Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Go Away"

Daisy, out of the blue, told me to "Go Away." She's not quite two. Where did she hear that? So, you look at your life and start to hear all the little things you say to your wife, or the dog, or that guy who cut you off, and I'm pretty sure I didn't tell any of them to "Go Away." It's so dismissive. So regally final. She actually feels it, too; that was the rub. She looked into her brain for a phrase that would mean put me down and stop kissing my belly, and that is what her brain sent up. 'Go Away.'

And so I'm left to blame TV...well, first I blamed our friends' four-year-old girl, but then, in speaking to my wife, we couldn't be sure that Daisy hadn't been the one teaching 'Go Away' instead of learning it. So I came back to TV. But when in 'Babe' does the pig say 'Go Away'? Also, she says it with a clean American accent...so, not 'Babe'.

The real problem is, she's gonna be two.

And then 16.

She really likes me right now, despite her new phrase, but some day she's not gonna like me all that much and her brain will continue to send up "Go Away" only just her eyes will say it. And that will be fine, even mutual, perhaps, in 14 years, but for now the sting comes from the suddenness and the feeling that you only get one year of never being told to "Go Away" in her life, and that year is spent wiping her poop off her legs. Someone should have told me there was never going to be a time when she would stand on her own and walk and poop in the toilet and pick out her own clothes and never tell you to "Go Away."

On the other hand, tonight when I was reading her books before bed, she told me to "Go Away" and so I said "okay" and I got up to leave and she sat up and reached out and said "wait!"

Such a funny word, 'Wait'.

Where did she learn that?

**After writing this post, Daisy and I were watching Disney's Sword in the Stone. Remember the part where Merlin has changed Arthur in to a squirrel and then a cute red-headed squirrel falls in love with Arthur and Merlin sings about the yin and yang of life and that's how it goes and such... THEN a big purple squirrel falls in love with Merlin and she is hugging and snuggling him and Merlin pushes her off and says... "Go Away!"

Here's a link:

Merlin's Trouble.

Yup. Watching it today, Daisy said it just before Merlin did, then looked at me and smiled.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Secretly Be a Good Dad

Over the weekend I was at a garage sale (don’t judge me) and came across this book: 101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows.

The good folks holding the garage sale gave me the book for free! At first I was suspicious that they were just anxious to get rid of it because it carried with it some ancient Indian curse, originating from millennia ago. But as I walked home flipping through the pages, I realized it was even worse than I thought.

The book was pure rubbish.

And now I was saddled with actually owning this book.

The shame.

The “secrets a good dad knows” were numbered. And the first page I happened to flip to was #23, “How to Pick Up a Cat.” I winced. Then I flipped to #16, and – I’m not making this up –it was  “How to Give a Cat Its Medicine.” Then I made a face like I was inside a Port-a-Potty and just breathed through my nose.

I’m sorry, should this book have been titled “101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows…About Cats”?

Then I flipped to #52, “How to Attract a Deer (So You Can Hide and Watch It).” Translation: NOT so you can shoot it and eat it, you heartless, hateful normal male dad!

I began to wonder if this book was published by PETA. (Which would support my theory that this book does in fact carry a curse with it.) (Bah-dum bum.) (Please don’t send me any hate-mail, PETA.)

After a little more reading, I concluded I wasn’t sure who compiled these 101 secrets.

It didn’t seem to be targeted at what I affectionately refer to as the “Top Gun Crowd.” I didn’t see any secrets about “How to Not Cry When Your Best Friend Dies Flying an F-15,” or “How to Properly Yell ‘Wolverines!’ While Fighting Off Commie Invaders,” or “How to Look Awesome While Skydiving Without a Parachute,” or “How to Live For a Month Off Nothing But Varmint Meat and Tree Sap.”   

But it wasn’t the other extreme either. You know, Patrick Dempsey-type  secrets. “How to Buy a Dozen Roses When Your Lady Friend Is Having a Bad Day.” Or “How to Let a Small Misunderstanding Fester for Too Long Only to Finally Be Resolved with a Public Declaration of Love in a Restaurant or Even Better, on Television.”

Maybe it was too much to hope for, but I was hoping for some secrets I would really like to learn. Like…

How to Make a Meal that Will Impress Anyone
How to Play Three Awesome Songs on the Piano and/or Guitar
How to Pick Out the Best Watermelon
How to Build a Waterslide In Your Backyard
How to Set a Good Example While Not Necessarily Being Good at Everything
And of course, How to Get a Cat Out of a Tree. Oh wait, sorry. That one was already in there, #29.

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