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“Daddy, what’s that bone sticking out of the middle of T. Rex?”
Oh, Lord, please, Oh Lawdylawdylawdylawdy…Do they really have to make skeletons so, so, so FREAKING BONY?
We sat on Rosebud’s couch, the innocent three-year-old on my left side and Elizabeth, the innocent six-year-old on my right. “Innocent,” I say, but they surely must know they are torturing me.
I had surely never noticed the bone that now seemed to stick two feet straight out of T. Rex’s mid-section. I know I had never noticed it in middle school, or my friends and I would have made lots of jokes about it.
Dang Dinosaur bones. Mr. Rex, put that thing away!
Daddy, I told myself, I believe there is a question that has been posed.
Clearly, it wasn’t an arm. I saw two arms up higher.
Maybe it’s for weight, to help balance out the tail, see how his tail goes straight back from there? I suggested.
(C’mon, girls, sounds logical, right, just like the weights on a crane, buy it, buy it, buy it…)
But no sale.
“MAYBE IT’S HIS PENIS!” Rosebud shouted.
Innocent, oh no, planned torture.
Then Elizabeth piled on: “A HARD penis, whoever heard of that?!”
Oh lawdy, lawdy, oh man, oh please stop. Please let me sing “Rockabye baby” and tuck in these rascals. Please, at least, let’s move on to Brontosaurus.
But then they both began giggling uncontrollably, as I tried to slither down between the couch cushions.
I think I saw the little devils go behind my back and high five.

Booger Cover-up Update

Boy, dear readers, we never grow up, do we?
My post of a few days ago, The Great Booger Cover-up Scandal, got the greatest number of hits any of my posts have ever received. (Not saying much, but still.)
More than any of them mentioning breasts or vaginas.
More than the one when my wife was out of town and the headline implied she might have wised up, ditched us (read: me) and taken off to a country in which neither she nor her bank account is traceable and with which the U.S. has no extradition treaty.
Lesson learned.
I am now actively seeking incidents involving more boogers, burps, “toots” and diaper-content explosions.
I thought it was just men who never grow up, but most of my readers are “grown” women.
The truth comes out, just like the Queen’s boogers. At least she’s mannered enough to do it with the gloved hand.

Sneaky, Creaky and Freaky

Wife was at work.
As usual, I read books to Rosebud (“ANOTHER BOOK! BUT DADDY…! ONE MORE BOOK! ANOTHER BOOK!”).
I put Rosebud in her crib and sang songs (“ANOTHER SONG! BUT DADDY! WAIT, BUT WAIT! I HAVE A QUESTION!”).
Then, I went and read books to the other two.
We finished, and headed down the hallway to tuck them in.
Halfway down the hall…creak, moan, creak, went the floorboards.
Someone was coming up the steps.
My heart skipped. I beckoned for help from the Lord (O.K., under my breath, I muttered one of his full names.)
Creeeeeeaaaaak.
“WHAT?!” said one of the girls.
“Huh?!” said the other girl.
The girls grabbed me and tried to hide behind me. I briefly thought about using Elizabeth, the lighter of the two, as a projectile. I then wondered if I would have time to run back to the room and grab our home defense mechanism, “The Instrument of Extreme Facial Laceration,” a.k.a., a rusty machete.
No time.
Oh, please be Wife who has gotten off work at an unbelievably early hour.
Then we saw it.
Thirty inches tall and packed with terror. Its blue eyes glistening. Already at the top of the stairs.
Rosebud.
She’d climbed out of her crib and come to hunt us down.
“Daddy, I forgot to say goodnight.”
Goodnight, Rosebud, now STAY IN YOUR (*&%$^%#) CRIB!
I went downstairs and watched an FBI show about home invasions. It wasn’t scary at all.

Elizabeth has apparently abandoned her Princess-esque ways. Sometime back, she began picking her nose and disposing of the findings by sticking them to her headboard and wall.
(Oh yeah, this does not pass the breakfast, lunch or dinner test, so if you are eating right now, especially something like raisins, either stop reading or stop eating.)
Now, a booger here, slim pickin’s. A booger there, still not a big deal, but a couple of boogers a day for even a week or two and suddenly your walls are buggered up with boogers. Your walls are pock-marked like a teenager’s face with pimples.
Well, that Elizabeth is a creative little booger bugger, and she came up with a solution. One thing that sticks at least as good as a booger is a sticker.
She came down the other day and informed that she had found a solution to her pock-marked walls and headboard, an effort that got her off the hook — for now — of hand-picking nose pickings off the wall.
She stuck decorate stickers over top of them. Which might actually work…when she (we) finally has to peel off the stickers, they’ll work like tape does with lint and a booger will come off with the sticker.
But, if for some reason we don’t get around to this, watch out. Someday there might appear to be a really good deal on a white, single bed on Craigslist — one already decorated with oh-so-cute stickers.

After two weeks of vacation during which Fontaine and Elizabeth first shared bunk beds, then slept in sleeping bags in the same room, we were delighted that when they got home they wanted to share a room permanently.
They insisted that I haul Fontaine’s mattress into Elizabeth’s bedroom, and then they dragged other items from Fontaine’s room in there (small desk, doll house, dolls, toys, a life-sized stuffed dog whose name I can’t remember right now) for a full-on cohabitation.
And so the newlywed bliss went, until….it was Saturday mid-day, I was downstairs cleaning up the kitchen, when the screaming began.
“GET OUT OF HERE NOW. YOU’RE MEAN. TAKE YOUR STUFF WITH YOU. GOOD. I DON’T WANT TO BE IN HERE ANYMORE ANYWAY. LEAVE NOW!”
I ran up the steps.
Elizabeth was tossing stuff into the hallway, a la Danny Devito in “Tin Men” when he threw his wife’s stuff out the window, and at the same time she was shouting that certain things were “MINE AND YOU CAN’T HAVE IT!”
Fontaine had her arms full and was dragging crap out as fast as she could. Elizabeth’s room and the upstairs hallway looked like it had been tossed and burgled.
It was loud and aggressive, but fairly “amicable” until the real dispute. As usual, it all came down to one of the kids.
Baby Jenna, a one-inch tall plastic Playmobile doll.
“BABY JENNA IS MINE AND YOU CAN’T TAKE HER,” Elizabeth screamed, tears in her eyes.
“NO, SHE’S ROSE’S DOLL AND ROSE SAID I COULD PLAY WITH HER!”
“NO SHE DIDN’T, AND HER BEDROOM IS IN THIS DOLLHOUSE.”
On and on.
Fontaine retreated into her room, and returned with what can only be described as yet another handful of crap. Three dolls, a broken spy flashlight, and the lamp that Wife got her that she apparently hates because she keeps trying to give it away.
She wanted to swap it all for “Baby Jenna,” the one-inch plastic doll.
Finally, unable to resolve the dispute, the court (me) had to step in and make them both unhappy by putting Baby Jenna in a Foster Home (the pocket of my shorts) until things settled down.
Then, Elizabeth, showing who the true mother really was, insisted that I give Baby Jenna to Fontaine, as that would be a more loving home than the pocket of my shorts.
Poor Baby Jenna had already been through the divorce ringer; accidently sending her through the washing machine would have been just too cruel.

Day One: Wife out of town, Me in Town with the girls.
I’ve noticed this before, and how great it is. When I am kicking it with the girls, usually I’m around a bunch of Moms with their kids, and they speak VERY freely around me. Like I am not there.
Last summer, in the pool, I was with the girls, making sure none of them would drown, and the Moms just carried on their conversations as though I wasn’t present. That’s when, one day, I heard two Moms talking about a third Mom who had had a boob job. It being a small town, turned out I knew the boob job Mom.
Wow, and I thought she just looked real “fit.” I’m going to have a get another gander at those suckers next time I see her.
Today, we were at the Botanical Gardens children’s World of Wonders splashy area, and I was like four feet from two Moms talking.
I guess they thought I was DEAF. It seems that Mom No. 1, Kim, has had a difficult time becoming pregnant with child No. 2.
It seems that Kim and her husband have been “trying” to the point that Kim is completely worn out. (I refrained from turning around and telling her my male friend’s advice: “You know the best way to get pregnant? Have sex A LOT.”)
Maybe Kim wasn’t, you know, “trying” enough.
“You poor thing,” Mom No. 2 told her.
It seems Kim is so tired from “trying” that she and her husband, probably mostly she, are considering adopting.
“But you know, even if you qualify, it costs $35,000.”
I kept my eye on the girls and sidled over even closer.
No worries, I remained invisible.
Further, it seems that Kim does at least three pregnancy tests every month, plus several ovulation kits, and “it’s just wearing me out.” Kim’s not getting any sleep.
It seems my penis makes me completely invisible. What a great instrument. Now, I am pondering…where should I take the girls tomorrow?
Grocery store? Library? Church service?
Shite, no need to be a Russian agent to get info, when you can just be a Dad.

This time around, I really got into the World Cup. Even after the U.S. lost.
So it was that I huffed and puffed on Sunday as we headed back from a lovely day on the beach and I announced sarcastically, “I’m going to catch the last four minutes of the World Cup final.”
(Gosh, I’m a jerk sometimes.)
I flipped on the game, uh, match, and there were really 25 minutes left. It was zero to zero, er, “nil-nil” or love-love. Netherlands and Spain.
The girls went upstairs, took showers, and the game was still on. Wife ran out to the store, came back, and the game was still on. Still zero to zero.
Elizabeth was the first to walk in.
“Can I watch basketball with you?”
Sure, but it’s soccer.
She watches for two minutes, and homes in on the intricacy of the sport.
“Aren’t they allowed to use their hands?”
No, only the goalie.
“Oh.”
“What’s that noise?”
It comes from these things the South African fans blow into.
“It’s pretty annoying, isn’t it? I don’t like it.”
Yeah.
“Are they blowing into them because somebody scored?”
Uh, no, no one has scored yet.
“Oh.”
She wanders off to arrange dolls.
Fontaine walks in.
“What’s the score?”
Neither team has scored yet.
“And they’ve been playing this long?”
Yes, it’s in, I think they call it, “extra time,” and there’s no score.
“That’s pretty lame, isn’t it?”
Yes, but the tension, the anticipation, the drama…
“But haven’t they been playing for like three hours? That’s pretty lame.”
Yeah, OK, you’re right.
When’s the NFL pre-season start, anyway?
BCS anyone?
Baseball playoffs?
Hey, maybe LeBron will make another announcement soon.

