Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scary glasses...Can I pet the kitty...

We were driving at night and Izzy was looking out the window, looking up at the stars
Izzy: "Daddy what are stars made of?"
Daddy: "Stars are big, swirling balls of burning gas."
Izzy:"But you can still walk on them, right? I told my friend that I could walk on a star."
Daddy: "No honey, you can't walk on a star."
Izzy: "Daddy, what would happen if you touched a star?"
Daddy: "It is so unbelievably hot that it would burn your arm off before you could get close enough to touch it. Remember how hot it was when you stood too close to the fire? A star is even hotter than that."
Izzy: "Oh god, I'm definitely not going to touch a star then.
I heard her whispering from the back set a few moments later
Izzy "Crap...can't touch a star...now what..."

Ah Halloween!
Izzy and I love Halloween. Not for the reasons that most of you are thinking, though the candy is pretty good. It's the whole thing that we love. The costumes, the scary movies, the going house to house...all of it.
The first year we took her out, she was wrapped in the standard unable to walk yet, so we will make a costume that will make you the size of a fairground toy... Making it nearly impossible for your parents to carry you comfortably for more than a few feet...she was a bumble bee and she was cute as a bugs ear. And the neighbours rained candy upon her as though she were a golden calf. Sadly, Izzy had little interest in the candy and really was more into pushing it into a pile and crawling around in it. We gave most of it to the boy, who had been sneaking the best of her stuff into his pile anyway.
The best thing about Izzy and Halloween is that it makes no difference whether it is actually Halloween or not. Any day is a good day to be scary, it just happens that the scary stuff only comes out around Halloween. One year she got a pair of bloodshot eye glasses from the baby sitter about three weeks before Halloween and insisted on wearing them day in and day out. She would hold her hands menacingly and say "Scaarryy glasses." to anyone within earshot. So it came as little surprise when she said the scary glasses were her costume. Just the scary glasses. She wore her regular old clothes and a fall type flowery jacket...and the scary glasses. We went from house to house and she still wasn't brave enough to say the magic Halloween words but would raise the glasses to check out what had been put in her candy bag. She would the put her glasses back on smile. This usually resulted in the person giving out the candy putting more in Izzy's bag. It happened repeatedly, to the point that the boy was complaining about her getting more candy and she wasn't even wearing a costume. It was strange...they were like X-Ray Specs that saw right through you and made you ashamed of how little candy you gave to the little girl with the green bloodshot eyes...

I have seen some things over the course of my life that defy any rational or logical explanation. I am not saying they were ghosts...I don't know what they were. But it has been my experience that it is best to keep an open mind where the other world is concerned. With that in mind, I give you a little Halloween spook story...
We had rented a cottage in Port Elgin a couple of years ago. It was our first real vacation as a family that was more than just a day trip or weekend at the lake. We were all excited about it as it was within walking distance to the beach and it was all ours for two whole weeks.
It was a big two story cabin that smelled the way a cottage should smell, that mix of must and a large body of water in close proximity. The decor was more Brady Bunch than the rustic backwoods cottage or the ultra modern rich man's get away I had been picturing. The Ronald Mcdonald red carpet was almost too much but again, it was ours for two weeks.
The trip itself was uneventful and we were unpacking and settling in and I was bringing in one of the last suitcases when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white cat in the living room. It had short hair, white as snow and ice blue eyes. I saw it, I know that I did. So certain of what I had seen that I actually looked around for it thinking it had run outside.
Now I toured with a band for a bunch of years and I enjoyed it thoroughly...if you catch my meaning...so seeing things that are not necessarily there is not a new experience. However, when I walked back into the living room a short time later I found Izzy looking intensely toward the dining table.
"Whatcha looking for. Pick?" I asked.
"The kitty." she replied.
What kitty?"I asked, my heart beat quickening a little.
What she described was the same white short haired cat with ice blue eyes I had seen earlier that day. I was freaked out but not terribly concerned about the evils of a ghost cat. I told Mrs. Narrator about it and she was a little weirded out too but there was no more talk of or encounters with the white cat so we more or less forgot it.
One of the last nights in the cottage, Mrs. Narrator had gone upstairs to bed for the night and I had stayed downstairs to watch T.V. where naturally, I fell asleep. It wasn't the first time since we had gotten to the cabin that I had fallen asleep down there and I knew Izzy would wake me up when she woke up in the morning. I was a little surprised when I woke up before Izzy and I was downright terrified when I went to look in on her and she was not in her bed.
My heart was trying to explode through my chest and my brain was throwing out every terrible scenario it could come up with...Had I locked the door? Had she some how escaped? Been kidnapped...I rushed toward the back door as quickly and quietly (it was 6 A.M. after all) as possible and there, lying in front of the dryer near the back door, was Isobel. Curled up in a towel she must have gotten out of the hamper. I was so relieved that my legs began to shake and I thought I might throw up. I picked her up, towel and all and hugged her. She woke up and asked me what was wrong.
"What are you doing out here?"
"I followed the kitty. He went outside so I waited here for him. Is he coming back?"
"I think he lives here, baby. He'll be back when he's ready." I told her.
(true story)

Happy Halloween Everyone.,..save some peanut butter cups for me and Izzy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Were Woof cub cries out for shoes...I am Death, destroyer of worlds...

