Crunches

So, Isabella (she’s 10) is taking July off from gymnastics to heal up her knees, but the coach wants her to keep conditioning. Today’s task is to do 300 crunches. She demonstrates. I stop her after about five.

Me: Honey, those are not crunches.

Iz: Yes they are.

Me: No, that’s like me trying to get out of bed. And it takes me a good while.

Iz: Then, why are you so fat?

Me: Like, I said. Not exercise. Because, if it were, I’d have double six packs, instead of a keg.

I’ve Reached a Plateau

After another astonishingly lengthy bedtime struggle (because it is summer and there’s freedom, and one is now a full-grown teen).  But, there’s still bedtime.  I’m your father:  Go to bed.

Isabella (She’s 10.  Teeth brushed.  Dentist on Thursday.  So, we’ll see if her story holds true):  Daddy, come snuggle with me.

I straighten her sheets and adjust the mattress.  She climbs in.

Julianna (the 13-year-old, in a bed in the same room):  Why do you always fix her mattress?  Why don’t I have as many covers?  Why do the dogs always want to sleep with her?

Me: I’d fix your disaster of a bed, if you’d let me.

Iz:  Because, they don’t like you.  You’re too rough.

J: Yeah, but that’s because they sleep in your bed.  With all the covers!

Blah, blah.  The fight continues.

At this point…

Me:  Ok, girls. Cut it out!  Stop! Goodnight.  I will probably love you more tomorrow.

Semi-closing the door.

Iz:  Probably?

J: Yeah…  What do you mean?

Me:  Because, right now, I’ve reached a plateau.  With the yelling and the fighting.  We’ll see about tomorrow…  Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

5 minutes later, I hear slight snores from both beds.  So, yeah, an uptick in the love.

That’s what tomorrow brings.

The Length of Time

As difficult as it is to get the children into the shower, it is almost impossible to get them out when we are on a deadline.

Me (banging on the bathroom door):  Honey, you’ve been in there for 45 minutes.  Give someone else a chance!  Tick-tock, Sweetie.

Julianna (she’s 12):  Dad!   You know I don’t know how long time takes to happen!

Time keeps on ticking into the future.

Pirate Booty

Since some (or one) of you have asked, here’s a rough draft from a year ago.  This is why we can’t have nice things.:

——————-

For this post I will need a life-line.  A life-vest.  And, probably the Coast Guard.

Mommy is heading off to a Bingo game at a local Catholic church school. I am driving Isabella to gymnastics (she’s 9, by the way).

The pre-practice snack: Pirate Booty.

Iz:  Daddy, I’ve finished the Pirate Booty.  What is Booty anyway?

Me:  Well, popcorn, cheese and salt.

Iz:  No, I mean “Booty.”  What does that even mean?

[You see how innocently things start.]

Me:  It was a term that Pirates used to mean “treasure.”

Iz:  Oh, Booty is a Prize?  So is Mommy trying to get some Booty tonight at Bingo?

Me:  Um…. No, I hope not, but Yes..   I hope so.

[You see me now, squirming.  Asking for a life-line.]

Iz:  I’m confused.

Me (under my breath): That’s the idea.

Iz:  What is booty?

Me:  Well, in Pirate days, booty was gold and silver.  Stuff they stole.

Iz:  But…  What about  Butts.  What’s that about.  Butt.  But.  ‘bout.   Hahaha.

[Reminder, we’re in a car. Driving.  Highway speeds.]

Me:   Nowadays, Booty means Butt.  I don’t know how that happened, but Booty means Butt.

Iz:  So, you are a butt?

Me:  Yes.  I guess.  Are we good?

Iz:  No, wait.

[I’m needing that life-vest about now…]

Iz:  Why would someone want your booty?

Me:  Trust me, no one wants my booty.

Iz:   Obviously.

Me: [snap] (Good one)

Iz: But you wanted Mommy’s, right?  Her booty.

Kill me now.

No Treble

As is typical, on the drive in to school, the radio is an issue.  Julianna (she’s 12) is riding the presets.

Sweet Home Ala … flip … Donald Tr … flip … Welcome to the Ho … flip … Baby, We were Born to R… flip ..  Welcome to the Ju…  flip … Dun-dun-dun Duuu… flip.

Me: Honey, stop.  There was at least one good song that you skipped.  Maybe two.

The dial ends up on:

Carly Rae Jepsen:  Hey I just met you / And this is crazy / But here’s my number / So call me maybe

Julianna:  Wow, this was a big song YEARS ago, when I was in like the fourth grade.

Me: Yeah, I suppose so.  Years ago.  A lifetime ago.

J: So, Daddy, is this an Oldie?

Me: Like the Drifters or the Platters or the Buddy Holly?  Ummm.  No.

J:  No, Like “All About that Bass.”

Me: Well, then I guess, to you, it’s an Oldie.

J:  Cool.  I’m old enough to have Oldies.

Isabella (she’s 10) whispers to J:  But, Daddy has more.  Because he’s OLD!

Me: You know I can hear you.

Hahahaha.

Holy Zeus in a Backpack

Last night’s argument: Bedtime!

Julianna (she’s 12): Dad! Stop!

Me: It’s 9:30. Brush your teeth.

J: Every 5 minutes you yell! Hrrrrrgh!

