Couple things I’ve noticed recently. First, when do shoes become a central and defining element of a girl’s life? Because the Saturday before last we stop at Marshalls and Mom finds some $5 replacement boots for Bailey. And she’s jacked. I mean pumped. She looked like Brett Favre after that first touchdown pass to Andre Rison in Super Bowl XXXI.
She also finds some Converse knockoffs for Bails and Kinsey. Black hightops with peace signs all over them for Kinz and black low tops for Bails with some peace signs on the outside. Now don’t get me wrong. I disapproved right off the bat. I don’t want my kids running around with freaking peace symbols on their shoes. Steelers logos – yes, little Gadsden flags – yes, but peace symbols? Negatory good buddy. Although you gotta admit its really, really funny that corporate America has totally grabbed the peace symbol and marketed it into oblivion. So much so that any meaning it has for left over hippies from the late 60’s and early 70’s has been completely corrupted.
We get home from Marshalls and we each go about our business. Except for Riley. She’s up in her room. Sulking. Whimpering. She looked like Harry Reid watching Scott Brown’s victory speech.
“Rye what the heck are you crying about?”
“Wait, is this because the other girls got shoes and you didn’t?”
“No. I don’t care that they got shoes. I care because Kinsey got my dream shoes.”
Holy. Crap. Dream. Freaking. Shoes. She’s. Ten.
I really had no idea what might qualify as the appropriate response. So I just went with my gut.
“Rye, suck it up. Get off your bed and stop whining. There are far greater tragedies in the world. Like the ‘blarge’ call in the 2000 Midwest Regional Final between Iowa State and Michigan State. Or Juliet, instead of Kate, being written out of LOST.”
I’m never going to really understand this. I mean I really, really like my LL Bean field boots. If I could wear them with a suit, I’d do it. They are the most comfortable shoes ever constructed on this planet. But I don’t think I have or ever will put “dream” directly before “shoes” in a sentence.
Anyway, here’s the other thing. My girls think toots are hilarious. I’m fully aware that most kids and all dudes think they are funny. But my kids think they are extraordinarily humorous. Like they hold some magical ridiculousness that only they understand. Like when you go to work and you’re trying to tell someone who doesn’t have kids that The Penguins of Madagascar are freaking awesome and they look at you they way Richard looked at Tommy.
Coming home from dance one time Rye cracks one off in the car. And we’re trapped. It’s the dutch oven. It was zero degrees outside so you can’t really roll down the windows. Plus my car is old and when it gets cold, sometimes the windows don’t go back up. My nose hairs are burning, eyes are watering and I hear laughing behind me.
I take a quick peek and Bails has completely turtled herself. Pulled both her arms and her head into her coat.
“Guys, guys, do this. You can’t smell the toot from in here.”
For the last few days, just as we’re getting in the car to go to school, one of them bombs the garage or the backseat. Sometimes they apologize but other days they take credit. Bailey rips one the other day and goes, “oh yeah baby, that was me.”
So I’ve had to go over tooting etiquette with them. First rule – they are girls. And girls don’t toot. Ever. Maybe in front of their friends. And when I’m around because I think its funny.
Second rule – don’t toot in the car. Ever. Unless you’re alone and there is absolute metaphysical certitude that nobody will be getting in the car with you until you’ve had a chance to cycle some outside air into the vehicle.
There are more rules but they aren’t going to remember any of this anyway. Plus, I learned later that the morning tootfest only happens when I’m driving them to school. They don’t do it in Mom’s car.
But I’m the Dad. And somewhere in the Dad bylaws written in the Dad Scrolls and repeated throughout Dad folklore, Dads think toots are pretty freaking funny. And who am I to mess with tradition?