We were out shopping and we walked past a group of people wearing red sweaters and waving placards. They were shouting their support for candidate somebody or other, I think they may all have been wearing white pants too. Izzy tugged on my leg and asked;
"Are those the people who fight cavities?"

The Were Woof was a terrible, snarling, sleep deprived beast that is (for the time being) gone. However, his legacy lives on in the cub he helped to create. Ah yes my friends our little Izzy is going through something just now that can only be described as supernatural. There is all the snarling and yelling and cursing that we have come to expect and love from Izzy but now there is a new wrinkle. The cub cries...at length...for no apparent reason.
"Izzy, clean up your mess in the living room." I said one day.
"Waaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllll" she wailed. I'm not kidding she went to full on, falling apart sobbing in the blink of an eye. You'd have thought I had asked her to eat a cat turd served on a bit of broken glass. It has turned into a test of wills and for now, the Were Woof can still out wit the cub but how long will it last...
A little while ago, Mrs. Narrator bought Isobel a par of black shoes which although cute and agreeable to the cub, we nevertheless too small. The sobs that went up from her were by far the worst (and biggest and fakest and most drama filled) we had heard yet. I had gotten so bad we told her that if she couldn't get a handle on the crying, she would have to go do it in her room because none of us could hear the television...which of course only brought on bigger, more outrageously fake tears.
"Just ignore her." Mrs. Narrator said
"What?" I said cupping a hand to my ear.
The kids knew that when the Were Woof was me, if I was shouting it was because I was tired and just blowing off steam but they also knew that if I got quiet and spoke in measured tones, I had reached the end of my rope and they shouldn't go any further. It clearly had an effect on Izzy as she leaned in one day and said, almost in a whisper.
"Daddy, I want you to get me black shoes an I want you to get them...right...now." She had a look in her eye that told me she was saying this with all sincerity and I tried very hard to keep a straight face.
"Honey, I'm not even sure where Mummy got those shoes let alone what size your feet even are."
"...Right...now..." she replied.
It went on like that for a couple of days with me and whenever Mrs. Narrator would come through the door, home from work she would be greeted with,
"Mummy did you get my black shoes yet?"
"No Izzy, I work in an office not a shoe store."
Aaarrrghhh...." the Were Woof cub would growl.
Finally a pair of black shoes came through the front door and the savage beast was soothed. She tried them on and walked around the house almost until bed time. And now they sit near the door amid a pile of almost unworn shoes... there must have been silver bullets in the soles...

In the fall, as the weather begins to cool we are often besieged with Box Elder Bugs. The don't do anything particularly harmful but they have a fairly high creep factor. The look kind of like a red and black cockroach. This year has been especially bad. The antidote for these things is dish soap and water in a spray bottle and have at them. It is like pouring acid on them. I don't quite understand it but Izzy and I love to go out and spray them down. Saying particularly potent and evil sounding things as we spray soak them.
"From Hell's heart I stab at thee..."(foosh goes the spray bottle) I say.
Or "I am Death, destroyer of worlds..."(foosh)
"You damn bugs suck and I HATE you..."(foosh) says Izzy. Not nearly as dramatic but she hasn't devoted as much time to the classics as she has to the Grinch. Her heart is in the right place and full of Box Elder hating venom.
When the days are sunny, the bugs will warm themselves on the door of the garage and try to fly away as we spray them. This tends to up the creep factor and even I have been covered with them and gotten completely skeeved out by it. Izzy took it in stride when they were on her and sort of just brushed them off. But she let out an odd noise and I thought one had gotten in her hair or ear or something but her look said it was worse...much worse.
Daddy, I need to go in, I need to go in!"
We went inside and I finally got her to tell me that she though a Box Elder was in her underpants. Trying hard to be the brave father and not the totally creeped out, just removed all the bugs from me and my daughter but still feeling oogy, Dad that I currently was, I took her into the bathroom and asked her to "drop 'em". Nothing there...thankfully. She was a little sweaty and I'm guessing some sweat had started to run down there and with the bugs flying around and crawling all around...hey it could happen to anyone. I had to let out a small (kinda grossed out anyway) chuckle after Izzy went to bed and I was getting ready for a shower, when what should I find in my underpants but a dead Box Elder Bug...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Costume Drama...Damn Fine Duckies...

