Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sugar and Spice?

One of my granddaughters is visiting this week.  I have two:  The Munchkin and the Submarine.  The Munchkin is five years old and I have written about her before.  The Submarine (so called because she is always wet on both ends) is only five weeks old and her mother threatens a restraining order if I write about her.  Obviously, it is the Munchkin who is visiting.

It is amazing the things you can learn from a five year old girl.   Maybe the world just looks different when you are only three feet tall.  Maybe little girls are just special.  Or maybe, I’m listening to every single word she says because she is so damn cute.  Whatever.  Here are the things I have learned this week.

Sideways kissing is “dirty kissing.”  This probably needs some explanation.  Remember in the movies when the actors would mash the sides of their faces together and kiss with just  the corners of their mouths?  I think in the 1930’s, Jeanette Macdonald and Nelson Eddy had a patent on this technique.  This is dirty kissing and according to the munchkin, it is really, really dirty.  Until this week, no one outside of Hollywood ever thought about doing such an idiotic thing, but since we learned it was dirty, the Doc and I have gotten rather good at it.  We’re still working on the dirty part.

If you want boys to eat something, it has to be gross.  It must be something like Dirty Diaper Stew or, my sons’ favorite: Monkey Blood Chicken.  With little girls, this doesn’t work.  Every meal is a negotiation and the menu will accept very few new additions unless you have the guile of a diplomat. Clam chowder only became acceptable after I explained that it was the favorite meal for mermaids.

With other foods, I had mixed results.  Evidently, mermaids do not eat anchovy pizza.  Mushroom risotto is really gross, but mushroom rice is okay.  Onions are horrible unless we pull them from my garden, while any food whose name includes the word ‘berry’ is wonderful.  It is a lot easier to eat broccoli if you call it “baby trees.”

Little girls are very clean.  We swim every day, and the Munchkin wants a bath after swimming—a concept that would have never occurred to a boy.  And the changes of clothes!  I once made the boys loin cloths out of old towels and a length of rope.  That was the only clothes they wore one summer.  The Munchkin, however has at least four changes of clothes a day.  And painted toenails.  And painted fingernails.

Yesterday, the Munchkin asked me to put up her hair so she could go swimming.  I know what she meant, but honest to God, my first thought was to use duct tape.  My second thought was to send her to ask Grandma, the Doc.

When little boys play, you lose a couple of kitchen spoons to the sand pile in the corner of the yard while they slowly bury their toy cars (so years later they can become guided missiles when a lawnmower hits them).  When little girls play...well, I was shocked the other day when I came home to the carnage in the den.  As best as I can reconstruct it, Barbie and Stacy were driving a pink corvette to their fashionable Malibu beach house, when suddenly, Ken (a clandestine member of al Qaeda) detonated a roadside IED.  The blast decapitated Stacy while mussing the long blonde hair of Barbie.  Sadly, several ponies and a unicorn were also killed.  Strangely, the bomb blew the clothes off of everybody.

Do all little girls sing to their toys?  And to the birds?  And the cats?  I don’t remember the boys singing this much.  I heard a lot of muttering under their breath.  (I once heard What’s-His-Name promise his brother that they were going to push me into the pool as soon as I was in a wheelchair.)

I have to be careful what I write.  In a few years I hope to have both of those little girls visit at the same time.  I’m going to buy each of them a pony.


  1. A bought pony = a wheelchair in the pool!

  2. You buy the pony, I'll pitch in for the life preserver so you can float in the pool...

  3. Thay pony thing does pay off in the long run. I got a very nice Father's Day greeting from Lydia on Facebook this year to "the dad who said yes when I asked for a pony." 10 years is not too long to wait.