Thursday, June 21, 2007

Taro and the Glopposite Islands

Isabelle's favorite bathtoy is "Taro," the dragon-boy, a little plastic person who resembles nothing so much as a character from Charles Schultz's Peanuts strip, if one of them wore a moustache and a pirate outfit. Unlike his namesake in the excellent Japanese animated movie (Taro the Dragon-Boy), who is a soft-spoken but determined little boy with the strength of 100 men, Taro rides a pirate ship and is mostly concerned with family matters and going swimming.

Taro is accompanied on his escapades by his mother, played by a pencil-thin fairy queen with a bare midriff, and his father, played by what appears to be, if he is her father, a cross-dressing teeny-bopper. I don't quite understand it, but Taro's dad wears a halter-top, mini-skirt, and lots of plastic jewelry, including an anklet on her bare feet. Of course, he does have a large, bushy ponytail, which might explain things, except that he has another, equally bushy ponytail on the other side of his head -- and of course his hair is red. It's a mystery to me, but I like it.

Truth in advertising: I don't know that Taro actually has ever gone to the Glopposite Islands, but I thought Isabelle's effort at "Galapogos" was so funny I had to get it in there somewhere.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Sacrifices of Parenting

Now that it is summer Isabelle likes to play outside. Her favorite game is "chase," in which she runs and I roar and occassionally head her off to create the illusion I am running.

But I cannot resist the temptation to get her into the garden. So as the spring unfolded, I showed her the strawberry blossoms, the tiny green buds that would be fruit, the green fruit that would be ripe, and finally, the strawberries started ripening.

Just two. I ate one and she ate one.

Jump ahead one day. A lot more strawberries are getting ripe now. We noted this with excitement.

Now, one thing parents do is they are always looking for games their children can play while they work. The best games are games that help: "Hey! How fast can you get these bottles in the recycling?" But any game that keeps her busy is a help. For instance, I'm building a border to hold a gravel bed along the side of the house, she's playing "flip ball," which, near as I can tell, involves running around, sans ball, and falling over backwards. Good game.

But then she disappears.

Put down the tools. Go look. There she is, in the middle of the garden, a beautific smile, smeared red with strawberry juice.

Well, there'll be more tomorrow.

Flash forward to tomorrow.

DADDY: "Let's pick some strawberries for Mommy."
ISABELLE: "I want to pick strawberries for me!"
DADDY: "Okay, you pick strawberries for you, and I'll pick strawberries for Mommy."
ISABELLE: "I'm going to eat them all!"

Pick pick pick. Hers go in her mouth, mine go in the bucket. I eat a couple, fill a bucket with eight strawberries.

Usher little girl out of garden as she starts eating -- and liking -- even the white ones.

Dessert time. Can't eat strawberries in front of little girl and not give her any. I've had a few, so I put four in her bowl, four in Mommy's bowl. Then I have to leave to see my former students graduate from Elementary School. A moment later the phone rings.

Mommy talks briefly to Grandma Bev. Looks down. Both bowls are empty.

On the upside, strawberries are at least good for little girls!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Isabelle Art

So Isabelle drew a pair of pictures, and I looked down, and, to my surprise, I instantly recognized what she had drawn. This is Totoro, the tree-kami from My Neighbor Totoro, one of her favorite movies.

I thought she had drawn two:

But after I posted them, I showed them to her and just checked to be sure I was right. "This is Totoro, too, right?"

"No, Daddy, that's you!"