Monday, September 27, 2010

God of Thunder meets Count Drastic...who's kid are you?

Izzy: "I don't want to leave school. Like not ever leave school."
Daddy: "You wouldn't want to see me anymore? Wouldn't that make you sad?"
Izzy: "A little but then I would have my friends at school to play with and I wouldn't be sad."
Daddy: "But what about food and a place to sleep? Wouldn't you want to sleep in your nice warm bed and have supper here?"
Izzy: "No, they have this kitchen with food and play mats for nap time."
Daddy:"Izzy, that food isn't real. It's plastic food and it probably wouldn't be too good for you."
Izzy: "Some of the boys in my class we chewing it and they're OK ."

There are several characters that have become regulars in Izzy's routine. There is the Bag Lady, the one who walks around the house dressed in virtually every piece of play clothing Izzy owns, The Punisher, a vicious brute who threatens everybody with a time out, Isobel's sister, Vreenilla Cinderella Crayon (who could make that one up?) who incidentally is also played by Isobel. Watching her do that one is a bit "Sybil" and a bit "Whatever happened to Baby Jane." The Great Orator, who struts about telling all in earshot about the glory that is Isobel and my personal favourite and also one of the newest of this motley group, Count Drastic. It used to be Izzy wrapped in a dark blue towel (always a dark blue towel) wandering about saying "Muahaha, I'm Drastic." a lot but it has turned into so much more.
Lately she has given up on the blue towel in favour of a yellow and orange patterned beach towel. The maniacal laughter has been replaced by hissing and attempting to put people in her powers.
"Oh the humanity in my life!" she said and wiggled her fingers at me.
"What's with the fingers, Count?" I asked.
"I am putting my powers on you!" she said in a mysterious accent.
Now Izzy has always had a bit of a bent towards the dark side of things. Skulls and death metal bands have always been her sort of thing. There is our Halloween tradition of going to the Costume shops and pushing all the buttons on the animatronic toys and howling with laughter. She has been called the princess of darkness, virtually since birth. I blame myself...and maybe Gene Simmons.
I went through a period of rediscovering classic, full on make-up Kiss. Izzy loved it from the beginning in of the fire breathing, blood spitting glory. She saw a video for "God of Thunder" and asked "How is the Bat going to be O.k if he is spitting all that blood?"
"It's not real blood honey, it's fake blood." I said.
"How is it fake blood, do you drink it?"
"No," I explained. "It's like a pill that you keep in your mouth and then you bite it, it's mixes with your spit and then it turns into fake blood." A very odd look came over her, as though something had just made itself clear in her mind.
"Coooool," she said and disappeared upstairs. I could hear her rummaging around. She re-emerged wearing her bathing suit and her new, colourful Count Drastic towel and headed straight for the bathroom. After a couple of minutes she came out wearing some of Mrs. Narrator's glitter make up and at least seven inches of lipstick.
She made a noise like she was hocking up phlegm and stuck out her tongue in her very best Gene Simmons pose.
"Can I have my pill now?"

I have always considered myself pretty intelligent, I'm sure there are many who would disagree but I can walk and chew gum at the same time and occasionally, can find the door to get out of the house in the morning, with little or no assistance. Mrs. Narrator is no slouch either. With that said, I feel I must talk about the staggering intellect possessed by my daughter.
We were sitting watching television the other day and spontaneously she started speaking with an English accent. Not perfect but there was no doubt that she was speaking in a Cockney accent.
"Where did you learn to talk like that?"
"I don't know," she said.
I made a mental note of it and started watching her at a distance over the next couple of days. At first I thought it was just mimicry but after what I saw, I started thinking she was a progeny is a genius and she is going to make her parents rich beyond our wildest dreams!
After only two or three viewings, she could recite almost entire passages of dialogue from movies, she could recall (with maximum clarity) events that happened to her when she was still virtually an infant. It was pure brilliance...but here was the really scary and impressive part. She watched a video on youtube twice. I sat beside her as it happened, so I can vouch for the superiority of her brain. After the second viewing of the video, she began a third and sang along with most of the song. Missing only a very few words here and there but generally singing the whole German...I'll bet Mensa has a spot reserved for her...I hope they have make up and a good tea set. She still wears her underpants backwards and smacks herself in the side of the head when she gets too excited but I don't think they'll mind much about that. She can't seem to make it into the living room without tripping over the threshold that has been there since she started walking and the other day she walked into a glass paned door that has been closed almost her whole life but Einstein wore his underpants backward too, right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thrown under the playskool bus...SUPASTAR...

