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Archive for the ‘angel’ Category

“Can I have it please Daddy-Dog*? I wanna hug it!”

“No, no you cannot hug a toilet seat right now, Mater-Dog, one because I am driving and two because you’ll probably be doing plenty of that in your later teens!”

My wife gave me a sharp elbow in the side, which fell on deaf blubber but did have the effect of getting me to recognize that this might not be the greatest thing to say to a nearly three year old.

This is the sort of thing which happens when your little one is learning how to control their evacuations. Instead of diapers, you pack a potty and a toilet-seat adaptor. And said-toilet-seat adaptor becomes a coveted item of support and love. Not surprising really, as it does save them from falling down the big hole and going to sleep with the brown fishes. But it’s still not allowed for your toddler to hug the bloody thing.

Having managed to navigate such tricky waters of reason with virtually no fall-out, we completed our journey home. The toddler and I decided to go to our local library. We rummaged around a few books before I spotted one which seemed to hit all her favorite parameters; “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell showed two adult penguins and a baby penguin. The toddler loves penguins and babies. A winner. 

“Shall we read this one?” I’d ventured.

“Yeah!” she’d said enthusiastically.

And so I’d started to read. It rumbled along, a nice tale about chinstrap penguins gathering in pairs in New York’s Central Park Zoo with their offspring waiting to burst out from their eggs. By page 7 I realized that our two main penguins did not have an egg whilst every other couple appeared to. ‘Roy and Silo did everything together…’ started the next sentence, intriguingly.  And by the time page 10 rolled around, the zookeeper who’d been observing Roy and Silo had given them an egg to nurture so as they could ‘be like all the other happy penguin families.’ Which is when it dawned on me that I was in the middle of a tale not  about simple fish-eating flipper-ladden birds and their babies, but about how gay families are just as cool as straight families realized via the bizarre metaphor of New York City zoo penguins. It was, I confess, a shock.

 I immediately laughed. Furthermore, I defy anyone who has wandered into a library to read a book with their toddler only to find themselves pages-deep in a tale of the modern gay family unit as seen via  penguins not to start laughing. Trust me, as liberal, wonderful, green and PC as you doubtless are, this is one moment you’re not prepared for. I soon found myself skipping certain paragraphs in the book, not because I am in any way homophobic but just because forgive me, I really could not be bothered  to discuss why a gay male penguin couple could not produce their own egg to my not-quite 3 year old toddler at that juncture of the day.** 

 As I deftly skipped around a sentence here and a paragraph there,  I imagined hoardes of angry gay parents stampeding towards me in self-righteous indignation whilst my daughter yelled ‘they’re not just penguins Dada!’ as I was trampled and held aloft like Frankenstein’s corpse post-witch-hunt. 

“I love you all,” I cried as they tore my limbs sinew by sinew, “I just didn’t want to get into it all with Mater-Dog at the library…”

“I need to go pee pee!”

I was quickly jolted back to life by these words, and as I pushed the PC mob aside with out-stretched palms and grunting thrusts, I realized I had left her toilet seat adaptor at home. 

“OK, let’s go,” I said, ignoring this potential disaster as long as I could.

“I need my toilet seat!” she whimpered as I pulled her pants down.

“Don’t worry, I’ll hold you on the seat just in case.”

“But I need privacy!”

“How about I hold you on the seat, close my eyes and look the other way?”

“OK.”

And in less than a minute, she had peed successfully. No toilet seat adaptor. Privacy maintained thanks to my clenched-shut eyes and 90 degree angle twisted neck. 

As we left the bathroom and the library, I quickly shuffled the gay penguins to one side and instead grabbed a Dr.Suess book titled “I Can Lick 30 Tigers,” a surefire winner which checked further parameters including having multiple tigers. Anyway, licking a tiger sounded kinda funny…it was only when we got home, we started reading it and I saw that the main character had gloves on and was talking about fighting that I realized ‘lick’ in this context was not what my simple, naive and innocent tiny mind had perceived it to be. It was about a horrific 50’s bully who wanted to punch big cats. Yes, I started editing that one too…

…Winnie-The-Pooh anyone?

 

 

* I have become Daddy-Dog, her Mum is Mama-Dog, her brother is Zsa-Zsa-Dog and she is Mater-Dog. Thus we sound like extended family of that bounty-hunting idiot on the television. Fan-tastic!

**Actually, I couldn’t be bothered to do it for another few years, not until she starts to notice such matters. Because let’s face it, unless directly involved in the issue (or being raised by a family of bigots), no toddler will notice who’s gay, lesbian, black, white or anyone else unless we instruct them to notice. It’s one of the redeeming qualities of any toddler, that all adults are, err, just adults, no frills, differences or value system attached.

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I say good morning to my daughter by her given birth name.
Quite reasonable I thought (I HADN’T HAD COFFEE YET…A GRAVE MISTAKE).
Her face met my sleepy eyes with thunder and dismay, a wave of disgust rolling over her delicate features.   
“THAT’S NOT MY NAME, MY NAME IS ‘YELLOW TOW TRUCK!'”
Oh yes.
That’s right, I forgot.
Silly me.
I feel like SUCH  bad father for so callously forgetting my own daughter’s name, even though it changes with alarming speed. But Jesus, it’s exhausting. I mean, is it REALLY too much to ask that perhaps, just per-bloody-haps, I could be allowed to call my daughter by her (drum-roll) REAL NAME?!
Currently, her appointed moniker makes her (and by proxy, us) sound like native Indians, but trust me, deviate from these titles and you WILL pay my friend, you-will-pay.
Last week it was Mater, the week before Fifi, the week before that June and the week before that Tinky-Winky. This is, of course, all ‘good’ because it is her ‘imagination blossoming’ and is absolutely not a sign of multiple-personality disorder. Personally, I don’t wonder that we shouldn’t just call her Sybil and be done with it…And so it is that I walk my daughter to the local coffee shop, in her Puma soccer sweatpants and her Mater – “Cars – The Movie” character sweatshirt, watching her explain to the usual meeters and greeters that her name is Yellow Tow Truck whilst shrugging sheepishly whenever met with a confused stare. 
She is, indeed, the girl who finds the mud when others are trying to step around it at the park. She is the girl who throws herself into the stickiest sand when opportunity knocks, and she is the one who will interact with any body of water, whether duck-pond (swan in one uninvited) to puddle (I don’t think Fido had done that).
 
When she sneezes and two plugs of snot come flying out, before her fastidiously clean father can rush over armed with wet-wipes and napkins, she’s either wiping them across her face laughing or engaging in her own version of oyster-slurping, and if THAT hasn’t ruined your moment enough, when she picks her nose (because trust me, she DOES pick her nose!) she will try and eat the boogers before I have a chance to stop her. And she likes to wrestle. I mean seriously roll around grappling, getting picked up at high speed, thrown around and brought crashing down to the mattress.
Oh, and did I mention she has a drum kit because she likes drums, that she likes Blur’s ‘Song 2’ because they bloody well scream WHOOO HOOO all the time (something she does every 5 minutes of her waking day), that she likes Metallica’s ‘Battery’ and that she sings Tottenham Hotspur FC songs such as ‘All I want is a team of Robbie Keanes’ and ‘When the Spurs go marching in…’ and while I’ m here, I should mention that just after her second birthday last June, she broke her leg.
And when I take her to buy her a new dress (which I like to do because I genuinely get excited about the thought of seeing her green/blue eyes bouncing off bright new summer frocks) she fixes me with a look of near horror.  Indeed, if I manage to wrestle a dress onto her before she knows what’s happened, and tell her how pretty she looks, she will respond loudly ‘no I don’t look pretty!’ But if you remark that her hair looks like a scarecrow, or she has chocolate on her chin, or that she looks like she fell into a dumpster or that she looks like pig-pen, she meets you right back with a low, dirty chortle of pure twisted glee. An angel with a very dirty face most of the time, and a father who spends a lot of time trying to get her into pretty dresses to no avail. She is fantastic in every way, but she is an absolute, 100% tom-girl. I haven’t shaped it and I certainly haven’t guided any of it*, it is who she is and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it!
By the way, I have been Iggle Piggle, La La, 10 Wheeler, Doc Hudson and Fuzz Buzz, and it is my job to REMEMBER my name whenever I am met with a fresh-faced colleague first thing in the morning.
(*Alright, the Tottenham songs I admit to but NOTHING ELSE! Well, one other thing but I’m not going to admit it…)

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