Monkey Bars and Other Stuff

It’s interesting watching Kinsey learn new things. She gets super excited, for example, when she learns new words. We’re reading a Dick and Jane book and Kinsey goes through a whole page without making a mistake. She pops up on the bed, gives me a couple fist pumps and starts doing the cabbage patch.

“That’s right, you know it, I can read it.”

She also likes to use big words she’s heard even though she has no idea what they mean. Last Friday we’re out at Homemakers looking at couches and Kinsey comes running and leaps onto a big ottoman. “Oh, this couch is so rambunctious.”

This morning as I’m brushing my teeth she comes into the bathroom to take care of couple things. Yeah, little kids have no shame. While she’s dumping some ballast, she’s telling me about how she can do the monkey bars now.

This is a big accomplishment for Kinsey. Any time we’ve gone to the park she’s really struggled with them. But with my daily insistence on the girls taking their vitamins and their fascination with exercise, Kinsey has really started to develop some coordination.

“Dad did you know that I can do the monkey bars now?”

“Really? That’s great.”

“Yeah, I can do each one even though I get kind of wiggly when I do it.”

“Wiggly, huh.”

“Yeah, my muscles help me do it. Want to see them? They are getting really strong, check them out.”

So after we get that done with the gun show, we go through the daily routine of getting clothes on, teeth brushed and hair done. I think there’s something in the Arthur cartoons that prevent the girls from brushing their teeth or hair. Like every 5th frame a subliminal sign pops up that says “Don’t listen to Dad.” It’s weird. I bet if you recorded it and played the cartoon backwards Arthur and Brain would be having conservation about how brushing your teeth will keep Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny from ever coming to your house again.

Anyway, I’ve been really late the last two nights. Unfortunately, when I got home Monday night at 10:30 Blazing Saddles was on AMC. Slim Pickens is freaking hilarious.

“Somebody is going to have to go back and get a whole #*&@load of dimes!”

So I’m still tired. Sometimes I wish I understood the magic of quantum physics and could just walk into the quantum accelerator and jump through time. It would more fun and I wouldn’t have to listen to the Democrats everyday.

Regardless, I’ve been late and Mom has had to do everything. So I took everybody to school this morning so she could get to work on time. Getting the girls in the car really isn’t complicated. They need to finish breakfast, usually Marshmallow Maties or some variation of Shredded Wheat, get their shoes and jackets on, and make sure the backpacks are ready to go, and if its Wednesday, have the dance bags ready too. You can’t let Kinsey in on the decision of which dance outfit to wear. Because that always ends up like the Treaty of Versailles with Kinsey plotting on how to overcome her defeat. Sooner or later you know she’s going occupy the Rhineland and invade Poland just to spite me.

Again, the easiest solution to any of this is to just turn off the cartoons but even I get a little nostalgic about the Smurfs and Valley of the Dinosaurs. Anyway, it’s amazing how Bailey can walk around, over and even trip on her shoes without ever noticing them. It’s even more amazing how Kinsey, when asked to get her dance bag or jacket, can go up the stairs into her room and completely forget why she’s there and start organizing her Barbies into various social strata at a pool party. Riley, however, can not only get her dance bag ready but also Kinsey’s too. All while getting jackets for all three of them and trying on four different pairs of shoes and still be ready to go before the other two. The weird and often irritating thing is that Bailey and Kinsey will sometimes listen to Riley more than me.

She’s like Mrs. Garrett coaxing Blair and Jo to get along.

Anyway, I send them all out to the car to while I run back inside to get my lunch, phone, badge, etc. Upon entering the car Bailey is absent or invisible.

“Girls where’s Bailey?

“Gone.”

Thanks Rick and AJ. Great detective work.

I run back inside and find her coming down the stairs with something in her hands. Bailey needs to bring a book, a purse or some plastic jewelry to school everyday. Sometimes a Beanie Baby. Usually a cat.

“Geez, Bails, how’d you get past me? I was just getting my work stuff.”

“Well, I’m small Daddy. I’m Lightning McQueen too.”

I’m walking out to the car when I do a u-turn. Bailey was upstairs which means she’s probably left a light on up there somewhere. I was a little kid in the 70’s during the energy crisis. My Dad used to stand in the kitchen in the dark and listen to Pirates games. So I have a pathological need to make sure all the lights are off. So I have to run up stairs to get that done.

No lights on! Weird.

I get Bailey strapped into her seat. “Hey Bails, good job turning off the lights before you came back down stairs.”

