I've just upgraded my Dad status.
Today I intentionally went out to a store to buy underpants for my child as a gift for Christmas. More to the point I actually believe that he'll be stoked about it. They are Thomas the Tank Engine ones, but even if they had Tony Blair's face on them he'd still be somewhat happy (although I don't I would be). Essentially I've upgraded to Dad Level 7. I'm not sure why the Dad levels follow the same numerical basis as Microsoft operating systems - they just do okay? Presumably I'll get a new Start bar withing a day or two. Oh, and please go ahead and laugh at those Dad-98 losers who look all blocky and have strangely turquoise skin (I don't think this analogy is holding any more...).
Anyhoo - the point is that every teenager wonders why their parents not only buy them underpants and socks for Christmas, but do so with a smile on their face. It's because if I gave my daughter a packet of eight brand-name white tube socks she'd squeal with excitement and then try each one on. In short teenagers are ungrateful little bastards who should be forced to go about the place without knickers and socks on until they bloody well appreciate how wonderful a gift they are.
Whilst out at the store (Target by the way. Which is basically a very-slightly-higher-end Walmart but ashamed to admit it) I had intended to get a few things. None of which they had. They didn't have a single dangling decoration of any kind. Not one! They had a nine foot tall animatronic candy cane, but not dangling tinsel. They also didn't have the gift for my mother in law, or something I'm thinking about for my wife. Actually that last one makes sense. Still - walking around a store as busy as Target was on a Friday afternoon (so basically 75 old people, 80 Moms with kids and a handful of people who do not belong in a place like that) and walking out with four pairs of underpants with faces on them is not a successful afternoon.
I did find out that my daughter's mind is already deteriorating from the Fruit Loops though. Upon seeing a manger scene I pointed out some of the people and reminded my daughter that last year our family was the living nativity at our old church. then I asked her if she remembered what Mary did. At which she replied, "she had a little lamb." I'm pretty sure Joseph would have been a tad more suspicious about her honor if that were the case. Mind you the Welsh would revere her alongside JPR Williams and Tom Jones (he sweats gravy by the way) if that were the case.
Lastly I was asked to include a new edition the House Rules today. My daughter was being a turnip a few weeks back and a codified set of rules to regulate and preside over her behavior was astonishingly her own idea to reel her in. Works quite well too. One pompous wag of the finger at the list and then reading it out in a town-cryer's boom has her cowering in guilt in half a second. I can't actually recall if I've mentioned it before. Note the change in handwriting between my wife (serial killer handwriting) and mine (trusted doctor's heroic handwriting). Whatever the case - here it is.