Monday, May 17, 2010

Teach your children well...

... to do as you say, not as you do. Otherwise you risk a child exposing, in you, the moral hazard oft-cited in connection with government programs and the mafia.

Exhibit A:

"No candy, honey, we eat good things because they help us stay healthy and keep our bodies strong."
The 4 year-old daughter
"Then you need to eat more good things, fat-boy."
"Brooklyn, remember that in the course of justice, none of us should see salvation. We do pray for mercy. And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy."
The 4 year-old daughter
"Dad, I have some good news and some bad news. The really bad news is that you are getting fat. Well, I don't really have any good news."

Stiff upper lip and all while your child argues her way out of a teachable moment and reveals your dichotomic actions - without even taking her attention away from Wow Wow Wubbzy - then nuzzle up to some Chubby Hubby, Chubby Hubby.

Picture of Bear-Bear on the cusp of "being up to no good". He has this look that makes you compulsively recount all the Sharpies in the kitchen drawer and sit straining your ears to listen for the gentle trickle of running water somewhere in the house.

Brittiny was craving Baja's, a Mexican food joint in CT one Saturday morning, and Pregnant Wife gets what Pregnant Wife wants: a trip to the ol' stomping grounds and authentic guacamole. Here we walked along the Waste Haven boardwalk.

Brittiny and Brookers in Wooster Park. We had to pay Brooklyn $5 to get her to smile.

The kids and I are petting a very friendly chocolate lab mix. His name was Unconditional Surrender.

Bear playing in Wooster Park. I like this picture 'cause he looks like a little dude.

Now he's hanging around.

Brooklyn looking beautiful and sweet. How I'll miss these days when she's somewhere between age 10 and How-Ever-Old-Kellie-is-Right-Now.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The erosion of bedtime stories in the Epperson household...

is nearly complete. Time was I would bring elaborate plot-lines and character-specific voices into the evening storytelling. Subtly I would lead Brooklyn, wide-eyed, through a world of grotesque monsters, angelic princesses and involved social situations. The plot-lines were complicated and imaginative (think Dexter) and the action intense (think Remo Williams). But, sadly, I realize that the situation has somehow changed.

To wit, here is a portion from Brookers' favorite bedtime story 2 years ago:

"...the Prince rode his horse swiftly up the winding stone path toward Maleficent's dark castle perched atop the jagged peaks of the Devil's Backbone, the steed's hooves producing sharp metronomic clicks that scattered into the still night. The brave Prince Phillip slipped his hand down toward the glowing Sword of Truth and closed his fingers around its leather-wrapped handle. The cold steel grew warm to his touch, a pale blue light eking out from the edges of the scabbard..."

I used to care. I used to watch Brooklyn's reaction to every line of the story. She would pull the covers up to right under her nose when Maleficent were in a scene, beam when I described Aurora dancing with her Prince, and squirm (but also ask for me to repeat the details) when they finally smooched.

Here's what she and Braden got last night:

" the Prince was like, hey, how come we have this report running in UAT but no requirements were drawn up? And then the evil co-worker was like: Oh, didn't you see that e-mail - it went out to the whole kingdom?

And then the Prince went home and his Princess was all: make me some nachos - now the cheese is too bubbled, how long did you nuke these - do everything I say - is that your wet towel on the bed - I'm pregnant - hang that shelf in the laundry room."

Yeah, I can only imagine how little effort I'll put forward with #3.