Izzy was climbing up on one of the end tables with the intent of leaping off of it onto the couch.
Daddy: "Izzy, what do you think you are doing?"
Izzy: "I was going to jump. It will be fun."
Daddy: "Izzy, I want you to think about this. If you jump off the table onto the couch, do you think this is going to make me happy or not so happy?"
She looked as though she was deep in though but still she moved into position.
Daddy: "Izzy, did you think about what you're going to do?"
Izzy: "No thank-you." and she leaped onto the couch.

I didn't get my driver's license until recently and had prided myself in the fact that I had a spotless driving record and I had intended to keep it that way. Izzy was with me the day that all came crashing down. I am always amazed at the often, brutal honesty and infallible logic of children...especially Izzy's logic.

Izzy: "Why are we stopping, Daddy?"
Daddy: "We are getting pulled over by a cop."
Izzy: "Why, what did I do?"
Daddy: "Nothing, honey. I was driving too fast and the policeman caught me."
Izzy: "Is the policeman going to yell at you Daddy?"
Daddy: "No Izzy, he's not going to yell at me. He's just going to give me a ticket for going too fast."
The cop walked up to the car and we exchanged the usual pleasantries of ticketor and ticketed and he walked back to his car to check my license.
Izzy: "What is he doing daddy?"
Daddy: "Just going back to his car to check out somethings on his computer."
Izzy: "He has a computer in his car!?!" she craned her neck trying to look at the police cruiser. "Where is the plug?"
Daddy: "The what?"
Izzy: "The plug, for the computer. Why are we waiting here still?"
Daddy :"We are waiting for the policeman to give me a ticket for going too fast. Maybe if you start crying, he won't give me a ticket."

As the words escaped my lips, I felt a monsoon of regret hit me. I knew full well the instant I said it, exactly where it was going to lead me. The cop walked back up to the car, leaned in the window and handed me the ticket.
Izzy: "Daddy, were you REALLY going too fast? (chuckling) W
ait, why did you want me to cry again?"
I heard a sputter of laughter escape the cop's mouth as he told me to mind my speed and have a nice day.
Izzy: "No Daddy, really why did you want me to cry? I'm not sad..."

I was remarking the other day at how different the two kids are. The boy, before he discovered the mind numbing vegetation of video games, did not like to be alone and always wanted someone to play with. This usually fell on Mrs. Narrator and I. It is not a bad thing at all and ultimately it brought us closer together. Izzy, on the other hand, could not care less if she were the last little girl on the planet. She carries most of her friends with her everywhere she goes.
She has a massive invisible friend network that I had wanted to
name but honestly, there are too many of them. Believe me when I say if they were real physical things, we would need a much bigger house. She interacts with them on a level that most kids don't reach with their real friends.
I am told that I was much the same way when I was her age so I'm not surprised she carries on the way she does. I can remember making up silly little songs that became silly little operas, that developed into silly little arguments with the lighting crews and actors who wouldn't follow direction. Izzy's world tends to be a little more political with a good deal more shouting than I remember from my own life. And Izzy is absolutely in charge and rules her world with an iron hand. She is always threatening someone with punishment or time in their room.
"You will be expended!" she bellowed at one of her lackeys the other day. I'm not sure what it means but she damn sure meant it.
If you're not actually watching her Izzy will turn up to full on the perform-o-meter. I was outside doing something, just sort of watching her out of the corner of my eye while I did what I was doing and I saw her start to really get into it. She had a card board tube and was going on about "The Government is going to be called and you will be punished!" waving the tube about like a kind of swagger stick.
"Damn you!" she swatted the tube at some unlucky member of her entourage. If I could see the poor soul, I'm sure there would have been a nasty red welt on their person somewhere.
She came running toward me for whatever reason, tripped and slid for about two feet
down our gravel driveway. The tears naturally began and I ran to pick her up. She was all but unharmed and now was covered in enough dirt to make her look like Pig-Pen from The Peanuts cartoons. She milked it for a good five minutes and I moved her along after I was sure she was alright. NOW, here is where Izzy truly shines.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her go between taking full on opera style bows and raising her hands in the air saying,
"I am alright, I am completely OK!"
And if you listen just hard enough, you could hear the throng of her adoring fans all chant... SUPASTAR!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Izzy sings Zappa...The Impending Death of the Were Woof......

Izzy: Daddy?
Daddy: Yes, Pick?
Izzy: When will I be bigger for boobies?
Daddy: What?
Izzy: You know, BOOBIES? When will I be bigger for boobies?
Daddy: Oh jeez, I don't know. I'm not really ready to talk about boobies and you just now, can we talk about something other than your boobies?"
Izzy: They're just boobies, everybody gets boobies.
Daddy: I'm just not ready to talk about you and boobies yet. Can we talk about something else?
Izzy: OK. (Pause) Daddy?
Daddy: Yes, Pick?
Izzy: How come BOYS don't get boobies?

I don't normally do this sort of thing, this is not what I intended for this column but this is important. I have a couple of friends who recently participated in the Walk to end breast cancer. I have a mother in law that did it a couple of times too. I really didn't pay much attention to breast cancer, any cancer for that matter but I took a step back and thought of all of the women in my life and if they all went at once, I really wouldn't have too many people left...So if you'll excuse the soap-box oratorio, Do you have a mother; girlfriend; wife; daughter; aunt; sister; close family friend; grandmother or maybe you just really like boobs. There that about covers everybody and now you have no excuse. Go give some money. I'm not saying give until it hurts because these days, there are enough wallets hurting already but give what you can and save the boobs.

We are a passionate bunch, all four of us. And like all people of passion things can sometimes boil over and passions can ignite and the yelling can begin. We are all yellers and are all quite practiced at it. Isobel for example, is the only person I know who can get yelled at and be crying (real or crocodile tears) and still be yelling right back. It is almost exclusively just blowing off steam and there is never any real intent to hurt or to cause hurt feelings. On any one's part, not even Izzy's. It's not to say that we (the parents) or they (the kids) are yelling all the time (god what a racket that would be) we aren't. We are an average normal family that sometimes gets frustrated and let's our anger get the better of us. Anyone that says this has never happened to them, especially with kids, is either a saint or not being honest with themselves. It's not glamorous but it is real life.
However, I recently have been working on a graveyard shift job and not getting enough sleep. Whatever rational part of my brain that stops me from flying off the handle has dwindled to a mere pilot light and I have found myself flying off the handle for no good reason. I hate it. It's like watching someone else blow their stack and being powerless to stop it. Izzy said this job is turning me into a "were woof" because I growl a lot in the morning and she is probably right.
One night I snapped her over nothing and felt bad about almost immediately after I did it but I didn't say anything. I put them to bed and got ready to go to work. Guilt was gnawing at me but I was unsure what I should do and I couldn't actually do anything until after she got up the next morning.
At break time, I sat down and opened my lunch box and there it was...a big rubber tarantula. I started thinking "she put this in here for one of a couple of reasons: 1) she thought I was mad at her and figured a rubber spider would be just what I needed to make me not mad anymore.
2) She thought she had done something wrong and figured a rubber spider would erase any wrong doing from my mind and all would be forgive or
3) She thought "I'll show you, you swine. You'll be reaching into your lunch box for a tasty treat and KAZAM! it's into a horrid retching, painful death for you."
Either way I felt like a complete dirt-bag and had to finish my lunch out side because I was getting a little misty in the lunch room. When I got home that morning and she got up, I hugged her...and hugged her and hugged her until she asked,
"Daddy, why are you hugging me so long?"
"Just because I need a good hug."
She pulled my head down to her level and kissed my forehead.
"I love you Daddy," she said.
"I love you too, I'm sorry I shouted at you." I said.
"You're too tired," she said.
"Thank-you for my present." I said.
"What present?"
"The spider in my lunch box." I said
"Oooookay," she said in that tone that states, the old man has lost his mind, "can I go watch t.v.?"
The light has finally come to the end of the tunnel and I am approaching the end of this rotten assignment. The were woof is in his death throes and we will all celebrate when he goes. Then we can get back to what is really important, Tuesday tea parties and boys turning ten and opening a pop can by yourself for the very first time. All of the things that make up what life is really all about.

"Why does it hurt when I pee?" was the cry that came from the bathroom.
"Wait, what? What did you say?" It was not something I expected to hear from my four year old.
It hurts when I pee, why does it have to hurt when I pee?"
The first thought racing through my mind is 'Just what in the hell is going on at the baby sitter's house?' but I remembered that she is four and the cause of this question is something far less sinister.
"Does Mummy know about this?"
"Yes, she says I'm not wiping right. Can you show me what to do?"
Now some may think this subject a little odd or a little off putting but many other things I am discovering about being the father of a little girl, I just don't know what to say in instances like this. Which I'm certain Izzy revels in. Something that can finally shut the old boy up!
"Oh well, you, that's not it. Ummm...maybe if you....nope won't work either. Hey how, no that definitely won't work.
Now it may seem fairly straight forward and a little self explanatory-and to a certain degree it is but when we are dealing with an area that is already tender from an angry looking red rash it got a little tricky. At least in my mind. I started to think of what I did when she was a baby to get rid of diaper rash, which essentially this still was but figure it would be painful and embarrassing for both of us if I tried to hoist up her ankles and wipe her off that way.
In the end ( pun generously intended) we managed to get Izzy cleaned up and a little soothing cream applied to the offensive area without too much distress for either of us but it got me to thinking that there is a whole lot of girl stuff that Dads aren't readily equipped for. Like the time in a little girl's life when she starts using everything like a fairground ride. I am told that this is completely normal and I shouldn't draw any unnecessary attention to it...we had a dog that did the same sort of thing and my father used to hose it down with a spray bottle. I've been told this is unnecessary attention...the book the nurse told me they send new Dad's, I'll bet it's just lost in the mail.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

School Dazed and confused...and the oscar goes to...

