Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simon Says Give Me Your PIN Number

I have to take my daughter to the vet today.

You may recall from a few entries ago I made a comment about my wife and child's innate ability to mishear things in such fantastic fashion that one can only assume that they're making it up. Except they aren't. Transcribed below is a genuine conversation from yesterday. It is the entire conversation as it happened. There is no context or unmentioned information that can help explain how on earth it took the direction that it did.

Wife: How was swimming lesson today?
Daughter: Great. We did a treasure hunt, played Ring Around the Rosie, and at the end I went completely under the water and touched the bottom of the pool. I learned to swim on my back without help too!
Wife: So...tell me about the sea turtle? 

Any help on locating even the slightest hint of sea turtles in my daughter's response would be greatly appreciated. Because none of us - my wife included - can find where the notion of sea turtles came from. Still - it's this level of miscommunication that makes parenting exciting. I myself engaged in a similar category of miscommunication. Except mine was more of a poor reading of my daughter's mood rather than hearing words that weren't uttered in any way at all. My transgression was - after reading some of The Nutcracker Prince to my daughter - was deciding to show her some of the dancing on Youtube. I figured The Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy would be mellow and cool enough to get her excited. Quiet, graceful and subtle. She's started telling her brother not to crash into her like a runaway donkey when she's dancing now just so she can do dances like that (In her mind anyway - she still dances like she's convulsing from an electric shock). But no - I noticed the Russian kassock dancers and showed her that. Consequently she rocketed about the room ninja-kicking everything around her. The one-minute mark was her favorite bit and resulted in what may be the most violent spasms I've ever seen her engaged in.

More esoteric and interesting to me though was the game of Simon Says that we all played yesterday. My daughter boasted that I couldn't possibly win because she always notices when Simon does or doesn't say something. So I triumphantly ordered her - via Simon - to do all manner of ridiculous things. And she was right - every time I and not Simon gave the order she conducted herself accordingly. Her brother was a disaster though - seemingly translating every command as, "climb on Daddy and bite him until victory is achieved." So to make things more interesting I (or more accurately - Simon did) started suggesting they do weird things. "Simon says fly around the room!" I offered. I'm a man of science. I know how the world works. But I also know my kids so did briefly wonder if this was the point where the facade would slip and I'd suddenly find myself stood in the middle of the room as both my kids buzzed around in the air like drunken wasps. It'd be a hell of a way to find out. There is the possibility that the power wasn't there's at all and it was actually down to me and Simon. In which case I started throwing out all sorts of randomness to check. "Simon says explain the Third Law of Thermodynamics." My son babbled something - and one of the words may have been, "entropy" so I'm counting that one. "Simon says, why does it say Jesus was hung from a tree in Paul's letters and in Acts and not crucified on a cross?" No response. "Simon says that he wants sausages." No response to that one either. Maybe I can only get enough power to do a few of those at a time. I'll try again later.

Anyhoo - back to the vet thing. I was just at the vet yesterday updating some rabies shots. Not for me or the kids (already had those) but for the dog. It should be noted that my daughter decided to try out a brand new joke on the vet whilst we were there.

Daughter: Who does a dog go to see when he's sick?
Vet: I don't know. Me?
Daughter: No! The dog-ter!
Vet: (laughing much harder than I thought she would).

For relatively dull reasons I've not had to take the dog to the vet myself. So imagine my surprise when I laid the paperwork on the counter in the office and noticed the dog's birth date - which just so happens to be the same day as my daughter (although a few years earlier). Straight away I told my daughter thinking she would get a kick out of it. She immediately explained to I and the vet that she and the dog are twins and that she is part dog. The vet - again a bit too enthusiastically - nodded as if to emphasize to the room that a human/dog mutant was a perfectly ordinary. "See - I told you it was normal to fuck dogs..." she seemed to say. I made a mental note the at least raise the notion of it with my wife just to rule it out.

It would explain a lot about my daughter. Particularly her feral nature, the howling and proclivity to chase squirrels. It does though lead to obvious questions about whether my son is "pure" or not. After all - he does enjoy being scratched far more than is normal. And he licks everything. Still - the news of her shared birthday prompted my daughter to romp around the house for the rest of the day barking, woofing and doing things she thought dogs do. Some ordinary things - like playing fetch and eating dog treats (yes she tried one - and don't pretend you haven't). But she also incorporated things like playing Angry Birds - but loudly panting while she did it.

Then - on the way upstairs to bed - she was scuttling about on all fours when she looked down at her toe. She said the bottom of her big toe hurt a lot. And she was crying quite a bit. Nope - we couldn;t see anything. Then we saw this.


Yep - that is a sliver jammed right under her big toe. It's a monster of one too. Her mother tried to get it out with a pair of tweezers. Well - she tried to calm her daughter down at the prospect of removing that wacking great big thing out from under her toenail with tweezers for thirty minutes. But the sheer violence of her screaming at even the idea of it led her to give up and leave it to the doctor/nurse to have a go at this morning. My wife is more in line with my idea about seeing the doctor. That being you really only need to see them if you can't fix something yourself, or you need a signature. But the difference in mood of my daughter between knowing her mother was going to rip that thing out, and the idea that the doctor would do it led us to agree to take her this morning. It's not going to be fun once she realizes that the nurse is holding her foot so she can't pull it away. That's where we're off now.

I hope she doesn't scream like she did last night.

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