A computer repairman came to the house and after some toying around he went outside and toyed around for awhile. After a short time he reappeared and chuckled a little after Izzy said,"That was pretty quick." He announced to me that he had found the problem outside and he would be gone for a bit until he fixed the problem.

Izzy:"Daddy why did he go outside?"
Daddy:"He has traced the problem to outside the house."
Izzy:"What, he is playing outside?!!?" She went to look and noticed that his truck was gone.
Izzy:"Oh god daddy, he's gone. The computer guy is gone. He took his tools and his truck and crap and just left."
Daddy:"No, honey he has traced the problem to outside and now he's gone to fix it."
Izzy:"Oh he's traced the problem outside , has he? I thought you said he was playing outside but you said he traced the problem outside. That makes sense now. (Insert big fake almost uncomfortable laugh here)
Izzy:"What does trace the problem outside mean?"

We will soon be in the midst of Izzy's (and my) favourite Hallmark holiday... So we started the beginning of the festering season off on the right foot by going out to get costumes for Izzy and The Boy. Izzy was absolutely certain, as she is every year, of what she wanted to be. A vampire...Count Draclia (he's more worse than Count Drastic says Izzy) The Boy was also set on being the maniac from the Scream movies.
We got to the store that had a big sale on Halloween stuff and lo and behold, nearly every child size costume had been sold...well any with an ounce of interest. The Boy lucked out and found the last small adult Scream costume in probably 50 miles. Things like that always work out for him. I'm hoping to take him to Vegas for his 12th birthday and turning him loose at Slots of Fun.
No child of mine would show the slightest interest in little witch costume with crinoline underskirts that light up and big pointed hats, no Izzy went looking for a vampire cape and big Bela Lugosi looking medal and when she couldn't find it, headed straight for the sexy Pirate Captain costume and the sexy She-Devil. Thankfully they didn't fit, I can't imagine the tales I would have to make up on wear your costume to kindergarten day.
"You see, we went to the cheap store and this was all they had left...well, this and the sexy She Devil and that was damn near obscene..."
But then, like a ray of sunshine something caught Izzy's eye and we were just about to leave when she let go of my hand and went back to the rack.
"I want this!" she burst out. It was a black smock with a hood, a rubber skeleton torso and rubber bones on the arms and legs. Complete with bone hand and shoe covers, it came with a evil looking skeleton mask or you could get a less intense looking mask. She was in love with it.
"Are you sure this is the one you want? If you change your mind, you can't get another one. This is it."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I want it."
"Ok," I said. "Which one do you want? The scary looking evil one or the cutesy one?" I tried to inflect my voice as much as I could to get her to pick the evil but no such luck.
"His name is Cutesy?!!?? Oh god, Daddy I want to be Cutesy. I love Cutesy."
So off we went with bloody knives and cutesy skeletons, the kids barely holding their excitement at the prospect of trying them on when we got home. Normally in these situations Izzy would have handed me the costume the second we opened the door and demanded that I help her put it on. This time she showed to her mother and then set about putting it on herself. The only help she needed was the hood but who wouldn't? And Cutesy the skeleton came to life in the living room. I secretly still wished she would have picked the scary one but it was pretty damn cute.
The Boy also loved his costume in all of it's blood dripping mask gore. I knew he had never seen the movies but I thought he had known who"Scream" was.
"What does Scream like... do?" he asked on the way home.
"He was a killer in the Scream movies." I said. "I don't think he was ever actually called Scream I think they called him the killer or the Ghost Faced killer but whatever you call him, he was the killer in the movies."
"Oh, he was a killer..." his voice trailed off a bit and I could tell he was figuring something but he must have rectified whatever crisis of the soul he might be having because ten minutes after we got home, he had the costume on and was going about the house saying "Trick or treat, time to die!"
Izzy was not nearly so amused by The Boy's choice of costume until I explained just how difficult it was going to be for all of us to go Trick or Treating and leave The Boy to his own devices and that her brother did not disappear when the scream character appeared anymore than she disappeared when Cutesy came out to play. I got a "Oh Daddy!" from her and a roll of the eyes but I think the point got through...Now to break it to her that Halloween is still three weeks away.

