Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Look at her sitting there. Poor Molly McIntire.

Barely out of the American Girl box on Christmas morning when she was fated to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

Let me explain by backing up. Fontaine and Elizabeth asked for American Girl dolls for Christmas, and “Gram and Poppop” stepped forward to buy them each one.  Wife  and I then had to choose which doll for which girl, which meant I had to do something that only a strong, confident man can do: Form a staunch opinion on the advantages of “Ruthie” over “Molly,” or “Emily” vs. “Kit.”

(Hey, that’d be a fun March Madness style bracket: a tournament  of various American Girl dolls facing off against each other, until fourth-seeded “Julie Albright” crushes top-seed “Nicki Fleming” in an action-packed final at the Superdome.)


We picked Molly and Emily, after I took Ruthie down a notch by dubbing her too homely.

Backing up once more: For a couple of years now, when Fontaine draws a bunch of people, she always puts one of them in a wheelchair. I think it’s a tribute to her now late “Grandma G” who was in a wheelchair for some time. So Fontaine wanted not just a doll, but her first choice of accessory was a wheelchair.

She opened that gift about 15 minutes after Molly was first freed from her box. Fontaine immediately shoved her into the wheelchair, and she’s been in it ever since. She rode six hours from Pennsylvania to Virginia sitting in the wheelchair, sitting on Fontaine’s lap.

She does get a reprieve at night, when she is gingerly removed from the wheelchair and put to bed in Fontaine’s closet. But first thing in the morning, back in the chair she goes.

My only hope now is that the American Girl collection does not contain a “Handicap Van with Real Fold-Out Ramp.”

And that we don’t have to install a hydraulic lift on our stairs.

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So Rosebud, she’s just two and a half. Third kid. Total rock by necessity, both physically and, uh, attitudinally.

She’s not big, but she’s massive in personality. She speaks like, I don’t know, a five-year-old, a six- or seven-year old? The point being, I had just read her three pre-bedtime (HINT HINT, CHICKIE!) books and was ready to put her into the crib, and she stiffened like a board and refused.

C’mon, it’s bedtime, let’s get you into the crib, said I, using the common parental plural “let’s” in an attempt to seem like a whole bunch of parents in order to get what I want. It’s time for sleep.

And here’s where it came in, a round-house uppercut from the right side that I just didn’t see coming.

“That’s your idea,” Rosebud said, “That’s not MY idea.”

What? I wasn’t sure I heard that. Then I suggested the bed thing again, and she came back again with that.

“That’s YOUR idea. That’s not MY idea.”

Oh man, what a rhetorical steel wall. Wouldn’t it be great to use that, say, at a corporate board meeting after listening to a really long, boring build up for a proposal?

Couldn’t you shut up somebody like even Rush Limbaugh, or wouldn’t you like to, with a, “That’s YOUR idea. That’s not MY idea.”?

Oh, the possibilities were running rampant in my mind when she interrupted me one more time.

“Daddy, what’s a IDEA?”

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