Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Long Slow Painful Death of the Tooth That wouldn't Budge...Riding in Cars with Izzy...

      I hope that as my daughter ages, her natural sense of humour remains intact. There is nothing funnier than someone who doesn't try to be funny and is.

      She decided she was going to play spy after supper. Hiding under the table and hiding around the room and generally trying not to be seen as all good spies should do.
      Daddy: "What is that rapping I hear, coming from under the table?"
      Isobel: "Daddy, you're not supposed to play like that. The knocking is meant to distract you."
      Daddy: "Oh, OK. Shall I just walk away and ignore you or sit here and act as though I haven't heard anything?"
      Isobel: "Just sit there and ignore the knocking."
      Daddy: " Gotcha."
      Isobel: (knocking on the table) "Just ignore me now."
      Daddy: "..."     
      Isobel: (A large sustained poooot followed by uncontrolled giggling)
      Daddy: "It's going to be kinda hard to ignore that."
      Isobel: (full on belly laughing now) "Poison gas."

      I don't remember a lot about losing my teeth, I suppose few of us do. I remember seemingly going to bed with a full set of teeth and waking up the next day with only a couple of stragglers left. Of course it didn't really happen like this in fact, I do remember breaking a baby tooth while eating ice cream and peanuts. Anyway, I think I naturally assumed that once Izzy began to lose teeth they would all be out of her head and we'd be on to adult teeth in a month or two. HA!
      She has a front tooth that has been in varying stage of looseness for as long as I can remember now. I seemed to get loose in a group of two or three other teeth yet in her face it remained.
She was at the dentist three weeks ago and the nice hygienist lady said 'That tooth needs to come out. If it doesn't come out in a month or so, we'll have to go in and pull it out. The new tooth is already lining up behind it.' It was true, Izzy looked a little like a great white shark. Two rows of teeth...well one double tooth anyway.
     So it became a steady stream of harassment and haranguing her to 'wiggle that damned tooth.' But it wouldn't give up. It was in for the long haul.
      "It'll come out when it's ready." said Mrs. Narrator, as she had with all of Izzy's other teeth.
      Izzy had pulled all of her other teeth, just knuckled down and popped 'em out. But this one, the bane of my child's smile would have no freedom. Must have been afraid of the light, I thought.
      Then I started thinking maybe my expectations were just unrealistic. Maybe I am putting too much pressure on the child's teeth to perform.
      "I'm starting to think that tooth will never come out." said Mrs. Narrator about a week ago.
     I started to think it would never leave her head and I had visions of her walking around with two rows of permanent. A cool concept but likely not one to win her any popularity contests.
      "Don't play with Isobel, she has two sets of teeth!" Teenaged girls can be so cruel.
      It had gotten to the point where Isobel even asked me to pull it out a couple of times. Maybe she sensed impending mockery or maybe she was just sick of it being wiggly in her mouth and wanted to eat an apple again without discomfort.
    Today was the deadline (really how strict of a deadline do they give a tooth that is loose anyway?) and funny thing is, the tooth virtually came out on its own.
      "Izzy, that tooth is barely holding on anymore." said Mrs. Narrator. (Incidentally, Mrs. Narrator is teeth and fevers I am blood and most other bodily fluids...excepting possibly vomit but I believe I have discussed the great vomit jog of a few years ago already.)
      "Oh Pick, that thing just needs a quick pop and it's out. Come into the bathroom and give 'er a yank."
     Not a tear was shed, though a fair amount of blood came out. On her cheeks and lips and maybe even a little on her nose and with a stout jerk the tooth that wouldn't budge, did just that.
      "Yay! The tooth is gone, the tooth is gone!" I said.
       "Finally!" Izzy said.
      "You know what the best part about losing that tooth is?" I asked her.
      "What?" she replied.
      "Say sassafras."
      "Say what?"
      "Sassafras." I said.
      "What does it mean?" she asked. Only my kid.
      "Just say it."

      We had to take some roller derby type stuff out to Mrs. Narrator last week and we had a rare chance to talk. Just to shoot the breeze Izzy and me. Like we used to when I wasn't working and I stayed home with her all day.
      "Daddy!" she said excitedly.
      "We had a new teacher today!"
      "Oh yeah?" I asked. "A substitute teacher or was it another student teacher?"
      "Ummm..not really either one."
       "No," she began. "Mrs. Shaw had to go to the library to sign some papers and so this teacher came and taught us for a while."
      "Oh, I see." I said.
      "Yeah, she came to teach us with her guitar."
       "Oh yeah?" I asked a little intrigued at a guitar playing teacher.
      "Yeah," she said. "She came with her guitar and singed."
      "Sung." I corrected her.
      "Yeah, she came with her guitar and singed some sungs. That's what I said."
       I drove on figuring explaining any further wouldn't do me any good anyway.
      It was quiet for a while and then the following conversation took place. I must state for the record that I cast no aspersions on my six year old daughter's character and contrary to popular belief, I am not old.
      "Daddy," she asked. "Why are there no cocks in Ayr?"
      "Excuse me?" I asked. If I had been drinking something it would have been covering the windshield along with a generous portion of spit at that particular moment.
      "Why are there no cocks in Ayr?" she repeated.
      "What?" I repeated. I couldn't believe my ears. I wouldn't believe my ears.
      "Cocks, why are there no cocks in Ayr?"
      "Isobel," I said, the anger beginning to rise in my voice. "What in the hell are you saying?"
      "Daddy, turn the radio down." she said. I did so.
      "What did you say?" I asked her again.
      She sighed, this was now the forth time she had asked me this question.
      "Why are there no COPS in Ayr?"
      "Oh," I said. "It's because we don't have a police station. We just have cops that patrol through town once in a while."
        "Oh," she said. "I wondered why I didn't see them."
      Now who's old?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Of Cards and Werewolves...That's My Girl...

      It's always a struggle to get them both up and going in the morning. The Boy doesn't care about seasonal repercussions anymore but Izzy can, thankfully, still be swayed.
      Daddy: "Are you finished your breakfast?"
      Isobel: "Yep!"
      Daddy: "Then why are you just sitting on the couch? You should be putting your dishes in the dishwasher or getting dressed or brushing your teeth."
      Isobel: "OK, Daddy."
      Daddy: (5 minutes later) Isobel! Why are you just sitting on the couch? Get dressed."
      Isobel: "OK Daddy."
      Daddy: You know, it is getting to that time of year when being good and bad counts. If you are bad, Santa won't tell the baby jesus to ride to our house on his magical bunny and give us all tuna sandwiches."
      Isobel: "..."
       Daddy: "Didn't you hear what I said?"
       Isobel: "I heard you, I was just wondering what was wrong with you?"

      It's inevitable really, children just want to do things with you. I have lost many games of risk and monopoly and purposely made myself seem as dumb as possible, all for the sake of the children's self esteem. I am totally fine with it. The Boy had his issues with losing when he was younger and he didn't take it well so we all, some of us more begrudgingly than others, took it on the chin and let him win. There was a point however, that I wouldn't play games with him because he insisted on winning all the time and threw a great wrangy fit if he didn't. He was younger then and so was I, parentaly speaking. I get it now-which is kind of a shame because now I quite enjoy the few times he actually wants to play anything with me and he has become a very gracious loser. Though he seldom loses at anything anymore.
      Isobel has always had an easier go of losing at games, she's more like me I think. She enjoys the competition alright but it isn't about winning so much as it is about just being there and doing it. So when she asked to start playing 'Go Fish' with us I knew we wouldn't have a problem getting her to stick with the rules. As it turns out, Oma had taught her the game some time ago but I was suspect of the rules she was shown. It would be just like my Mother-in-Law to slip in some sort of odd Dutch variant to the game.
     The rules remained intact and Izzy and I sat down on the couch to play.
      "Now Daddy, don't cheat. Don't look at my cards while I'm not looking because that is against the rules." she explained.
      "I wouldn't dream of cheating," I said. "I will play fairly and you should too."
      "OK, let's just play." she said.
      I could go on and on and on and tell you the intricacies of the game we played...and I was tempted to do so but anybody old enough to read this blog that is not familiar with the game play of 'Go Fish', has much bigger problems to worry about. Like finding their way out of that cave.
      "Oh boy!" Isobel exclaimed. "I only have three cards left, I'm going to win."
      "You only have three cards left in your hand but you have nine cards on the table."
      "Oh yeah...crap. I still have three aces and three queens and three nines."
       "You're not supposed to tell me what your cards are." I told her.
       "Right, sorry."
       "Have you got any nines?" I asked.
      "Nope, go fish." she replied.
      "You don't have any nines? Are you sure about that? What about the ones on the table?"
      "How do you know I have nines on the table? You looked at my cards! You're not supposed to do that!" she said indignantly.
       "Izzy you told me all of the cards you have, three nines, three aces and three queens."
       "I told you?" she asked.
       "Well that was pretty dumb." she said.
      We're going to wait a couple more years for Vegas.
      Before we sat down to play cards, Izzy was outside. It being the time of year it is, it was starting to get dark even before Mrs. Narrator got home.
      "Time to come in you," I said. "It's getting dark and soon the werewolves will come out and you don't want to be out here when they do."
      "Why don't I want to be out when they come?" she asked.
      I forgot for a moment that this is my kid and he question took me off guard.
     "Do you want to be ripped to shreds by snarling fangs and claws?"
      "I'm not scared of wolves." she said.
      "Do you want to see your neighbours ripped apart? They'll go after the neighbours if they can't get you."
       "Pfft, yes!' she sputtered.
     I sighed a big sigh.
      "Just come in then."
      I love this kid.

      We have been watching the tragedy that is the end of Biebomez with relish. OK, really we don't give a whole lot of shit about what happens with Selena or Justin or what they are or aren't doing to/with/without/for/against each other. it happened to be on the T.V. when Izzy came in to ask me to play wii kendo with her.
      "I think I want to punch Justin Bieber," she said.
      "What?" I asked.
      "I think I want to punch Justin Bieber...in the mouth, right in the mouth."
      "I think there are a lot of people that want to punch Justin Bieber." I said.
      "Really?" she asked.
      "Really." I said.
      "Why do they want to punch him?"
      "Probably because he's a really annoying little twit." I said.
       "Yep that's a good reason too," she said. "I just think he's creepy and that makes me want to punch him."
   I really love this kid.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Sweetest Candy...Admitting The Truth...

     We were sitting around the supper table and, having just finished a lovely supper, I announced 'that bit of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!' (Made you look) Really we were all sitting at the table and the belching began. I am so glad that the kids are finally beginning to embrace their bodily functions.
      Isobel: "I'm so full..wait a minute. BURRRP! OK, now I can eat some more."
      Daddy: "Nice."
      The Boy: "BElllllCCCCHHH!"
      Mrs. Narrator: "That one shook the house."
      Daddy: "Nice Out!"
      Isobel: "Are you aware that you didn't say excuse me?"
      The Boy: "Are you aware that you are kicking my leg?"
      Daddy: "Are you aware that you have a milk moustache?"
      The Boy: "Yes, I grew it for Movemeber."
      Daddy: "Did you? Well done then,  touche'."
      Isobel: " Yeah, Cliche'!"

      I remember when I was younger I was told (likely by my grandmothers, both of whom were authorities on these kinds of things) 'The worst thing anyone will ever say to you is no.' I didn't really get it then. I thought who in the hell is going to keep saying no to me? If I can find them early enough, I could make friends with them and then I wouldn't have to hear no ever again. Happy life, right?
      It was meant more as one of those woodsy wisdom things that grandparents impart on their grandchildren, about facing ones fears. I, like a good many children my age, was afraid of a good many things. I was petrified of the unknown and doing new things and meeting people and all of those other things that children and folks and people go through everyday with fear and loathing and a gigantic sense of dread. To their credit, my parents and grand parents never pushed me to do things that I wasn't comfortable doing. There wasn't a lot of venturing outside the bubble. I don't regret it but I do feel I probably missed out on a bunch of stuff because I was just too afraid to try it. Well into my twenties, I still had friends talk to girls for me because I was too afraid to try and break the ice.
      Anyway, this isn't about my awkward childhood...we'll save that for a different blog. I have always tried to get the kids to try new things, to face their fears and The Boy has always been pretty good at it. There were a couple of times where he may have hesitated slightly but he was and is a 'jump in with both feet' kinda guy. I envy him for it. I suspect his mother was much the same as a kid.  Ah but Izzy is mine all mine. We all know how she was on the first day of kindergarten, not to mention how I was. I have always tried to get her to step outside of the comfort zone and it's hard. You don't want to badger them into trying something new and then it turns out to be a shite experience but just the same, you don't want them to miss out on life either.
      So this Halloween, it was just Izzy and I. The Boy decided he was just too Minecrafty for trick or treating and so stayed home. (much to Mrs. Narrator's delight) I remember from years past that there was a house, my favourite, that was rife with electronic scary ghosties and ghoulies and things that howl and scream as you walk by. I love this place. it looks like Halloween when I close my eyes. This house has scared the holy jesus out of Isobel for as long as we have been trick or treating in this neighbourhood. I have never been able to get her to go up the drive way, much less go to the door.
      "You know what I know?" I asked her as we were walking door to door, quite a ways away from the super scary house.
      "What, Daddy?" she asked.
       "I think that when you face up to the things that scare you most, then you get a gigantic reward."
       "What do you mean?" she asked. "What do you get, like a present?"
       "Kind of," I said. "You beat something that you were scared of and you get to know that as long as you live, that you will never be scared of THAT thing ever again."
       "Are you afraid of going to any houses tonight?" I asked her.
       "Just the one with the witch thing."
      "I'll bet if you go to the door of that house, that candy will be some of the best candy you have ever had."
      "Really?" she asked.
      "Really." I said.
      "What if I am too scared?" she asked.
      "Well, I won't make you go if you are too scared but then your fears win. It's important to face your fears. That's how life starts to get great, when you aren't afraid to try and do things."
      It sounds terribly Ward Cleaver and gigantically cliched I know, but word for word, that was pretty much how the conversation went.
      We walked in silence for a bit, feeling the mist on our faces. She decided that she would hit one or two more houses and then we would go home. Missing the scary house. I admit I was a little disappointed but the scary house was a real fear and it was a big one. This could go colossally wrong if I forced her to do anything.
      "OK, Pick." I said.
      She went to her last couple of doors and we were headed to the car.
      "Daddy! Look!" she yelled.
     There was a giant face with light up eyed hanging from a tree (It bore an uncanny resemblance to Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein) it cackled a laugh that sounded more like a cough than it did scary. She stared at Marty Feldman for a while and then said;
      "One more house and then let's go home." It was the scary house.
     The witch was on the porch...under a makeshift garbage bag awning to protect her from the incessant mist.
      "What are you dressed as?" asked the man who answered the door.
      "Zombie cheerleader." said Isobel barely above a whisper."
      The man put some candy in her sac and she started moving quickly off the porch.
      "This is the first year that she has ever wanted to come to this house, your stuff is normally too scary. This is a really big thing for her, so thanks. " I said to the man.
      "Come back," he motioned to Isobel.
      "It's OK, honey." I said.
      She walked back up on the porch and stood beside me. The man took two very large handfuls of candy from the bowl and put them in her sac.
      "Good for you," he said to Isobel. "Happy Halloween."
      We didn't say a word to each other all the way back to the car, mostly because it was really damn cold and we wanted to get in the heat but I could see a small grin growing on her face as we walked. By the time we got to the car I figured I should say some thing fatherly about facing her fears. I didn't get the chance.
     "I DID IT!" she shouted to the empty parking lot..

      I have come to many realizations in being a parent and at 44 years old I have boiled it all down to this. I have long since reached the zenith of what ever 'cool' I ever had AND that I will loose said cool exponentially, the older my children get. My parents may have been cool at one point but they are about the furthest point from cool...they are the Pluto of cool. As their parents were to them and I will be to my children...rather as I am already becoming to my children. Sad but true my fellow, fading hipster parents.
     Now bearing all that in mind I have come to this gigantic realization. At 44 years of age, I am sicktogoddamneddeath of being cold. Leather jackets look cool and hip but they don't keep you warm for shit. If you want to stay warm in a leather jacket, you pile layers of clothing underneath you until you look like Randy from A Christmas Story.
      And so dear friends, I have decided it is time to by a proper winter coat. I have lived in Canada for all but 11 years of my life and I have spent all 44 years in the Northeast. I don't think I have had a proper winter coat since I was in grade school. I'm starting to think cool has always been a euphemism for pneumonia. I am willing to entertain suggestions for stylish, yet functional winter wear and I will be having a candle light memorial for my leather jacket which I will bury in the backyard next to half a cat...kiss my ass winter.