Monday, November 14, 2011

The Jack-O-Lantern Massacre

Knock knock. (We'd just returned from the grocery store and my daughter ran inside insisting we play that game where we pretend we are visitors to her house.)

Daughter: "Hi, I'm Pevelyn. Would you like to come inside?"

Me: Sure.

My Wife: So Pevelyn, who lives here?

Daughter: Oh, just me. My parents died.

My Wife: Oh? How did they die?

Daughter: They were taken away by soldiers.

Me: Umm....

Daughter: They were at the grocery store shopping and then they suddenly fell asleep. You should never fall asleep at the grocery store. That's when the soldiers killed them.

What the Keith Chegwin is going on? Last time I checked my daughter was born in Bristol and not Sarajevo. Where did she get that from? That's absolutely terrifying. It's like those bizarre stories you hear from people who swear their kids are reincarnated because they keep talking about the time they drowned in a lake. You see them on TV specials where their little innocent four year old won't shut up about when their Mommy held them under the water until the angels came. Of course this is way more terrifying because -:

a) My daughter said it.
b) This sort of thing actually happened in the 90s. Which is difficult to stomach considering we are always blathering on about how different we all are these days.
c) My daughter then asked if we wanted some crackers.

She's been keeping this up all morning too. She keeps getting shirty when I refer to her and her brother by their actual names. Or hint that this is my house. No, this is Pevelyn and Bowen's house and I'm just visiting. And as a visitor I need to make honey sandwiches and get them cheese slices when they demand it. Because they are too small to reach these things, and oh - did you forget that their parent's were brutally murdered?

As disturbing as that is it still isn't as worrisome as some of the other things that my daughter gets up to. For example the amount of finger she can ram into her nostril is as amazing as it is frightening. I'm almost convinced she can touch her inner ear. But more than that is that some things she gets excited about are things that fill me with dread. Not necessarily because of what they are, but because I was the one who got her involved with the whole mess in the first place. A parent begins to see that a simple slippery-slope escalation of almost every activity is possible, even if the original activity was innocent. Everything can evolve into something deeply nefarious.

For example I showed my daughter how to destroy an old Jack-O-Lantern the day before it snowed. We didn't need it any more after Halloween. Seemed like fun too. I figured standing on it wouldn't be all that exciting so I suggested she hit it with something. What ensued was her smashing the living shit out of it while I pictured her as Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock twatting someone with a car door.

Yesterday I also showed her something that totally revolutionized what she thought the Meaning of Life is. For a four year old television is a shocking way to reveal things to her that really should not have been. Case in point being over a year ago I idiotically showed her an episode of Wipeout. For the few months after seeing it she made me design and lay out an obstacle course in out living room and then race her around it. Which pretty much just involved her trying to break my living room floor and then beat me up. A little while later I naively showed her PBR Bullriding. It's never on network TV, but when it is it's staying on.  And after seeing it she made me design and lay out a bull riding ring in our living room so that she could ride me around it. Basically again nearly breaking the living room floor and trying to beat me up. By the way, if I'm ever in the odd position of being asked to spitball potential television shows for US networks I guarantee that I will instantly reply with, "Bullriding Wipeout." That is saturated with WIN. Imagine the Pamplona Bull Run crossed with all those demented lunatics trying to run around the Wipeout course. It's Gold Jerry, Gold!

You'd think I'd know better then, but yesterday my daughter caught sight of a television atrocity called Fashion On Ice. So a fashion show presented by amateur and professional ice skaters. Which, from what I could tell, meant ice skaters dancing around in just their knickers to Aretha Franklin. So for two hours yesterday afternoon my daughter tried to copy the inhuman gyrations and spins of these aforementioned ice skaters in the living room. She wasn't half bad actually. Except for the numerous times she collided with furniture and walls, and severely twisted limbs and digits and then howled in pain. And then, oblivious to the concepts of cause and effect, would insist on trying to hold her leg over her head and do a triple-jumping-twist off the couch onto the pile of trains and toy cars on the ground. It is only a matter of time until she appears from upstairs dressed only in pink underpants demanding that I design and layout an ice skating rink in my living room so that she can ride me like a bull around an obstacle course that somehow involves doing upside down spinning.

I give it 30 minutes.

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