Friday, June 15, 2012

The Apricot Lion and The Frog Whisperer


My daughter is as terrible at keeping secrets as her mother is at whispering (ie - she is very bad at it). Yesterday afternoon she gloatingly told me that on Fathers Day I'll be getting, "moss-ages." That satisfied her desperate urge to tell me what she was getting me, and to be unbelievably clever as well by using a code that not even the Polish Cipher Bureau could figure out. She then seemed to realize that her amazing code was too clever for a dimwitted spanner like me, so she then whispered (appallingly loudly, by the way), "IT SOUNDS LIKE MOSS-AGES DADDY!!!"

That was a surprise in and of itself because I'm notoriously uninterested in Father's Day. I have been chided slightly once by the in-laws for pointing out I really don't give a toss. But then got nowhere when I pointed out that it is a relatively new holiday (originated in simultaneous places in the early 1900s - but it was very small and parochial, and didn't gain any traction of any kind until the late 50s-70s) and that it normally didn't involve the stuff it does now, I was rebuked somewhat for saying it seemed silly for me to have a special day that I get to share with my kids when I spend every day and almost every waking minute with them. But I really don't give a monkey's about it. Because then that makes it about some odd public display of something that has nothing to do with me or my kids. Bit odd and false, in other words. I understand that my daughter thinks - in a small way - that it is important. But she thinks lots of days are as important. During those 365 days a year we spend together there are countless days that we make up that are every bit as magical and important to her. My daughter has imaginary birthday's for imaginary characters all the time that she is equally as emotionally invested in. Sophie The Onion Sniffer, Bobby the Banana, Jimmy from Wild Kratts (a character on screen for possibly 45 seconds of the entire series) and countless other made-up things have had parties. In fact here's Wiggle the Worm with his birthday present - he got a dance recital and a sunflower garden outside to live in for his birthday.

 All the imaginary things have had presents given, special meals made and often even dance performances given to them as gifts from my daughter. Therer have been special days - Cheesestick Day and Day Of The Dodo Bean being notable ones - that have been celebrated. Any day on a calendar from Cinco de Mayo to Flag day is considered as valid and valuable as the next in my daughter's eyes - thereby melting them all somewhat into one continuous non-special thing. And that's okay. In that scheme of things the notion of Fathers Day seems benign to me.

On the other hand this is the weekend of the Frog Jumping competition that we take part in every year. The kids sort enjoy it. They like going to get the frogs out of the lake. And they like having them in a barrel. They also like getting trophies - what with my innate frog-fiddling abilities winning so many awards over the prior three years it's no wonder I'm known in the North Country as The Frog Whisperer. But they don't really seem too bothered about the actual middle part at all. I personally find it kind of irritating. Especially as the event always starts 45 minutes late. -Which anyone with two kids under 5 knows is going to be a problem - especially when there are 30 other kids there with frogs bouncing about everywhere. Add last year involved the combined dark cloud of an extended family member coming to terms with his mother just dying a few weeks prior from cancer, and then people trying to cheer him up by cheating other kids out of prizes. If I'm honest though I don't really care about it because I don't really enjoy group activities involving doing this sort of stuff around lots of people. Not that I often fiddle with frogs in front of strangers. Not without a fee being paid anyway. I don't know - I like my kids to be happy and I'll happily poke a toad on their behalf - but I don't feel anything good or bad about it.

But rest assured the entire thing will be captured in photo form. It's our civic duty to have the photo's available for other people to use in their promotional materials (I'm not expanding on that for legal reasons - but some of you know what I mean...). For now though you can make do with some photos from outside. The vegetable garden is doing gangbusters and my kids spend countless hours fishing water out of their dinky little pool and watering it. My daughter says there is a lion hiding in the peas. Actually she admitted to her brother that they live in Africa, stressing, "...that's Africa - not on an apricot." Very helpful.

Which reminds of a few things. Firstly - hitting a snake with a weed whacker is disgusting. It's up there with the time my son puked on the hairbrush. Chunks everywhere and a bastard to clean. Secondly it would appear the walnuts are already here. The demonic little feckers are dropping already!

I'm not going to enjoy clearing all them up. I really should find somethign to do with them all.

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