Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upon the Kitty Catwalk

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

The new job has begun.  And once again, I take to the skies.

I'll be traveling to beautiful Leominster, Massachusetts for the next six months - Sunday night to Thursday night out of town.  Away from The DW.  Away from The Bean and The Butterfly.

When I'm not writing blogs and when I'm not unemployed, I work with large computer systems.  Payroll systems.  

Yes, Payroll systems.

Shatter your image of me?

The Bean loves talking on the phone, so my being away is sort of a treat for her.  When she turned 7, we bought her a Barbie telephone.  She knows my cell number.

"Daddy," she says into her pink receiver, "are you writing more books?"

I am, in fact, writing a book.  But not a kid's book.  

Imagine a really dark thriller.  Only darker.

"You should write another Daddy, I Want book."

I agree that I should.

"Maybe this time Lily (the character in my books based on The Bean) can be in a Fashion Show."


"And, of course, she wins."

"Of course."

"It can be called Daddy, I Want to be a Supermodel."

I tell her that I'll write more kid's books as soon as The DW starts to illustrate them.

The Bean takes it upon herself to torment her Mother about this.

I expect to catch hell when I get home.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crocodile Tears

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

The Stay-At-Home-Dad is about to be employed.  This is generally a good thing.  The DW thinks so anyway.

However, this SAHD has grown accustomed to spending a lot of time with The Bean and The Butterfly.  I've been trying to spend extra time with them, knowing the clock is ticking on my one on one time with them.

Two years ago, I accepted an assignment in Australia.  I was away from home for six months, and with the 13 hour time difference, our contact was pretty sporadic.  The Bean asked The DW if Daddy was dead.

When I returned, I took some time off.  I wrote a few children's books and finished that novel which was stored in a computer folder called 'Unfinished Opuses'.  

Oh, and I started a blog.  But you probably already knew that.

This new job will send me on the road again, but thankfully, not for six months at a time.

I'm rejoining the workforce as a "Road Warrior".  That means every Sunday, I'll fly to Boston and return every Thursday.

The Butterfly doesn't quite comprehend this.  She thinks I'm going away again.

I soothe her the best I can.  I tell her it won't be like before.  I point to a map so she can see that Massachusetts is much closer than Australia.  I explain that she'll see me every weekend.  This calms her down.  

A little.

A bribe is in order.  "Now that Daddy has a job," I say, "I can take you to the Disney store."

She sniffs and decides that this is probably all right.  

"I'll miss you Daddy," she sniffs.

Not as much as I'll miss you.  Thank God for Skype.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Super Bowl Isn't Super

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

My sister threw a Super Bowl party. It involved watching the game, eating too much, and watching commercials. Her husband is a great cook, so I was all ready to claim a spot on the sofa.

The Bean and The Butterfly were excited about the party. The Butterfly, in particular. She made a Happy Birthday card for The Bee (my sister's redheaded offspring).

Trouble is, The Bee's birthday is not in February. It's in August. 

Undaunted, The Butterfly makes the card.  "Here Bee," she says upon arrival.  "Happy Birthday!"

"It's not my birthday."

"Oh. Then why is there a party?"

The Bee says, "It's so we can watch commercials."

The Butterfly is confused.  "We don't watch commercials at home. We fast-forward them."

"We do that too.  But these are special commercials."

"Oh." The Butterfly watches a few commercials. It becomes apparent that these are not special commercials.  "I'm bored. Let's play Barbies.  

So maybe the commercials weren't all that special. But my little girls are.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Daddy, I Want to Go to School

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

The Bean had her 8-year-old check up last week.  We learned how tall she was, how little she weighed, and that she can take two shots and a finger prick without breaking into hysterics.

Funny side note on this - they asked her to pee in a cup, which despite it being 'Gross', she performed without too much hassle.  Then she flushed the contents and had to do it all over again.

But this blog is about The Butterfly.  The Butterfly became sick the day before the appointment, so I could take them both at the same time. Convenient. 

The Butterfly was happy.  She was bouncing off the wall.  Not looking sick at all.  This always happens when I take her to the Doctor.

The Doctor asks her to look stick out her tongue.  The Butterfly sticks out her tongue.  The Doctor asks her to grip her finger.  I think I hear knuckles cracking.  Strong Butterfly.

The Doctor does that thing with the Stethoscope where she's supposed to take deep breaths.

"Your daughter may have pneumonia," announces The Doctor.  "But she looks pretty good for someone with pneumonia."

Thanks?  I guess?

She prescribes some kind of antibiotic that tastes like Medicine-flavored Bubble Gum.

'Yuck,' says The Butterfly.

So, The Butterfly is rewarded with every child's dream - getting to stay home from school.  For like a week.

Grammy weighs in.  "She's in Kindergarten.  It's not like she's going to get behind on her coloring."

But as The Butterfly gets better, she gets bored.  If she's sick, she's only allowed to do 3 things:

1. Watch TV
2. Color (We really don't want her getting behind.)
3. Sleep

She wants to play - she gets a shot of Motrin and is sent to bed.  She wants to jump - she gets a shot of Motrin and is sent to bed. She wants to run around the house - you get the idea.

Finally, last night she announces that she actually wants to go to school.  Bored Little Butterfly.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a 6-year-old want to go to school.  

She must fear she'll get behind on her coloring.

And be far away from The Medicine-flavored Bubble Gum.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ghost Stories

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

Christmas at Ito and Ita's.  'Ito' is short for Abuelito and 'Ita', for Abuelita.  These words mean 'grandfather' and 'grandmother' on Peruvian side of the family.

Ito and Ita were thoughtful enough to use shorthand so when The Bean and The Butterfly were two, they didn't need grammar lessons to address the DW's parents.

So, Christmas at Ita's. The DW's sister has made her semiannual emergence from the Great White North of Minnesota.  She brings even less frequent Husband as well as her children.

I haven't come up with cute, random nicknames for my nieces.  Probably because I don't see them very often.

My other niece is there as well.  We call her The Bee.  She is the same age as The Butterfly.

So, we have five little girls in the house, ranging in age from 5 to 7.  They do the logical thing.  They tell Ghost Stories.

The Bean tells them her way.

"Once upon a time in a magic kingdom*," she starts,"there was a Princess named Bean."

Only The Bean would cast herself as The Princess in a Ghost Story.

The Bean tells her story.  She triumphs over The Ghost in the end.

The Butterfly gets a turn to spin a yarn.  "Once upon a time in a magic kingdom," she says, "there was a Butterfly.  And a Princess named Bean."

The Bean sure has the other girls drinking The Bean Kool-Aid.

*Given my propensity of using Random Caps, you may wonder why 'magic kingdom' is in Lower Case.  This is because I fear the wrath of Disney Attorneys.