Recent “news” indicates that a kid needs a Dad as much as a fish needs a barbed hook stuck through its lip.
Witness the new book, “The End of Men,” or the very boring psychological paper positing that kids raised by two lesbians fare better than the tired, old, un-cool man-woman combo.
I can’t compete with psychology, but I believe the theory failed to consider a few crucial things. Ready? Let’s offend as many people as possible:
What will become of the mocking phrase, “Who’s Your Daddy?” (“Who’s Your Second Mommy?” lacks pithiness.)
The song in the car commercial, “He’s My Dad, He’s My Big Bad Dad,” would lack rhyme were it: “She’s my big bad other Mom.” (Though it may have a ring of truth to it.)
“Mom’s Night Out” events would be an exercise in child abandonment.
The Web hosting site GoDaddy.com would be longer: “GoMommyMommy.com.” (Snap that one up quickly, the address seems to be available.)
Who will run governments and major corporations into the ground and then get $40 million golden parachutes?
“Our Mothers, who art in heaven?”
“Father Knows Best” would be “One of my mothers knows better than the other one of my mothers,” which is a little lengthy for a sitcom name.
Who’s going to burp out loud? (Oh, really? They do. Yick.)
Finally, maybe I’m wrong, but where are the kids going to come from in the first place? Have they engineered a way around the need for sperm? Or are they just going to keep a few of us in stalls, like they did Secretariat?

Remember that “Seinfeld” episode when Elaine befriended another group of guys, much like Jerry, George and Kramer, except they were nice to each other, not sarcastic, did enlightening things rather than spending all their time on mindless nonsense?
They referred to them as “the Bizarro Jerry” and so on.
The other night, I had the fortunate and unexpected opportunity to spend time with my Bizarro daughters: Bizarro Fontaine, Bizarro Elizabeth and Bizarro Rosebud.
Now, readers of these posts know that I love the little rascals all the time, and heaven knows, their non-Bizarro moments have provided fodder for more than 130 blog entries over the past couple of years.
But I wasn’t sure what to think or how to respond when, abracadabra, they turned into charming and helpful children Thursday night when Wife went to work.
First, Fontaine and Elizabeth informed me that their new household jobs had to be done: Elizabeth wipes off the dinner table, then Fontaine sweeps the floor.
Hey, fire up, I thought, I gotta see this.
Meanwhile, I took Rosebud up to put her to bed. Normally, Regular Rosebud refuses to choose a book and then rejects any books that I pick out. Sometimes, she says those books are “locked.” Regular Rosebud also now insists on a full-wattage lamp being left on at night, which obviously won’t work, and then tries to block me from turning it off (Sacrified her hand to a hot light bulb the other night just to stand her ground). When I put her in the crib, she yells at me for “another doll” to be put in with her, and then another, another, another. One night, she insisted that before going to bed her blanket should be washed.
Bizarro Rosebud turned the lamp off herself, crawled into her crib herself, listened as I sang three songs, then told me good night.
Not knowing what to do, I stood in the room for a moment as though I had been turned to a pillar of salt.
I came downstairs.
Not only had they wiped the table and swept the floor, but they had straightened the family room and neatly placed the remotes — which I normally have to dig out of a crevice of the couch before I search for the couch cushions that have been used to make a “fort” — on a table.
To quote the Talking Heads: And you may tell yourself, THIS is not my beautiful house.
I asked them to make an imprint on bitewings, so I could check their dental records after they went to bed, but they sure looked like our girls.
I am hoping these girls stick around, so if anyone kidnapped ours. Don’t try to bring them back. I’m keeping these three.

Animated Gifs
So I’m sitting on the loveseat in Rosebud’s room last night, trying to read books to her before bed.

I can’t remember what I did that was so objectionable, other than asking her to sit down before I started reading. Instead, she scurried up onto the arm of the couch.

I reached for her. She had a small, pink kids’ pocketbook in her hand.

She suddenly swung it up in roundhouse, haymaker fashion — and slammed it down on top of my head.

It didn’t hurt, so much as surprise me.

But I wonder: How does a three-year-old girl learn to use a purse as a bludgeon? Has she been watching 1950s sitcoms? Is her heroine Granny Clampett?

Nature, or nurture?

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