinated girl, but that has faded away a bit ever since she learned how funny it is to burp and toot.

Anyway, if she needs to make up school work to compensate for the week of kindergarten she will be missing, please let us know. Her mother and I are well-aware that The Road to Harvard begins at age six, and we certainly don’t want her to wind up in the ditch.

If any emergency type situation should arise at school today, since Elizabeth’s mom is out of town, please feel free to call my cell phone directly. The number is 9-1-1.


Elizabeth’s Dad

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 31 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 150 posts. There were 33 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 6th with 68 views. The most popular post that day was But She Has an Excellent Caregiver.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, straightenupandflyright.org, Google Reader, my.yahoo.com, and networkedblogs.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for my three daughters, spilled milk, john belushi luck of the irish, my 3 daughters, and mythreedoters.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


But She Has an Excellent Caregiver December 2009
1 comment


Spilled Milk Doesn’t Look Like That October 2009
1 comment


Luck O’ the Irish, in a John Belushi Way January 2010


About October 2009


Fathers Wanted: Men Need Not Apply June 2010

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This is great.

Lyss Stern, Mommy blogger

This Mommy blogger agreed to write a flattering story in exchange for $45,000 worth of cosmetic dental work.
Oh, wait, I used to be a journalist, and I don’t want to get sued. Please insert “allegedly” into the sentence that ends “$45,000 of cosmetic dental work.”
You know these Mommy bloggers: It’s all about the kids, except when it’s not and it’s all about Mommy.
As they say, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
And how can you tell if Momma is happy, if her teeth are yellow and she is embarrassed to smile?
Again, all about the kids.

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Ask a Silly Question…

Rosebud, the three-year-old, decided to sit out dinner tonight and played with some toys in the family room.
As I was dishing up desert, some candy-like apple crisp that Wife had made from scratch before going to work, she started yelling and moaning. I assumed this meant the usual: she screams like a woman in labor EVERY time she’s about to poop.
So when the two big girls started calling to me as I cleared the table, I more or less ignored them.
“Um, Dad, you really need to come over here,” Fontaine said.
Yeah, yeah.
“Dad, really, you need to come over NOW!”
So I walked around the corner, and ooh, yuck, yick…
Rosebud stood there over a pile of vomit.
Are you OK, sweetie, I asked.
“WHAT did you eat today?” Fontaine asked.
Rosebud pointed at the puke.
“That,” she said.
Hard to argue with “that.”

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PBS has recently launched an updated TV show based on Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat.”
In the show, the cat is a good guy who teaches the kids about the world. It’s a pretty good show. The girls like it. But saying that is not fun, so let’s have some.
The updated version shows Sally as the mid-20th century cute blonde girl she always was, but somehow her brother (the originally narrator of the stories, now named “Nick”) appears to have undergone a reverse Michael Jackson treatment and turned into a young African-American lad.
That’s cool. We never saw the kids’ Dad anyway. Maybe he was a brother.
Herewith, I will update the back-story and go beyond PBS’s effort:
Sally and Nick are mysteriously left at home alone, at the approximate ages of five and six, when the cat stops by, sporting a hat that was made by child labor in a Chinese sweat shop.
The cat briefly enters the house and grabs their Mom’s favorite dress, a pink number that symbolizes Breast Cancer Awareness. Sally Googles “The Cat” only to discover he’s listed in the state’s sexual predator database, and not only that, he’s eating a peanut butter sandwich and Nick has a bad nut allergy.
The kids cleverly trick the cat into leaving the house, because they know cats don’t like walking in snow, but once in the front yard they discover it hasn’t snowed there in years due to global warming (Sally thinks this is due to climate change brought on by man-made pollutants; Nick assures her is only part of a natural climatic cycle).
The cat snaps the dress at them to stop the debate, and the pink color flies all over the front yard. He tells them, no problem, he will clean it up with the “help” that is under his hat, and his helpers come out: Little Cat F, M, X, B, K, S….
The helpers emerge in non-alphabetical order, an homage to dyslexic children.
Then Sally and Nick see their Mom coming up the path. She arrives, her arms full of cloth Whole Foods bags, but she is quickly arrested for child abandonment for leaving the kids home alone every time the weather stinks.
The Cat is hauled back to prison — as he has violated a restraining order by being within 50 yards of children under the age of 18.
Sally and Nick go back inside to watch a Netflix movie on their Wii.

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