We were remarking the other day about how well Isobel's drawing is becoming. It has gone from random blobs of colour to virtually recognizable faces...and random blobs of colour in a very short time. The faces look like faces and trees are starting to look like trees...ok maybe it's not a huge deal to the uninitiated or non parents out there but when your child comes up to you and says "Look Daddy, it's you." and it is instantly identifiable as a human face, it's a major milestone. But it got me to thinking of the old days, when it really was just random scribbles and she would say "Look Daddy it's a ducky."
"That is a damn fine ducky." I said to her without giving it much thought. From then on she would ask Mrs. Narrator or me , "can you draw me a Damn fine Ducky." or "Can you make me a Damn fine Horsey."
Now the boy had been sitting back for sometime and had not said much but when Izzy asked HIM to draw her a Damn fine Ducky, the language police showed up and he couldn't stop himself.
"Izzy, can you stop saying that word!!?! You're going to get us in trouble. It's just a Ducky, a plain Ducky."
A while later, she asked me to draw her a Ducky.
"A Damn fine Ducky?" I asked.
"No," she said. "Just a plain Ducky. Damn fine Duckies are troubled."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scents and Sensitivity...Aww Bindlesticks...

I was watching the Wizard of Oz and Izzy was asking me for something with little success. She came loping into the living room to see what had me so wrapped up that I couldn't answer her.
Izzy: "Daddy, what are you watching?"
Daddy: "The Wizard of Oz"
Izzy: "The what?"
It was just to the part before Dorothy leaves the house in Oz, before it switches to colour.
Izzy: "Daddy the T.V. is broken."
Daddy: "No honey, it's not broken it's black and white. Everything used to be...
Izzy: "Holy crap what is that?" she cut me off, utter amazement filling her voice
Daddy: "That is a munchkin."
Her hand came up to cover her mouth and she tried to stifle the laugh.
Izzy: "Daddy, those are NOT Mexicans."

We were getting ready to go to the mall and as I buckled her in her car seat, out of the blue Isobel said to me, "Daddy there is a hobo living in our back garden."
I was a little startled by this revelation and even more surprised that she knew we had a back garden.
"Oh yes?" I responded. "What was he doing in our back garden?"
She gave me a look that said said you stupid, stupid man. "They were looking for worms." she said.
"Oh, very good." I fumbled.
"Daddy, what's a hobo?" Izzy asked
"Well, it used to be someone that rode around on trains looking for work and they carried all their stuff in a handkerchief on a stick. Now it pretty much just means a homeless person."
She thought about this as we took off toward the mall and she finally spoke up.
"Daddy, what does homeless mean?"
"It means you don't have anywhere to live."
"Oh god, then I don't want that. I want to live at home for now...No, really Daddy. Is that what it means because I don't want to live nowhere. I don't want to eat worms."
"What did you think it meant then?" I asked.
"I thought I just made it up." Izzy said.
Along the way we passed a group of men standing outside a coffee shop. Now from the look of the men, not meaning to cast any aspersions on anyone. They could have just as easily been homeless or construction workers but when Izzy has something on her mind.
"Look at those guys. I'll bet they're looking for worms."

When Izzy and I wander around the mall, we like to walk like babies. Well that's what she calls it anyway. It is walking around stiff legged so the soles of your shoes make a loud slapping noise as you walk. We have done it for as long as she has been walking and we do it every time we go to the mall. She is usually roaring with laughter shortly after we start doing it.
On this particular day we had been walking like babies for a little bit and I didn't notice right away that Izzy had stopped and I hadn't.
"Daddy," she whispered and made a motion to the person walking behind us.
I noticed that the man was wearing orthopedic shoes designed for someone who's legs are of uneven lengths. As he walked he made slapping noise not unlike what Izzy and I had been doing, though he clearly was not enjoying it as we had been.
I could see by the look on her face, that it was truly having an effect on Izzy and I was seriously touched at the humanity and sensitivity just displayed by my four year old daughter. I know a great many people who could benefit from a few lessons with Isobel. She didn't say much to me as we walked on until the man was out of sight.
"Daddy, did he have a sore leg?"
"It looked like he did." I answered.
The mall is a veritable ant farm of the human condition. I have always loved going there for the sights and smells and people that you encounter. Izzy and her new found respect for people also enjoyed it.
"Somebody pooped!" she said as we walked through the food court. I thought of saying something stifling and parental but so many people had heard it and were smiling at her that it hardly seemed worth it.
"Holy crap Daddy, crazy hair!" she thought she whispered. The guy with the crazy hair glared at her but even Izzy wasn't buying anger from a beet red face...and he did have hair like Beakman.
"Go away, little girl. Go find your Mother she must be wondering where you are." I said to her
"DADDY!!" she said. "Can we go home now?"