Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is that it?...What do you give the girl who has everything?...

We were playing a game in which she was evil. With all things evil comes an evil laugh, of course.
Isobel: "My friend Candace thinks she has an evil laugh.
Daddy: "And?"
Isobel: "It's not evil at all. Her laugh just sounds mad. HA! HA! HA! That's what her laugh sounds like."
Daddy: "And what does an evil laugh sound like?"
Isobel: "You know, evil. Like a sister."
Daddy: "A sister?'
Isobel: "Like the Grinch laughed a sister laugh."
Daddy: "Do you mean SINISTER?"
Isobel: "Maybe."
Daddy: "Show me your evil laugh and I'll tell you if it is sinister."
Isobel: "Muahahahah!!! (the laugh was punctuated with a small poot)
Daddy: "I guess you laughed a little more evil than you thought?"
Isobel: "Was it a sister laugh?"
Daddy: "It smells pretty sister."

This is the way the world ends...not with a bang but a whimper...
True words especially at this time of year. It seems kids and some adults as well, spend months and months gearing up and preparing for the big holiday, the holiest of the holy gift giving glut, only to have it end in a heartbeat. Much the same was true around our house this Christmas.
Both kids dutifully wrote their letters to Santa this year as soon as the reminder signs went up at the post office (shortly after Halloween if memory serves). The Boy is starting to catch on that his Mother and I may actually be the fat man but wrote a persuasive and descriptive letter none the less. He might be getting older but he isn't fool enough to risk his Christmas loot on a hunch.
The Sears toy catalogue's arrival usually signals the actual beginning of the Christmas season and the kids begin pouring over it day after day, making their lists, checking, revising... ah the endless revising...I remember it well. All the hoping, the wishing and planning seems to go on forever and if you think about it, kids are caught up smack in the middle of all the crap you always hear people bitching about. "Halloween just ended and they are putting up the Christmas crap already!"
And though that statement may equate exasperation to you and me, to a kid it is desperation. The clock is ticking and the Fat man is watching! So for two solid moths they are inundated with commercials and ads about the best and latest and must haves for the year and they fall for it hook line and sinker. My kids too, for the most part.
But for all their excitement, all the build up over those two months, it's over like that. Not over with a big exciting KABANG! like a balloon popping but usually like a balloon running out of air. Flickering around the room for a minute or two and then farting out the last of its pizazz in a corner somewhere.
Izzy was the first one up and was so overcome with excitement, she began to open her presents before anyone else had come into the living room. Fifteen minutes later she sat in the middle of a pile of shredded multi-coloured paper with a dejected look on her face.
It wasn't that she didn't get what she wanted, she did. "I ordered this on the computer!" she exclaimed as she opened one of her packages. It just seems now that she had built up Christmas to be this massive get everything be happy all day kind of affair. It wasn't and never is but I don't think anyone ever told her that...how can you?
Before this turns into something maudlin, it isn't. Christmas was a wonderful happy time this year. And Izzy and The Boy were totally spoiled and totally grateful and totally happy with every present they got. This was the first Christmas that Izzy actively participated in. We didn't guess at anything this year, she told us everything ( or nearly everything) that she wanted, she made up her own toys r us wish list and that is what we picked from. I just think you have a tendency to build things up in your mind and when they don't turn out the way you envision them, it puts a bit of a hole in your spiritual parachute. Not anything life threatening but maybe a slight nick in the armour.
But as I said, it was a happy and warm occasion for all of us and if I take away anything, any memories of this year's holiday it will be A) The Boy, for as old as he is getting, will still squeal with delight in a register that is nearly inaudible when he gets a particularly exciting gift. Like and XBOX 360 with kinnect. B) The Boy is a master of Lego. he gets it every year and if we are at a relative's house, he will have built the Lego before we leave to go home. Regardless of the duration of our stay or the size of the Lego. He also know the price of virtually every piece of Lego over $150.00, much to the delight of everyone. (Particularly kind Aunts who buy said Lego) C) Isobel will naturally gravitate to the most artistic and basic of her Christmas presents regardless of all the cool electronical things she got. Mp3 players with video capabilities and Barbie Blackberry like learning toys are nowhere near as cool as purses you can colour yourself or a Barbie head who's hair you can style. Or even better turning yourself into the tattooed lady with a few stencils and a handful of markers...But it is about the kids after all, right? Maybe she'll lend me one of the markers to scribble out my credit card bill.

I mentioned somewhere in one of these posts that Izzy had a fully developed sense of humour from very early on. I think I mentioned it...maybe I didn't, I am getting on after all. I seem to remember saying that all she would need to have her own television show would be her own laugh track...Now she has one. Courtesy of The Boy's aunt. Since Christmas Morning we have been applauded for monumental feats such as 'The Pouring of The Cereal' and 'The Mid Morning Exercise'.
She now has her own game show where she is the host and the minions laugh at all her jokes.(the minions must be rejoicing for the voices that we can all hear now) The skill testing questions are met with applause and cheers for a correct answer or the familiar losers 'WAH-wah' for incorrect answers. I don't want to say the game is rigged but I am on such intimate terms with the 'WAH-wah' sound that I am starting to hear it in my sleep.
There are rim shot sounds and whistles and breaking glass and gunshots and many other sound effects that you would expect to find one of these things. Today I noticed her staring at it and I could see the wheels turning. I went back to whatever I was doing when the wheels stopped.
"(Fart noise) "Thank-you Jesus. (Scream) Thank-you Jesus (Fart noise) Thank-you Jesus (Scream) Thank-you Jesus."
It was really just a matter of time...I can't wait 'til school starts again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Endless Christmas...It's a Miracle...

It has been an odd week for her. She will go from full on, losing her mind hyper behaviour to full on sobbing in the space of a couple of minutes. I asked her about it.
Daddy: "What's going on with you?"
Isobel: "What do you mean?"
Daddy: "You're acting crazy. One minute you're running around out of control, the next you're crying. What is the matter with you?"
Isobel:(changing subject) "Daddy, does Santa see everything?"
Daddy: "That's what I hear."
Isobel: "How?"
Daddy: "Magic, I think. Magic snowball or something. That's what I heard on the TV."
Isobel: "So if I was bad and acting crazy he would see it?"
Daddy: "Definitely."
Isobel: "And if I was really sad, he would see that too? And that might make him forget I was bad?"
Daddy: "I don't think it works that way..."
Isobel: "Yes!"

Christmas is a family time, that's what they say. Time to reflect on the year that's been and time to ponder the future that lies ahead. Time to bask in the warmth of home and hearth and time to watch the joy and delight in the eyes of your children as they unwrap those special little somethings that they had been hoping for all year.
Maybe your family gets to enjoy that Jimmy Stewart saccharin and I hope somebody does but around here, Christmas has an altogether different aura about it...When I was a kid I don't remember going to anyone's house for Christmas. I'm sure we did at some point but I have no memory of it. I remember New Year parties at our house and at my Grandparents house that have left a ring of excess and drunken revelry around the ozone layer like a ring of dirt around a bathtub. But Christmas I think we stayed at home. Destroyed the sparkly packages with reckless abandon and burnt the paper in the backyard. We didn't have a fire place, we were poor...After my parents split up Christmas became mobile and has remained so ever since.
I went from Mother's house to Father's house. By this time my sister had moved out on her own and so it was off to her place first, from my Mother's apartment, to my Father's house. There was a time, when my parents were still together but not getting on very well that they sent me to live with my Grandmother(one of the most important and influential people in my life but that is another story) and so had to go see her for presents and tea and biscuits. Naturally this meant that we had to also visit with my Mother's mother...thank god we brought her home with us. By this time it was Boxing Day and we had a dinner with my Mother's ex in laws. Thy were after all, still my Sister's relatives and it was quite a tolerant and progressive thing for us to do, considering the social morays of the time.
As I grew older, I met friends and girlfriends alike and managed to squeeze some sort of holiday interaction in with all of them...I swore that if I had a family of my own, the holidays would be on OUR terms and not based on someone else's dinner schedule.
Oh some where the world is a perfect place, where children are well behaved and appreciate all that they have and fathers are listened to (and heeded) and nobody does anything but spend time with their own on Christmas day and laze about enjoying each other's company at a leisurely pace. The smell of turkey and contentment hangs in the air and all is good and right and pure...somewhere...not here.
As a general rule I love the holidays I just wish we'd get to see more of them....So stop watches at the ready? Here we go. Christmas eve we begin the festive season at my sister in law's house. Her and her partner put on an excellent spread that The Boy and I (and Izzy now too) stuff ourselves on plate after plate, year after year. There are cocktails and nog and finger foods and cocktails and the main course and cocktails and a trip to the dessert cart and more cocktails and some tea and then the prezzies and more drinkies and occasionally, even a nice bottle of malt for me! O.K. so there isn't that much booze but the revelry and merriment flow freely there and we all leave full and content and happy. It is the kick off of the season for all of us and it wouldn't feel right if it didn't happen.
Next is the BIG day, the morning after the night before, the Fat Man's visit come to pass! Christmas is great when you are single or even at the beginning of a relationship when all is sunshine and roses up the yin yang but to really appreciate Christmas, to truly get what it's all about I think you need to have kids...or at least ready access to them. There is no shame in their unabashed joy. It's my favourite bit, watching them lose their minds. One of my fondest memories is of a Christmas morning a couple of years ago, when she first started to get what it was all about, Izzy opened a gift and exclaimed with glee "I didn't even know I wanted this!"
Then the clock begins and we are on a deadline. My father's by around lunch time so we can get to her parent's for supper and still give both a decent visit. With getting everybody focused enough to get ready to leave as well as he actual getting ready part of that equation it leaves the kids with about six and a half minutes to play with their new loot.
It's off to my Father's then for some single malt and prezzies followed by belittling conversation and finger pointing and then it's a short hop and skip to Mrs. Narrator's folks place for the traditional German/Dutch Christmas. Knockwurst and sauerkraut served in a wooden shoe, accompanied by a hearty round of belittling conversation and finger pointing followed by eventual surrender and complete collapse. And presents, lots and lots of presents. Like the Sudetenland. Isobel is beginning to cut quite a striking figure in the her spiked helmet...I might be exaggerating a tad.
We get home at least an hour past the two hours past the kids bedtime that we swore we wouldn't stay beyond. But who's keeping track? We arrive full and tired and laden with gifties for all. It's off to bed for the next day is boxing day and it ain't over yet.
My sister is a lot like Mrs. Narrator's sister. An unbelievable amount of food packed into a minuscule amount of time. Too much time to fill the plate and not enough time to empty it generally equals indigestion...every year. I almost always have to work the following day so our visits are generally cut short...this is not a bad thing, three days of solid eating has worn on me by the end and I start to get comatose about an hour after we eat...
By the end of it all the kids have managed to play with there new stuff very little. All because we constantly have somewhere to go. If we got The Boy a video game, we had to monitor how much he could play before we left. If he got really into it, became focused on it, it would be nearly impossible to get him away from it and why shouldn't he play with it? It got to a point when we put our foot down, sort of. We spent more time running around to be with other people than we did with the four of us. So we started trying to get my folks to come over to our house and we didn't adhere quite so strictly to the times we needed to be at the Grandparent's house. It has worked out well for the most part. My sister and Mrs. Narrator's sister are both chronically late so were hardly in a position to enforce holiday times.
I'm certain there are people who travel farther than we do and who's schedules are more hectic than ours during the holidays and I feel their pain, really I do but if I there is a point to this, if I can say anything important for this time of year it's this-don't forget what it's really about, your kids...your partners or spouses (as the case may be)...and if you're a little better off than the next group...maybe help them a bit too. It's once a year, try to be nice to each other...and thank christ my Mother lives in Florida for the winter and doesn't celebrate Christmas until July. We'd really be screwed for time otherwise...

