Last night I had a man-dream.
No - don't worry. Not that kind of dream. It revolves around my wife and living amongst men for a day in their natural habitat. So basically like Jane Goodall with chimps. Except my wife and I were on a building site helping build a brick wall before going to a sports bar. Which bizarrely was actually the Queen Vic in Albert Square. At which - oddly - there were a lot of ladies milling about who's faces I couldn't see, but who's boobs I definitely could. Then my wife said, "okay - now we have to find someone we can punch!" before the dream wandered off into the inevitable crippling nightmares that I usually have.
After that sordid insight into a world I clearly don't understand (which is clearly illustrated by the idea that I think that lots of blokes stand around on a building site slowly making a brick wall) I went for my morning run. I've probably mentioned that we live in the area for my kids. There are lots of decent reasons for that. But on the short-lived cool morning's like this it makes me want to live in Quebec or Maine. Which is silly considering I've only been there a couple of times. But of everywhere I've ever been in my life Quebec City and Bar Harbour, Maine are easily my favorite places. When I ask my daughter where she has enjoyed being/going to the most she tells me Maine as well. And I know enough people who live up there who love the place. So as I did years ago with Quebec City (and to a lesser extent - Montreal) I think I'm beginning to develop a strange obsession with the idea.
By the time I got home my wife was awake and spending some quality time with the kids in the wee hours before doing a half-day Saturday in work. My daughter was in an inexplicable bad-mood so I did my best to be ridiculous to snap her out of it. So I told her about how we were camping in a month and we'd have to test the tent out in the backyard - and then she'd be able to watch the fireflies. It is an eternal shame that you can't get anywhere close to how fantastic it looks in back yard at night with my camera. There are so many fireflies that it really is phenomenal to just stand out there and watch whilst being eaten alive by everything else. That cheered my daughter a little but not quite enough. She still remembered to be annoyed about something, but now couldn't remember why. So I reminded her of last night's bedtime story about Princess Bounce and The Missing Sock - and how she solved the entire mystery by discovering that Bobby The Banana had stolen it to use as a sleeping bag. That seemed to work and her mood was much better.
As I stood there - still glistening after my morning shower and wrapped in a modest towel - my son began his morning ritual of poking me as hard as he can in various exposed body parts. He started off with my nose - mostly because he can say, "I poked you in the nose!" with no problem. Yesterday actually was some sort of watershed moment for both my kids. My daughter took a massive physical leap of development. She learned how to do so many different things on the playground that had evaded her before that she now seemed much more agile and oddly tall. My son also had a vocal-leap - speaking in longer, more complex sentences all day long. Add he accidentally (in a rage) yelled his sister's whole name - instead of the bizarre, French grunting that he usually makes when he wants her attention. Lately too he's turned his perfectly normal "yeah" word for "yes" into a more Germanic, "Jah" as well.
At which point he poked me hard in the nipple. His mother asked him what he'd poked and he clammed up because he can't say nipple (either because he can't or he doesn't ever remember it). His mother then stated, "we best teach you the word "knuckle" so you can get 100 percent in your pre-k test." This is because the only thing my daughter didn't know for parts of the body was what to call a knuckle. Which triggered my two current obsessions (being innocently inappropriate and going on about Maine) by saying, "If we moved to Maine you might get to see a moose knuckel - so you'll need to know how to identify it so you can tell the police." Blank faces all round.
Right now though I'm trying to convince the kids to stop eating so we can go out. I can't decide between another playground or taking the dog out for a run. I also have some yard work to do - such as trying to figure out where exactly the local skunk lives. The air is awash with that skunk musk odor. When I got back from my run early this morning it mixed very poorly with my sweaty stench. Which prompted my mind into horribly choosing to make me fleetingly imagine Albert Steptoe's crotch - nestled sweatily in tweed-underpants (screw you Google search - I don;t even care anymore). I'm hopeful it lives off my property and it's aroma (which is weirdly both bad and good at the same time) is just wafting on. I certainly don't hope to find it close by. My wife mentioned the back steps. That would be absurd. And it wouldn't live under there with the now-burned chipmunk would it?
All in all - I want you all to think positive thought and keep your fingers crossed I don't get sprayed by, "Steptoe's Crotch."