Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Wife And Daughter Are Champion Slappers

"Mommy! Mommy!! I want to be a slapper!!!"

My daughter is quite eccentric. So in that sense I think I'd argue that she is very much my child. On the other hand if you weigh up a few simple characteristics I think I might be wrong. For example - the choking anytime she drinks something. Her mother does that. The delegating tasks to others and behaving like a manager/supervisor at all given moments. Fore example - telling people to pick something up across the room with a tone of authority that leads them to do so before they realize that they didn't have to and that the other person just didn't want to do it. Her mother does that A LOT. And when you add in the the combined - yet diametrically opposed - physical ability to hear the faintest sound (and identify it's cause) in the distance, and yet completely mishear everything anyone says - then you've built a cast-iron case that they are cut from very much the same cloth. My wife is genuinely some sort of Superhero. As in her acute sense of sight, hearing and taste is so ridiculous that it's the only explanation. Give her anything to eat - anything - and she will tell you it's ingredients. She will often exclaim whilst driving at 70mph through the Adirondacks, "Wow!! Did you see that!! Amazing!" And yet when I ask (after braking hard to avoid whatever disaster she must be warning about to have been so emotive in her screaming) what it was she'll say it was a plant of some kind (which she knows the name of) about 1000 feet deep into the heavy foliage. And in a work environment my wife is so bloody acute that she can recount conversations that she cannot possibly have heard without hidden surveillance microphones. In fact she even disturbs people deep down inside because she can even tell what her staff are actually thinking. So much so that I think she should rename her office the Ministry Of Love. It's amazing.

Yet often at home her Superhero senses are completely dulled. It's like she's wearing kryptonite knickers. She can't find anything that she's put down. Especially if she's still holding it. Actually it's a given that she will look absolutely everywhere for something where it wouldn't be (all the while demanding to know where I've put it) - and then I'll immediately find it in her purse/car/hands. It can take three or four loud yells to get her attention - at which she'll both argue that she didn't hear you and that there was absolutely no justifiable reason to raise your voice. If my wife asks a Yes or No question it does not matter at all if you vigorously nod your head and bellow "YES!!!" at her - she will immediately ask you if you said No. In fact any question that involves only two possible options as an answer will always result in her brain translating it to the one you definitely did not say. Then she'll start thinking about work (her brain activity essentially comprises of thinking about 80% work, 5% family and 15% hostas) and her senses will automatically click into hyperdrive and she will be ludicrously acute again. 

All this has been bequeathed to our daughter - particularly the hearing issue. I can literally pour and hand her a glass of juice right in front of her in the morning - and she will automatically ask if it's fresh. I will again nod vigorously and bellow, "YES!!!" at her - and she will immediately ask if I said No. She can't find anything - even if I'm waving it in her face and saying, "I've got it right here!" - she'll still argue that it isn't anywhere to be seen. Answer her Yes and she not only hears No, but somehow also hears," Never - and if you mention it again there will be punishment metered out." In fact the hearing aspect of it is so bizarre that she can carry on a parallel conversation with whatever information she heard, becoming visibly disturbed by the fact that it doesn't make any logical sense. Take this morning when she became confused when she realized that we were actually going out to by a new grill. It actually took us five minutes of her strange questions about bananas and where it will live to determine that she thought we were all going out to buy a gorilla. More astonishing is that when we finally cleared it up she changed her tune and became irate about buying a new grill because we already have one (it's lethal and has only one cooking temperature that burns everything). Which means - when you briefly analyze it - that she was perfectly content to go out and buy a gorilla but has umpteen objections to bringing home a grill.

Speaking of mishearing things my wife may need one of these.

Specifically because when stood just five feet away from her daughter in the kitchen this morning she misheard, "Mommy - don't leave the water on in the sink," as, "Mommy! You're a warlock!!" That sort of miscommunication can only lead to disaster. All of this would be fine with me if they didn't go on about how loud music can hurt your ears and damage your hearing - or make allusions to the fact that I can't hear them. Oh I can hear you. Not paying attention is a choice.....

My daughter is currently being schooled in a new game by her mother. I have no idea what it is called (Wikipedia offers all kinds of amusing names like Red Hands, Slapsies and Hot Hands) but it basically involves facing one another with hands held out - one palms down one palms up over and under one another - and attempting to move your hand before the other person can slap the others hands. I recall in school some kids played a similar game called knuckles that hurt like a bastard. And there was even a version that involved holding a fistful of playing cards and trying to draw blood from your opponent. I did ask what the game was and my wife said, "I don't know - maybe Slappers?" At which point my daughter feverishly cried, "Mommy I want to be a slapper!" I interjected that Mommy is definitely the biggest slapper in our household. To which my daughter took that to be a challenge and declared that she would one day be a much bigger slapper than her mother. I think some sort of plinth or statue (at least some sort of erection anyway) should be placed in the village square when the mantle has been passed on.

My daughter has also seriously started to learn about pocket money. As in randomly last week she came downstairs and told me she wanted to show me something upstairs - and when I went up she'd sorted and put away all the laundry. Which was quite a shock. She then strongly suggested that such behavior warranted payment. So we agreed that if she can keep her room tidy, make her bed every morning, feed the dog every day and put away laundry every week then she can have pocket money/an allowance. The amount is still sort of in question. $5 seems an awful lot of money for a five year old to be wielding at any given moment. And the $3 I gave her last week seems too little. The $3 was what I had on me at the time - and she thought it was loads of money. Illustrated by the fact that when we went to the farm stand yesterday she thought it was enough to by a bag of sour watermelon, a "cookie as big as my face" and a flamingo. Not a real one - one on a stick that you plonk in a flower garden. So actually it worked out as she then had to choose which thing she wanted most. It especially worked as she realized she didn't have enough for all of it and then offered a tiny whine (whining is banned in my house - not happening) about how she wanted it all anyway. Then she put the flamingo back (excellent choice) and took the sour watermelon. I had to loan her a penny as it was $3.01. And lo and behold the woman at the cash register gave her and my son a free cookie anyway. Bonus!

- This working-for-cash thing also helps me alleviate any boredom I may have as well. For example - I can now suggest my daughter do stupid things and I'll give her a dime for it. One example being yesterday's William Tell re-enactment that I put on (that I stupidly didn't video) where I tried to knock a massive apple (really - look at the size of that thing) off her head with a polystyrene space shuttle.

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