Monday, December 31, 2012

Facebook Monday: Crashing through the sky, straight to outer space

As my two year old's accountability partner, I've got to admit that some of her goals are more realistic (and sadistic) than others. But a kid's gotta have dreams, right? It's kind of like applying to college; you should have both "safety" and "reach" schools. And let me be the first to say, I don't think potty training Addison is going to be the easy task on the list.

On Facebook this past week, Addison tried to enter orbit (it was inevitable, what with the treasure trove of dirt to be found on Mars), and started her first serious exploration of surrealist existentialism:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Have a Merry Christmas: Check.

Actually, Addison's favorite Christmas presents were:
  1. A 1/3-size, pink shovel to help hunt tree roots. And to grow big muscles.
  2. A pocket mirror to admire her looks.
  3. A miniature cooking set, complete with vegetable steamer. She's already experimenting with all of the ways dirt can be fried, steamed, and simmered. I'm pretty eager for Addison to become the family cook.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Facebook Monday: Spread the cheer. Spread it loud. Spread it proud.

A kid's renditions of the holiday classics are a thing to behold. Addison's no exception. On Facebook this past week, I recounted the ways in which Addison will not be silenced:


Whereas my great anxiety is about how people always seem to be talking about me (and laughing), Addison thinks that everyone SHOULD always be talking about, and to her. 
Loudly, after a prayer at church: "Why that man not bless my owie? And my other owie? Hey, man, I talking to you!" 
To the mailman, who is oblivious and has headphones on: "Stop. Stop! I want to talk to you! Mom, why that man not stop? Why he not want to talk to me?"

As a neighbor turns the corner of the street while pushing her infant in a stroller: "Oh no! I forgot to show that lady my owies! On my hand, and my knee, and my ankle. Oh, this is so sad. That lady wanted to see my owies and say, 'it's okay Addison. It's okay.' Fast! Let's go find her!"

To the baby at the playground: "Talk. Talk, baby. I want you to talk to me. What's your name? I ask you a question, baby. You need to answer my questions. Don't make me angry."

Also, that last bit is likely because we have a green hulk fist that makes smashing noises and says, "You won't like me when I'm angry!"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love those Christmas cookies

Just a few comics before the holidays. Cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An appeal for the candid camera

"Jeffrey! You stop punching your little sister! Just sit. And smile, dang it! A real smile, or you don't get any dessert! Where did Jennifer go? Well tell her to get off the phone! Benjamin, no, you can't go to bathroom again. Well, you'll just have to hold it! For as long as it takes, that's how long!"
We've all been there. The holiday family photo. Who'd have thought that getting a handful of people to stand in neat little rows with grins plastered on their faces would be so difficult?

I'll be the first to admit, I do not make family photos any easier. I've been described by people close to me as "reserved" and "quiet" and "reclusive." Okay, also "curmudgeonly." I don't love being the center of attention, and I definitely do not love to pose. It doesn't take long for my photo-smile to become a grimace, an involuntary mask of displeasure. In every event where I've been asked to participate in some sort of special photo op, whether for my wedding, or at Christmas-time, or for that random get-together that marks nothing particularly special except that three or more related people happen to have gathered at once, there's usually documented evidence to pinpoint the moment that I reach my breaking point. And in every photo thereafter, I'm either very sullen or my smile looks a little like I've just been punched in the kidney.

I want to punch myself in the face

Monday, December 17, 2012

Facebook Monday: On being overly friendly

As seen on the Facebook page this week, here's a representative moment of Addison at the park:

Addison: Hi! My name starts with "A." 
Parent: That's nice.

Addison: A-D-D-I-S-O-N. Addison. That's my name. It starts with a "A."

Parent: Right. That makes sense.

Addison: Why that baby not talk?

Parent: She doesn't know how yet.

Addison: Why?

Parent: She's too little.

Addison: Why?

Parent: She just is.

Addison: I can talk. I can talk a lot. I can say my name, A-D-D-I-S-O-N. It starts with...

Parent: An "A." I got it.

Addison: Yeah! That's my daddy. He is big. I am little. Why that baby not talk? Why that baby - Hey! I'm talking! - Why that baby not talk?