I have had many theological discussions with my children. Izzy in particular. Thy usually begin with the easy stuff...What is god? Who was jesus? Do you believe in god? Standard questions I'm guessing.
I have always tried to be honest with these sorts of questions without forcing what I believe down their throats. Though that is my right as a parent isn't it?
Izzy and I were watching some show on the T.V. and I and I made a flippant comment about the baby jesus.
"A cross is the sign of Jesus Christ" she said.
"In most circles." I replied.
"Is Jesus Christ god?" she asked
"Well that depends what you believe," I said "there are those who believe that he was the son of..."
"What do you believe Daddy?" she interrupted.
I thought about this one for a bit. I knew there are kids she goes to school with that go to church and follow all the teachings and trappings therein and I know Isobel wants to fit in and be liked so the way I answered this could be much more important that just an off the cuff answer.
"Because I believe...you know in god." she said before I had a chance to answer.
"Oh yeah?" I asked
"Yep," she said. I talk to the sky sometimes. You know talking to god and all that."
"Oh yeah?" I said.
"Yep, I looked up to the sky and asked for an apple. I came in the house and opened the fridge and there were some apples." She said matter of factly.
And who says miracles don't happen anymore?

From all of us at Fuzzy Blue Chair to all of you, The very Best of the Season to you. No matter what you call it. Be safe, be happy, be together

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When the kids aren't stupid anymore...He puts what? In where?

She was being affectionate. More affectionate than she normally is toward me. She leaned in to give me a kiss. When I bent down to get the kiss, she burped, mostly in my face. Howls of laughter soon followed.
Isobel: "I burped at your face!"
Daddy: "You burped IN my face. That's not very nice."
Isobel: "Can I have my kiss now?"
Daddy: "OK." (Leaning in again)
A second burp was delivered to my face in earnest. Followed by more howls of laughter.
Daddy: "Hey now!"
We sat for a time and a burp of my own bubble up and passed through my lips.
Daddy: "Gimme a kiss."
Isobel: "No way!"
Daddy: "What? Why not. You wanted a kiss from me a minute ago."
Isobel: "That was different, I wanted you to smell my burp. You had YOUR burp now. I do not want to get your breath all over me."

I was a peeker of Christmas presents...well maybe more of a weak willed non-peeker. I wanted to have a look, desperately but something would ultimately prevent me from doing so. Likely the thought of my Mother flaying the skin off of my ass with whatever was close enough to hit me with. I remember one year my brother and I actually crossed the line and looked in my parents closet. (It might have been just me but I recall an accomplice) I remember waking up that Christmas morning knowing full well what would be waiting under the tree for me and I remember feeling empty and kind of ripped off because all of the excitement had been let out of this mind blowing experience. I got A Planet of the Apes tree house adventure set and a couple of Big Jim Wolf Pack action figures. I played with them all day and loved them and played with them until the eventually wore out. But for a long time, it gnawed at me that the experience of getting them could have been just that much better if I hadn't known they were coming. I think my brother continued to snoop for many Christmases after that...he could always do it and leave virtually no evidence but for me that was the last time. I liked the surprise more...the getting and the giving of them...still do.
Why the jaunt down memory lane? Apart from the fact that I am hurtling toward middle age and random flashes of mostly insignificant mental pablum are par for the course now, Izzy is fast becoming Daddy's little girl and a budding peeker in her own right. She started coming downstairs while I am on the treadmill again. At first I was chuffed about it. Glad of the company and then I thought about it...She hasn't been downstairs with me since the summer and she hasn't actually been anywhere near me the whole time she is down there. She has put on her usual costumes and picked up her usual props and laid them out in a careful, and in a planned manner but I didn't actually see her playing with anything.
I do remember a conversation with her the other day though.
"Daddy?" she asked.
"Are you Santa?" she asked, looking a little worried about the response she might get.
"Of course not." I said not lying.
"But how come If Santa makes all the toys, I get presents from Santa and you and Mummy?"
'God-damn," I thought. "If she is throwing out reasoning and logic like that at five, by the time she is a teenager I am completely screwed.'
"Well you see," I began. "Santa makes all the toys in his workshop but he knows that sometimes Mummies and Daddies are just busy."
"Daddy, what does that even mean?" Isobel puzzled.
"That's not what I mean," I sputtered, fumbling for an answer. "What I mean is that sometimes you mention things that you want and Mummy or I see them while we are out and we buy them for you and Santa knows what you want already so he doesn't bring you those things and those are the ones you get from us."
"Is that true?" she asked.
"I don't know," I said. "It feels like the truth."
"Well you're definitely not Santa, are you?" she said a little exasperated.
"Nope." I said, not lying.
Shortly after this exchange she was downstairs with me, pretending to play. With a sudden strange burst of logic, it dawned on me that if she wasn't playing she was doing something else. And since she was only five, it couldn't have been too sinister...I hoped.
I went downstairs after I had put her to bed to see for myself and sure enough, my suspicions were correct. Her costumes and toys were all laid out like the ruse they were intended to be, my old cane, the Mrs. Claus hat and various bags and boxes all strewn about as a series of stumbling blocks and pit falls. And there in the back room, was clear evidence of snoopery. All the Christmas boxes had been ripped open and rifled through. (The fine art of snooping undetected will come with practice...I'm certain her uncle can help with this) I understood the logic she used in going through the boxes that contained the Christmas decorations, Christmas crap...perfect place to hide presents. And if you think of it, what a brilliant place to keep the Chrimbo prizes? Who would look in the empty boxes of decorations for a present? Isobel, that's who. The kid is devious... Dr. Moriarty's illegitimate daughter.
The other end of the scale, is The Boy. He who loves a surprise as much as me and has very little interest in ruining the surprise...even if you offer to tell him what his gifts are. He enjoys his own surprises however, he has no trouble letting the cat out of the bag for anyone else's surprise.
The first Christmas I spent in this house, before Mrs. Narrator and I were even married, (that's us being sinful on the lord's birthday) I had decided to replace the squalid food encrusted Korean war issue microwave oven with something a little more snappy looking and more modern. For the record that wasn't the only thing I got her that year, I did get her fun things too, they just escape my memory at the moment.
At any rate, I didn't drive at the time and so begged a ride from a work mate who happened to be going to the store I was getting the microwave from. I fought my way through the crowds and got the stainless steel beauty. I was proud of myself for buying something useful and ultra modern looking for the house and super pleased that it was and would be a total surprise for her on Christmas morning.
She was making dinner as I walked in the door.
"Don't turn around." I said.
Mrs. Narrator did not turn and would remain oblivious to what I had gotten her. The Boy (who was all of about five if I remember) walked up to investigate. I put a finger to my lips, motioning for him not to say anything to his mother. He put a finger up to his lips and said,
"Holy crap, Sid bought a new microwave!"
"It's not a microwave," I said. "It's just in a microwave box."
"Why would you put something else in a microwave box?" he asked.
And you wondered where his sister got the logic from...
It became the Christmas Mummy got a blender that looked like a microwave. We still have the microwave to this day. I have made the mistake a couple of times of telling him what I have gotten his Mother for Christmas and he has ratted me out nearly every time. There is no malice in it, he just is excited to see the people he loves get things he thinks they will like. Waiting for pesky things like gift giving holidays to roll around is inconsequential. No one has ever had hurt feelings and so all is good and right.
Happiness has no time constraints, joy happens now. The gifts remain locked in the trunk of my car... and none of us ever mentions to The Boy what anyone is getting for Christmas...ever.

