Archive for the ‘Daughter’ Category

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Sparklers & Poppers & Snakes! Oh My!

July 5, 2008

So happy Independence Day, everyone!  At the homefront Daddy has his little girls for the Fourth of July weekend and we have LOTS of fireworks to fire!  Woo Hoo!

Except, my li’l girls are afraid of big booms.

So we have a supermarketbagful of easy to ignite sparklers, poppers and funny growing snakes that “look like poo!”  Yes, gone are the bygone days when I was young and me & my buds would set off bottle rockets (using actual bottles as launch pads!) over the Yellowstone River, and drop Cherry Bombs off the bridge and watch them explode just before they hit the water.  Small town Montana had nothing else to do in the summer, so when it came to fireworks we heartily entertained ourselves with the legal over-the-counter explosives!

Such dorks we were!  We even took our Roman Candles and aimed them at each other (from a reasonable safe distance of about five feet apart),  and played “dodge the flaming white ball.”  With A-HA and Mister Mister blaring from the powerful 2-inch speakers in our cool cars (mine was a ’79 Honda CVC – cherry red!) we jammed through the night at the beach by the river and drank be…er, rather consumed Kool-Aid and soda.  Yeah, that’s it.  I believe I went nearly deaf one holiday after we created a daisy chain of Black Cat firecrackers about that wound around trees and along the river rocks along the beach, trying to set some kind of record for “longest domino firecracker” ever.  Although we successfully did not destroy any property or lose any body appendages, we laughed the next day when we always heard the stories of some dorks that destroyed tons of piled hay bales, or caught the neighbor’s tree on fire.

Now, I’m a city dweller, a “slicker” if you will.  I’m turning crotchety in my old age and frown and make “ha-rumphing” noises when the punks outside light those noisy firecrackers.  My girls – 6 and 3 – like the fireworks, but only from afar.  Nothing that BOOMS, CRACKS, WHISTLES, or otherwise EXPLODES are ever set off in their presence.  Sparklers & snakes.  Why?  Because they sparkle and look like poo.  And THAT’S what Independence Day is all about!

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Crayons vs Legos

June 16, 2008

Daddy FridgeMy parents were clever. Much more clever than I am as a parent. Growing up I never had the encouragement to indulge in creative visual artistic endeavors. Rather than sit me down with a box of crayons or colored pencils in which my final output would be a bunch of indiscernible scribbles, circles, and zigzags surely to end up on the front of the fridge at my request, I was given the array of typical little boy toys. I built cabins out of Lincoln Logs, spaceships from Legos, and raced cool cars on mini race tracks. All of which could be disassembled and stashed after I became bored with the monotonous activity. Clean. No mess. No clutter. Very clever.

But despite all the underhanded training and playtime activity to become an architect, rocket scientist, or redneck race car driver, I became a creative artist. And as a parent with a deep appreciation for all types of creative arts I am obliged to plop my daughters down at the table armed with a gigantic boxful of crayons, colored pencils, markers, and a ream of paper, and say, “get to work, draw me something.”

I have also discovered that this route to keeping children entertained is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than spending hard-earned dollars on overpriced toys that get opened and played with once or twice then stuffed in the closet for eternity – or at least until the next yard sale. But, whereas simple toys can be put away, thrown away, or just accidentally swallowed, there’s a ton of creative output from the drawing table. And every little page of scribble is a masterpiece in the eyes of my girls.

“Put this on the fridge, Daddy!”

“Hang this one in the hallway!”

“Do we have enough for an art gallery showing on First Thursday yet?”

As dutifully as my daughters spent their creative energies drawing their masterpieces, I dutifully display their art upon as many surfaces as are available. That usually means the front of my fridge looks like a telephone pole in a bohemian part of town; stacked with layer upon layer of fliers and posters and silly art.

But I wouldn’t change it for the Mona Lisa.

Happy Fathers Day