Parent: She just can't. I've got to go. Have a nice day, kid.
Basically, she's my complete opposite, and loves talking to people. And within a minute of meeting another kid, she'll be holding their hand and leading them around the playground, jabbering at them about her name or The Little Mermaid or every owie she's ever had.

Why is this girl holding my hand?
And when one of the other kids (whom she'd only met twenty minutes prior) had to leave the playground the other day, she came and yanked on my pants and said:
Addison: Where my friend going? 
Me: Well, sometimes kids need to go have lunch or take a nap.

Addison: I just miss her so much. I think maybe I should go with them.

Me: What am I, chopped liver?

Addison: No daddy. You're just my daddy. Bye bye!
After which she sprinted away from me after her "friend" who was already in the parking lot.

But, ah man, I'm too young to be an empty-nester. I'd miss her. So I dragged her back, kicking and screaming. Someday, since I love her, I'm gonna have to set her free (how terrifying this feels in the aftermath of the last few days), and then I suppose we'll find out if she comes back or not and if she was ever really mine. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On getting filthy and hunting whales

Addison and I have spent the last couple of weeks digging up the lawn of Lindsay's parents' rental property. I mean, not non-stop, but it's taken the place of at least three or four afternoon visits to the playground. I shouldn't even really call it a "lawn." That's what it will be. Right now, it's not too far from looking like the surface of Mars.

Here's the thing: the property has a root problem. Which is another way of saying that it used to have a tree problem (turns out it both used to and still does, as you'll see). Some of the roots get pretty near the surface, and so we've been taking them out as we make room for a sprinkler system.

It turns out that digging for roots is a lot like whaling. It's possible that I say this because Moby-Dick is one of my favorite books, and I've been known to go out of my way to find parallels. But picture this:
You get a strange feeling in your bones, of something beneath you, of the "subtleness of the [earth]," and "how its most dreaded creatures glide under [the ground], unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of [umber]." -Herman Melville, with my own additions

Monday, December 10, 2012

Facebook Monday: Pirate sounds and kicking ducks

"Facebook Monday" clearly doesn't have the ring that "Facebook Friday" would have, but Friday is date night. So "Facebook Monday" it is.

Here's the first of my favorite two daddy-daughter moments this week, as first seen on my Facebook Page:
Today at the park: 
Addison: I want to kick. 
Me: What? Kicking isn't nice. But . . . what did you want to kick? 
Addison: I want to kick a duck. 
Me: Why? Who do you know that kicks ducks? 
Addison: Oh, lots of people. Can I kick a duck? It would be SO special to me. 
Me: Well, if you can catch it, you can kick it...
That experience was last Tuesday, and we were at the park again today. We always head for the ducks first. To feed them, not to kick them. So, we'd just gotten out of the parking lot and I was still holding her hand. Addison started trying to wrench her hand out of my grasp, and I asked her what the rush was.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crazy hair

Addison was born without much hair. She spent about the first half of her life as a cute little baldy. Hence the cabbage toupe:

But in this last year, her hair finally stopped being so shy, and started rapunzeling its way down her beautifully round head to fall right above her shoulders in a stylish bird's nest of snarled silky golden fibers. We tried to comb it, more or less. But unless she'd just gotten out of a bath, it'd never really lay down the way it's supposed to.

Monday, December 3, 2012

On my daughter having a problem with death

I've been enjoying this blog's Facebook page as an alternative venue for sharing moments with my daughter on a more casual basis -- it really hits the spot when I just have a moment that I want to record and spread real quick-like. It's a great way to link up with friends and family and other readers who still aren't quite sure what this whole blogging thing is all about.

I have found, though, that some of the conversations I've been recording there are actually kind of special to me, and I want to get some of them back over here, since I think of this blog as a sort of keepsake to pass on to my daughter someday when she's old enough to care.

So, I've decided that every Monday I'll start sharing some of my favorite conversations/thoughts of the week from the Facebook page, with some additional analysis or a comic or whatnot. Here's this conversation from the past week, a follow-up to this post about death: