Monday, January 16, 2006

What kind of news can I expect to get here?

I was pissed off at Debbie because she wouldn't take Allie for a walk yesterday. My ire was built of equal parts disbelief that Deb preferred to sit and shuffle through papers from work and that I had to get off my lazy ass and take my kid to the park. Either way I'm a bad guy so I got over my tizzy in a hurry.

I'm glad I did.

It was, as Allie described it, ". . . a cold and clear and beautiful day." We had the park to ourselves so there was no waiting as we slid down what seemed to be extra slippery slides. I scared the crap out of Allie by pushing her much higher than I should have on the swings. Then we went for a walk in the woods. It was chilly but having no bugs in our faces and/or sucking our blood made up for it. The pond had frozen over so I held Allie's hands and dangled her onto the ice. She freaked. Then she wanted to do it again. She begged me to get a big rock and smash through the ice. I refused. So we looked for berries and planted a few -- fully expecting that a new berry bush will sprout in the spring. On the way back home we raced across the soccer field. Allie won the first sprint to the soccer goal. I won the second. It was good to see Allie heaving crisp, fresh outdoor air in and out of her little lungs.

Julia was napping while Allie and I wandered through the woods. That's why it was just the two of us when I went shopping later that afternoon. Julia insisted ("No mama. No Ahh-ee!"). It was the first trip to the market that Julia didn't have to sit in the cart. She tore through the aisles in that peculiar half-running/half-falling jaunt that makes parents wish someone would develop Nerf floor tiles. The store was busy but Julia didn't impede others' shopping too much so I let her go. There was one incident. Julia decided to adopt a bag of multi-colored marshmallows. She squeezed the bag to her chest like a mother clutching her baby as they got on a lifeboat. I gave her the option of returning the marshmallows to the shelf on her own terms. That wasn't going to happen so I ripped the bag away from her. Julia protested but I pointed to a bottle of olive oil that was at her eye level. I gestured like Doug Henning and chanted, "Look at that, Julia. Ahhhhlive oooil!" I've never tried to make olive oil (or at least the bottle) seem so interesting. I don't plan on doing it again but it's good to know I've got the skills.

Julia moved her bowels into the big toilet upstairs. You'll probably want to check Deb's blog in the near future for details.

This is the kind of news you people should plan to get here.

Tonight Allie and I practiced piano. Allie cried because things weren't going smoothly. "I'm a bad piano player," she said. I dried her tears and assured her that she was not a bad piano player and the songs she played were lovely. Then I picked up an empty root beer bottle and told her that I was going to smash her in the head with it every time she played a wrong note.

Allie laughed. She felt better and we practiced until she played a pretty good rendition of Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

I'm still not sure why she laughed, though.

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