We were reading a story about trains the other night and she stopped at a word she was unsure of.
"What`s that say?" she asked.
"Coal." I replied.
"What's coal?" she asked again.
"What Mummy is going to get in her stocking for Christmas." I said trying to be oh so clever.
"What?" she asked "What...what does...wait what now?"
"When I was young and when my parents were young and their parents and so on and so on, if you were naughty at Christmas time Santa would give you a lump of coal in your stocking."
"So what is coal?" she asked a third time.
"Long time ago, they used coal to heat your house, they burned it in the furnace and that would heat your house." I said.
"So if Santa gave you coal, you could stay warm in your house?" she asked.
"What...wait, what ?" I sputtered.
"Why would Santa give you something good if you were bad?"
"You're missing the point," I said. " "Instead of toys you would get...ahh never mind." I said defeated. It would likely be too hard to explain and wouldn't translate well. I have been showing her videos of the Krampus, the European monster that takes the bad kids away to some god forsaken place, since she was small. What fear can a lump of coal possibly hold?
As I kissed her goodnight and put off her light she called out to me.
"Yes Pick?"
"What the hell is a stocking?"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Izzy writes the songs...Beauty AND Brains...

She has the ability to scare the hell out of me. She isn't aware that she has it because she will try (unsuccessfully) to scare me all the time. Sometimes I will wake up with a start and she will be there just staring at me while I'm sleeping. I think she might be afraid to wake me up...or maybe she just wants to be weird and creepy. Either is OK. I woke to such an encounter one morning while Mrs. Narrator was off on a roller derby weekend.
Daddy: "Whaaa!" (waking with a start)
Isobel: "You were dreaming about me."
Daddy: What!?! What are you talking about?"
Isobel: "You were dreaming about me, while you were sleeping. I can tell."
Daddy: "Oh yeah? What was I dreaming about you?"
Isobel: "You were dreaming that I am one eyed and I was wearing a pink dress. Then I showed you a picture."
Daddy: "Oh yeah? What picture did you show me?"
Isobel: "This one (holding up picture) This is my rocket. This is HIS one eye and these are his gums. Which are bleeding."