Izzy: "Can you carry me up the stairs?"
Daddy: "You're a big girl now, you don't need to be carried up the stairs.
Izzy: "But my legs hurt and my knees are sore. Every time I walk up the stairs, my knees are soaring really bad!"

Today was the first day of school for the boy and tomorrow Isobel goes for a short visit with some of her classmates and finally next week she begins full time school every other day(insert heavy sigh) and at the risk of descending into a screed of sentimental clap-trap, I am reminded that my little girl is not so little anymore.
I remember my first day of school clearly. Walking down the short path from the parking lot to the school sobbing gigantic tears while my mother tried to calm me down.
"What's the matter?" my Mother asked.
"I...I...I...don't want to go to school." tears now streaming down my cheeks.
"School isn't so bad," she went on. "You get to do lots of fun things, you'll meet some new friends and you only really have to go until you're about eighteen and then if you want to be done, you don't have to go anymore."
I went into the school after a reassuring kiss and a great big hug from my mother...and spent the rest of the day wondering if she would remember to pick me up when I turned eighteen...I don't want Izzy to have to go through all that, can't I just keep her home and teach her the ways of the world myself? Maybe, if one could make their way in world by way of half- assed writing and a decent knowledge of single malt scotch.
Ah but Izzy and I are very different children. I was chubby, at a time when fat kids were still picked on relentlessly, and I was painfully shy. She on the other hand is the belle of the ball, quite literally sometimes. There are children who share daycare with Izzy, children that are considerably older than her that light up when she walks into the room. She commands attention not unlike the movie stars of old. I have seen with my own eyes, children her age and older, gravitating to her as she holds court.

I sense there are going to be some power struggles in Izzy's immediate future as she begins to step into line with everyone else and get on the academic Tilt-a-Whirl. Not with the other students, I think Izzy will be the centre of attention and the boss of the class in no time. It's the teacher that I am concerned with. Someone who is used to being in charge, supposed to be in charge...I wish her luck...Izzy is a leader, born to it and why not? Look where she comes from (can you hear the horn tooting? Should I toot it louder?) I have no doubt that Izzy will be running the playground in a matter of days and her cronies will make certain everyone knows just who's playground it is. It is the kind of popularity my little girl wields. It's her natural magnetism that makes people want to be with her and do things for her. I will likely have a hard time explaining to her mother that the extra coins of milk money she is coming home with are the tributes paid to Don Isobel for the privilege of being her friend but I won't be surprised. Being this popular has always been a profitable venture.

There are few things about being a parent that stupefy me more than the sight specific injury...the mystery malady. That rarest of diseases that strikes down children in their prime at the precise moment that they are asked to clean up a mess.
Isobel, the poor dear is so riddled with afflictions at clean up time that its a wonder she is even able to function.
Daddy: "Izzy, it's time to clean up your toys."
Izzy: "Ooooh, I don't feel good."
Daddy: "Really, what's the matter?"
Izzy: "Oh my ear is so itchy."
Daddy: "If your ear is so itchy, why are you limping?"
Izzy: "My itchy ear made my leg hurt."

Even the boy has been struck down by this dastardly disease on occasion,
Daddy: "OK guys, bring your dishes to the kitchen."
The Boy: "Oh no, I feel sick. I think I am going to throw up."
Daddy: "The kitchen is on the way to the bathroom, bring me your plate and then go throw up."

My personal favourite and Isobel's tour de force,
Daddy: "Izzy, come and pick up this Lego."
Izzy : "Oh but I feel so bad for myself."
Daddy: "What? What do you mean?"
Izzy: "My belly is so hurt, I can't stand."
Daddy :"That is your neck you're holding, sweetie."
Izzy: "My everywhere is hurting just now."
Daddy: "Alright, just this once I'll clean up for you. You go sit down and take it easy."
At this point, she lit up and went over and actually started dancing and singing to her brother. My head snapped up and I was clearing my throat (in that parent tone that states "You clearly forgot I was still here and you are soooo busted.") before I really was aware that I was doing it.
Izzy: "Crap." she headed slowly up to her room and closed the door.