Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Best to avoid an invitation to Camp David...

The scene: Watching American Idol. Dictator President Bush and the First Puppet Lady have just come on the screen.

Mr Babbler: What is wrong with her makeup?
Me: [mumble in agreement]
Mr Babber: Seriously. She looks like a fucking Candarian demon!

I'm thinking this explains a lot about the last 7 years!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Moments ago - an actual conversation

Mr Babbler - This house has air conditioning, right?
Me - I think so. I'm sure it does. Wait a minute. It does have air conditioning, right? It must. I'm sure it does.
Mr Babbler - It must, but I haven't ever seen the unit. It would have to be down the other side of the house.*
Me - Really, we couldn't have been that stupid, right? We didn't buy this house without checking to make sure that it had air conditioning?!

[Panicky moment of finding the listing sheet.]

Me - The listing says it has air conditioning. Perhaps I'd better go and check though.

[I leave the house and head to the front yard where I stuff my head under my neighbour's fence.]

Me - Yes, we have an air conditioner sighting.

Hmm... thank goodness this appears to be one time where stupidity was rewarded.

*This does make sense as our house has a strange layout. Because of the way our garage attaches to our house at the back, the two feet that belong to our property on the the side of the house with the garage are in the neighbour's yard. Those two feet would be useless to us as it would be a strip of land that we would never use because it would be a brick wall from one end of the house to the other and wouldn't be accessible from the rest of the yard. In exchange, we get the extra two feet from our neighbours on the other side. If that makes any sense.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today's epiphany brought to you by Elmo

Before I had Peanut, Mr Babbler and I swore our house would not be filled with all sorts of licensed plastic crap.

That's ok, you go ahead. Laugh at my ignorance. I'll wait.

Finished? Wiped the tears from your eyes?

As I was saying, we had sworn our house would not be filled with all sorts of licensed crap. Our child would not be outfitted head-to-toe in Dora. We would not eat/sleep/breathe The Wiggles. There would not be an endless parade of saccharine-sweet Disney princesses sashaying their way
across our TV screen.

For the most part, we have been successful. Peanut does not own a single branded item of clothing. She has yet to see even a single moment of Disney. She is, however, allowed to watch Sesame Street - carefully compiled on our PVR and pulled out when Mommy needs a few precious moments.

She loves Sesame Street with a passion that is ordinarily only reserved for her Bunny. The sound of the "P-B-S Kids!" intro is enough to make her drop whatever she's doing and run for her chair.

The Peanut's royal throne.

She's very giving with her love. One day she shows a deep affinity for Big Bird. Other days it's Bert. She's always got a giggle for Cookie Monster. And, like many kids, she loves some Elmo. No, Peanut does not play favorites with her Monsters.

Yes, these monsters.

We love Sesame Street around here. It's smart and clever and funny, and some of the "adult" jokes never fail to make me giggle. (Ever see the piece where Ernie gets Bert to pretend to talk to an elephant on the phone? He's introducing himself to her, and at the end of the call Ernie is talking to the camera. In the background you can hear Bert saying "yes, I'm about 6" tall with blond hair. No, I really don't think we should meet." Hilarious I tell you!) But even with all that love, apart from a single colouring book we've managed to avoid the siren call of branded toys or clothes or cutlery.

Until last night. I was walking through Wal-mart and they were having a special sale on this item:

A branded piece of plastic crap.

I stopped in my tracks, and before I knew what I was doing I was reaching for my cell phone to call Mr Babbler to discuss a possible purchase with him. Thirty seconds later I had loaded the box into my cart and I was on my way. I was bringing an item into our house that had broken all the rules. It was branded. It was plastic. It makes noise. In a nutshell, it's a cheaply made piece of crap.

Peanut woke up this morning, ate her breakfast, and then wandered into the living room to find Elmo waiting for her. The morning sun was streaming through the windows, hitting Elmo just so, such that the plastic appeared to glow with an inner light. She stopped in her tracks, gripped Bunny even tighter, pointed and started squealing and babbling madly. Her head whipped around for me, her eyes wide with excitement, before tentatively approaching Elmo and offering him her Bunny. Periodically throughout the day she would wander over to stroke Elmo's head.

That reaction, that reaction that I knew she was going to have, was what caused my epiphany. It's all well and good that Mr Babbler and I had such high-minded ideals, but at the end of the day what we really want is to make our child happy. While this doesn't mean you'll see Peanut wandering around in Dora head-to-toe or find her room decorated in Disney Princesses any time soon, it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Occasionally, I can bend, and in doing so bring Peanut untold pleasure. Knowing how excited she would be, as I paid, drove home, and put the pieces together was like the night before Christmas, when you can barely restrain yourself from giving that ultimate gift - the one longed for, pined for, sought after. I went to bed, excited for the morning and eager to see her reaction, and was well-rewarded for my efforts.

Perhaps in some way, by still maintaining some of our original ideas, that is what has made this moment (and those, occasional ones, that are sure to follow) that much sweeter. The shock of pleasure and joy in the unexpected and unanticipated a heady combination.

BLITHELY BABBLING © 2008. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness