Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ponies, Generosity, and Brain Damage

The girls have started pre-school. Given that I'm never actually in town on weekdays I've never been, but I've heard it referred to as a 'hippie school' on multiple occasions. Based on the pictures I get it looks like Lord Of The Flies with watercolors. Just a lot of kids running around painting each other, forming tricycle gangs, and plotting to take over the world. By 11am everyone looks like an extra from a Mad Max movie and then they all sit down and have juice boxes. I'm not clear on if or how any of this is supposed to be educational. Nixie is confident she can count, but actually sounds like she's reciting an international phone number. 1-2- 6-3-6-2-4-1-1.... and on and on until she arbitrarily says ten and you clap.

The first day Amy dropped them off the girls cried. And cried. And then there was more crying. A teacher took each of them separately and showed them around the various stations (this is where you'll paint other children, this is where you'll prepare yourselves for battle, etc) and they continued to cry. And then they spotted each other across the playground and they ran to each other and they hugged and held on to each other. Sisters. Twins. And then there was no crying. There is no point to that story other than to melt your hard cold heart. If you are unmoved you have died and are only now becoming aware of it. My condolences. This is how it happens. The bright white light was a rumor.

The girls have also entered that phase where you have to kiss all of their injuries to make them better and because they go to a freeform warrior school there are a lot of injuries. The other day I was changing Nixie and she had a wicked painful diaper rash and she was sobbing and sobbing, and then she started to yell 'Kiss IT, Kiss IT!" For years I wouldn't share a soda with my wife for fear of germs, but when a crying little girl asks you to kiss her ass, you just do. That's the best way I can describe the special kind of brain damage that is fatherhood. It's probably also the only reason anyone buys a pony.

Despite the fact that they look alike and are often dressed alike, the girls are beginning to differentiate themselves. Somehow Ripley seems to have gotten all of Amy and I's (Amy and my? Amy and your? Were you involved? That's weird) stinginess. We're just not generous people. We've been known to use a ruler when splitting a cookie. Both our brothers are the opposite, and both of us took horrible advantage of this growing up. I remember pocketing my allowance and convincing mine to buy us both candy. Which he did with a smile. These are the genes Nixie received. If Ripley cries, Nixie gives her the rest of her milk. If Nixie cries Ripley comes and takes her milk. Nixie says 'for you'. Ripley says 'MINE!'. I would worry about it more if I didn't know that someday Ripley will crack. Someday someone will yell "Kiss it!" and she will without a second thought.


itstartedwithawindmill said...

Thanks for the dose of heart antifreeze.

Anonymous said...

What is the verdict on Mel?!

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