Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Played Out

I had to wait for almost an hour at the JCC today while Kim finished up her hellish day at work. She had the booster seat, so Skylar and I weren't going anywhere.

The thing is, Skylar is perfectly happy to stay in her pre-school classroom until all the kids leave for the playground at 5pm. She was happily hopping about as a "pretty, pretty pony" when I came in, then següed to linking "monkey hooks" together into an impressively multi-colored plastic bouquet. I looked over at her periodically to praise her balancing act, but spent most of my time at the Lego table building a Frank Lloyd Wright-ish Prairie Style house while talking with Etienne, Colin, and Ariel. It was a lot of fun, And I got to do a good deed by letting Colin play with my cell phone when he became upset that someone wasn't sharing something with him.

When Kendra started rounding up the kids to go downstairs, Skylar and I went to wait on the sofas next to the elevator in the JCC's foyer. After Kim arrived, the three of us played together for a bit. The game was jump on dad and try to give him a "raspberry" while he attempts to retract his neck like a tortoise. Entertaining, despite my fear of having wetness on my exposed skin.

Then Kim went to work some of her stress out before dinner and a movie. Skylar and I came home to a mellow evening. She played for a long time with her Little People castle I found at the Goodwill Store, incorporating the "pretty, pretty ponies" -- something Hannah Gill was talking up at school today, I believe -- into her usual postmodern narrative of the "guys" -- small plastic and stuffed figures -- doing impressive deeds in the face of unspeakable danger.

Dinner was pizza. She had her usual Amy's organic plain. I had my non-GMO Piccolo cornmeal crust, onto which I heaped TJ's frozen bell pepper slices, TJ's frozen white corn, TJ's frozen peas and TJ's frozen Israeli garlic cubes (three) and then, after a few minutes of thawing in the oven, thin slices of TJ's-purchased Gerhard's chicken apple sausages, TJ's dried chile, TJ's Italian Seasoning, and TJ's shredded "Mediterranean" three-cheese blend.

Before it was ready, though, I was hit with a wave of intense exhaustion when talking to the India Oven-bound Kim on the phone.

I didn't realize until extracting Skylar's pizza from the oven, however, that my problem was an absence of coffee. I never made my coffee today. And I never got around to stopping at a café either. No wonder I feel like a ninety-year-old!

It's too late for coffee now. The two Cokes -- not from TJ's, alas -- I had with my pizza gave me just enough caffeine to forestall the terrible headache and make it to Skylar's bedtime.

Right now, as I type this, the ready-for-bed Skylar has barricaded us in my office by pushing the old red computer chair up against the door. Her pink and purple "pretty, pretty ponies" are getting their long tails brushed. I believe Skylar is babysitting them, since they aren't used to me yet.

My task is to babysit Groovy Girl "Alisa," who apparently is used to me. Sometimes Alisa is "our daughter." I haven't inquired too strenuously about the nature of that first-person plural.

Wait. Skylar just said, "It's a different kind of family: a mom and a grandma."

What does that make me?

Also, Skylar brought me issue #15 of The Baffler a few minutes ago to read to Alisa, since, "she needs to be reading more complicated things."

Indeed. Perhaps Tom Frank's daughter will be bringing him one of the Bad Subjects books in two years with a similar injunction.

As I was fixing an errant HTML tag in this entry, I asked Skylar whether she wanted me to read what I just wrote.

"That's for your blog, dad," she said. "You wrote down what you did today so you would remember it later."

I guess Kim has been explaining blogging to Skylar. Or, rather, I hope Kim has been explaining it. Because if she hasn't -- I haven't, surely -- then I'm going to be worried.

It's hard when your child is a lot smarter than you are. I feel like Jodie Foster's character in Little Man Tate.

Time for bedtime.
Tags: daughter, everyday

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