They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and this week has shown that in our case, it seems to be true. Isobel has re-invented herself as a songwriter...a bonafide tune smith in the making. Music and lyrics, the total package and why not? She has always jumped in with both feet, eyes firmly shut. And the real money is in the songwriting royalties anyway...
I remember not that long ago, my father telling me that I was constantly making up dumb assed songs as a kid.
"You were always making up dumb assed songs when you were a kid." he said. (See?)
I do remember making up songs...We were not a particularly musical family, at least not our branch of it. There were many musicians on both sides of the clan but no one in my family unit played anything. BUT despite that,we were still a musical family. Music was a huge part of our household. There always seemed to be a radio playing somewhere and both my parents would take refuge in their own favourite music as their marriage slowly crumbled around them. (As a result, I know the lyrics to nearly Every pre-1980 John Denver and Barbara Streisand album...go figure)
At any rate, there are two songs from my youth that stick with me...not the words but the message, the emotion that went with them. I got a free kitten at the stock yards-the result of a field trip. I believe every kid came home with some form of livestock they did not arrive with. We already had a cat and my Mother told me as soon as she saw the kitten that I could keep the cat if our family cat liked it. I put the two of them in a room together and by supper time I was carrying my new kitten to the Scwartzentruber's farm down the road...never to lay eyes on it again. That night I sang a quiet lament on the sorrows of a boy losing the greatest cat he had ever known. (for 12 hours) I sang it into the night until my older brother punched me in the arm hard enough to make me forget the cat.(funny for all the lamenting I was doing, I never did name the damned thing)
The second song I can remember was song of war, a song of summoning up the courage of my ancestors. song that says we are so much tougher and stronger than you and we're going to kick you in the balls (spiritually speaking of course) and send you packing. I sang it to/with my best friend as we lay on our stomachs over looking a small bluff to the beach down below. We sang it as my brother and his friend walked beneath us. We sang it as I chucked a large rock at my brother and beaned him in the head with it...and then we ran like hell.
But I am wandering...Izzy announced to me that she was writing songs now.
"Daddy," she said. "I am writing songs now you know."
"Really?" I asked. "I have written a song or two."
"But I write real songs." she said. "Songs for my mouth to sing. Not songs for a chanter or bagpipes."
"I used to write songs like that and sing them and play bass." I said.
"Really?" she asked in a tone that sounded as though she might burst out in complete disbelieving laughter.
"Really." I said.
"Well, I am writing songs with words and music. I am putting them all together with my friend Candace."
"When It's finished, you might let me here a little. OK?" I asked her.
"OK..." she sighed heavily. Creating is such a burden...I know.
Off she went to her toy piano and plinked on the keys for a good amount of time. I have to say, the pattern was nearly the same every time she played it. There were subtle differences and changes to each version she played but the main part was now burnt permanently into my brain and it was virtually unchanged. For all intents and purposes, she was writing music. What she was doing was no different than what I had done and still do any time I wrote a song. The melody may have been a complete mystery to anyone but her...but that's all semantics's.
Once she had written a tune she was satisfied with, she went to the kitchen table to compose the appropriate lyrics. I tried not to watch, she tends to get embarrassed when you watch her creating and it will put her off of it. I had to turn away from her to disguise the broad grin that was spreading across my face as she sang and corrected and re-sang lyrics. She was writing them out on a piece of paper, so she could give them to Candace How else would she sing HER part? Father's are silly sometimes I have been informed.
She bolted out of the chair and dashed toward the phone.
"It's perfect!" she yelled with glee. "Can I phone Candace? She needs to hear this and find out what her part is before tomorrow."
"Sure." I said.
Who am I to stand in the way of art?
Candace wasn't nearly as thrilled at the prospect of being part of Hitsville Ontario and had decided to take a nap after school instead. Izzy was crestfallen.
"Can I hear it, Pick? You could sing it to me."
"Really?" she asked. The surprise in her voice told me she was not expecting me to ask to hear her song.
"Yep, go on and sing it for me." I said.
She began and continued to sing in a strong clear voice and looked at me most of the time she was singing. Normally, this sort of performance would be a hushed whisper and staring at her shoes. (Like Juliana Hatfield) When it was over, she put down her lyric sheet (that she didn't really have anything written on I later discovered) and took a series of long, low bows.
"That was awesome!" I said and gave her a big round of applause. "You are on your way to being a great songwriter!" I didn't have the heart to tell her that her song was already being sung by a cute English woman called Adele. Who am I to stand in the way of art?
She took another bow and disappeared. I am assuming she went off to her dressing room to prepare for the 5:45 show. (when Mummy gets home)
She was colouring and I asked her why she wasn't writing any songs today.
"I am waiting for a call back from Candace. She is sick."
"She's sick?" I asked.
"She went home from school today, she threw up in class." Isobel said.
"She threw up in class?" I asked. "Oh no, that's not good."
"Yeah bitch, bitch, whatever." Isobel said.
That's the problem with being a songwriter, everyone who is good enough to sing your songs is always a prima donna.

I was sitting at the computer, wearing headphones when I heard what I thought was the distant rumble of thunder. I looked over to see Isobel, my progeny, the product of my genetic lineage bent over looking out the window. Nearly crippled with laughter.
"What's the deal?" I asked.
She proceeded to show me...She pressed her forehead against the window and slid it downward...her face, not the window. Her skin naturally presented a measure of resistance and friction against the glass which in turn, resulted in her head thudding off the window. The lower the position of her head, the slower it thudded and the lower the pitch of the thud. She did it repeatedly and howled with laughter every time she did it.
"Doesn't that hurt?" I asked half out of concern for my child's well being and half out of befuddled amusement.
"It's just my head," she said. "It's nothing."
My Child...not a doubt in my mind.