Me: Yes, until you are in bed. Then, you are not my problem.

J: Then, whose problem will I be?

Me: I don’t care, Honey. Zeus.  Come on.  Let’s go.

J: I learned about him in school. Wait, it’s in my notebook. Hang on…

Me: Jesus!

J: Well, which one, Daddy? They’re both in my notebook.

Me: Crap!

J: Which one is he?

Queen, Prince, and the King

On the drive home from school, the iPhone playlist comes to Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls.

Julianna (she’s 12):  Who are they?  They sound like Bohemian Rhapsody.

Me: Well, Honey.  The band is Queen and they did Bohemi..

J: But what are they talking about?

Crap.  Body-image, gender politics, Girl-Positive Power while I try to merge from the carpool lane to the “fast” lane.  Why won’t anyone let me in?

Me: Sweetie, you see…

J: Oh, it is so ironic!

Me: What?

J:  I was talking with my friends about Prince because he loved Purple.  I love Purple.  Well, I love all colors really.

Me: What about Queen?  What about Queen Latifah?

J:  Who?  Oh, Daddy!  Since there’s a Queen and a Prince.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a King.

Me:  Well, Sweetie.  I thought you’d never ask. There was a King.  His name was Elvis.  And, since we’re at a stoplight, I have control of the phone.

“You ain’t nuthin’ but a hound dog…”

J: Why do you do this to me?

Me:  Music you need to know.

 

 

 

The Last Word by the First Light

A clearly annoyed Isabella (she’s 10) on the drive in to school this morning:

Iz:  Look what time it is!  I’m gonna be late.  They’re gonna yell at me.

Me (also visibly annoyed):  And, do you know why you are going to be late?

Iz: It’s because you need to wake me up earlier than you do.

Me [with a little upward inflection]: Nooo. I woke you up plenty early enough.

Iz: Yeah.  Because you know I like to stay in bed after you wake me up.  And, sometimes I fall back asleep.  So, you should wake me up earlier.

Me: Let me get this straight.  I’m supposed to wake up even earlier so that you can fall back asleep.

Iz: Yeah, that seems fair.

Me [a rage is building]:  How is that fair?! Maybe you should get your butt out of bed, get dressed, not yell at me for 10 minutes because you can’t find your jacket that you left somewhere, make your own breakfast, make your own lunch, find your own missing library book, pack your own book bag and walk yourself the 14 miles to school!  Wouldn’t that be more fair?!

We finally arrive at the drop-off line, the girls gather their stuff.  Isabella has been quiet.  I think I got through to her.  Yelled some sense into her.

They get out of the car, Isabella looks at me through the window and says:

“No, that wouldn’t be more fair.  Bye.”

It Is a Far, Far Better Thing

On Tuesdays, I have a 45-minute gap between picking up Daughter One and Daughter Two from school.  This is a period during which I and ‘Daughter the First’ (the pre-teen) family-bond (a.k.a: kill time) by grabbing a pretzel at the mall, getting a dozen eggs, or (sometimes) settling up debts with my bookie.

Family time.

Today, we wasted/cherished that time at the Eagle Rock Library.

After perusing the aisles, Julianna (she’s 12) pulls Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities off of the shelf.

I do a double-take.

Of the two books I actually read in high school, this one was my favorite. (I still hate Thomas Hardy, scarred by the moors and the heaths and the sorrow.)

Julianna: I actually want to read this book.  Over Spring Break.  A Tale of Two Cities.

So, today is clearly the Best of Times. Quite, literally. (God, that’s funny…. Anyone? Literature fans? Best? Times? Crickets? No one?)

She’ll read it over Spring Break!

Bookie: You, wanna bet?

Heather Chandler (Bing!)

I’m heading home from the grocery store with Julianna (she’s 12) when we cross Chandler Blvd.

J: Every time we cross that street, I think of Heathers, The Musical.  I saw some of the songs on You Tube.

Me:  Really?  I think of Chandler from Friends.  You see, there was a TV show…

J: Dad stop. I hate when you take over the conversation.

Me:  Bygones.  (from Ally McBeal)…

J: Hrmmm!  Stop!  There’s a musical called Heathers.  The most popular girl was named Heather Chandler.  There were other girls named Heather, too.  They were all popular.  And, they were all kinda mean.

Me: Oh, yeah. Wasn’t there some movie?

J:  Yeah, there was a really old movie from the 1900s or something.

Me: I vaguely remember the 1900s.  I think it’s from the 1980s.

J: I saw part of that movie on You Tube.  It did not look good.

Me: Well, a 10th generation VHS dub that gets digitized countless times is going to look bad.  (Daddysplaining: It’s what I do.)

J:  Dad!  No!  Stop!…  It’s because cameras were new back then.

Me: In the ’80s?  The 1880s or the 1980s?  I think they knew about cameras in the 1980s.

J: I’m talking about color movie cameras. They didn’t understand how it worked, just yet.  So, the movies looked bad.  Don’t you remember that far back?

Me: Maybe not.  It was a long, long time ago.

[pause]

J: I don’t think I’m a Heather.

Me: No, Honey.  You’re not.

J: Daaad!  Stop!  Now I want to be one!

Me: No you don’t.  Because, you’re not one.  And, you know it.

J:  Hrrmmmmmmmmm!