“Well, I’m tall now too Daddy.”

Published in: on March 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Competition Easter

Easter has fallen behind. Corporate marketing has taken over Christmas, Halloween, and the Fourth of July. Thanksgiving and Memorial Day would be in the same boat but they just aren’t as marketable and Valentine’s Day, of course, is an invention of corporate marketing.

So Easter kind of gets left in the dust. But not in our family.

We still have an epic Easter Egg Hunt and this year Grandma even organized the Easter Egg Roll complete with racing lanes marked with yellow boundaries.

Picture about 10 kids, 8 and under, in a mad sprint to find plastic Easter Eggs “hidden” throughout the yard. Some years there are 15 plus kids involved.

In a scene similar to the Oklahoma land rush, they all take off after the eggs. Experience has taught us that some adults need to run interference for some of the real little ones or they get knocked around more than Mike Rozier in his rookie year with the Pittsburgh Maulers.

As they search, they all sort of follow each other in one direction. I think they’re drawn to the big spruce tree in the yard because it’s easy to “hide” the eggs on the branches so it looks like a big Easter Tree. Except for Bailey of course. She sized up the competition, gave the spruce tree the once-over, and promptly went the other way. She’s pretty quick as it is but her feet and hands were moving so fast I could hear the theme music from The Six-Million Dollar Man in the background. Only thing missing was Oscar Goldman.

Her basket was so full by the time she made it to the backyard, the eggs were rolling off the top, cracking open and spilling the M&M’s, jellybeans and Smarties into the grass.

You ever throw food into a lake and watch the fish just pile over each other to get to it? Yeah, this is when I realized that kids have the olfactory prowess of St. Bernards. One M&M breaks into the open and not only are our kids are rampaging into the backyard, you have children from all over town showing up.

Best thing though was watching Riley and her cousin compete in the Easter Egg Roll. Her cousin is pretty competitive. And they’re not really rolling the eggs as much as they are launching the eggs a few feet at time with their spoons. Well, one of the smallest kids spots Riley’s cousin’s egg and decides he’d like to add it to his basket.

So he’s getting in the way trying to steal her egg. Which of course allows Riley to win. Which leads to tremendous laughter from the gallery of adults. Which makes her cousin even more upset.

Afterwards, Bailey and I are emptying her eggs of candy into a bag. A one gallon plastic bag. She could hardly lift it.

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rock the House

We’ve become pretty adept at sleeping in on Saturday mornings. Pick up some donuts Friday evening so the girls can feed themselves breakfast and we’re golden. All we have to do is shut our door to muffle the sounds little girls make on Saturday mornings. None of them really make any sense but after hearing them all together you get a pretty good idea of what is happening.

For example, if you hear chairs being pushed around the kitchen floor it doesn’t mean they are using them as stools to get cups or plates, it’s because the chairs are forming the superstructure for the pirate ship in the middle of kitchen complete with sails, cannon and a plank.

If you hear the rumbling of footsteps up and down the stairs a few times combined with some rustling of toys in the girls’ rooms it not them looking for a certain toy to play with, it is them using every container of every size they can scrounge to bring down every single Polly Pocket doll and accessory (including the party bus) and every single piece of furniture from their dollhouse down into the family room.

If you hear the random sentences related to books it doesn’t mean they are reading a few of their Scooby-Doo books to each other, it is them using the plethora, and by plethora I mean the veritable cornucopia of paperbacks Lisa has amassed over the years, to build a three story apartment dwelling for their dolls.

Yeah, that’s a lot of kid stuff in a room that I had planned to spend some time later. Anyway, I’m eating some cereal contemplating the struggle that is about to ensue when I tell the girls to start the demolition of the pirate ship and palatial book dwelling. The girls come down the stairs with armfuls of stuffed animals, evidently to help populate their growing settlement.

I’m expecting some whining, etc. Instead this is what I get.

Me: Girls, what the heck are you doing?

Kinsey: Rocking the house.

Seriously, I laughed for a good five minutes.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Up?

Kinsey is running back and forth from the study to the family where Mom and I are watching TV. She comes in holding a Thesaurus and strolls through the family room exclaiming about how great her book is.

A couple minutes later she comes in with a dictionary.

“Kinsey, are you reading a dictionary?”

“Yes, it’s about South America?”

“Really?”

“Yeah, in South America ‘hello’ means ‘what up?’”

“No kidding.”

Can’t make this stuff up.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment