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A Strange Kind of Fun - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
A Strange Kind of Fun
Lately, my wonderful daughter has been going through what the two of us amusedly refer to as a "Veruca Salt" phase. I tolerate this behavior because I love her, but also because our exchanges give her an outlet for aggressions that might not otherwise see the light of day. As I see it, that's what fathers are for. Sometimes, though, my patience runs out.

After picking her up from her flute lesson this afternoon and being subjected to an unending stream of knock-knock jokes, fake shrieks and attempts to distract and disturb me by making rapid movements I could only see out of the corner of my eyes, I decided that I was going to assert myself. Since she was already rendering the classical station inaudible, I switched to the new album by The Soft Pack that I'd been making notes on earlier in the afternoon. Predictably, this move led to anguished pleas for me to turn off the loud music. But when I did, her high-decibel onslaught on my sanity continued unabated.

So I turned it back on again, only a little louder. This led her to turn it off on her own. I switched it back on. Off and on, off and on the cycle went. Soon enough, though, our self-ironizing conflict became a mutually enjoyable game. Even though she continued to protest the music, I noticed that she was swaying to the catchy rhythms. By the time I had delivered her to her destination, I'd gotten to hear the first half of a few different songs many times over. And Skylar was flushed with a delight that she immediately doubled by informing her mother of my horrible misdeeds. Parenting can be really strange sometimes, but all the more rewarding as a consequence.

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Comments
sanpedrosula From: sanpedrosula Date: February 4th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Maybe you should have pulled over, for safety's sake.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 4th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Don't worry: I made sure to put the laptop away and hold off on finishing my mascara.
alsoname From: alsoname Date: February 4th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Hahaha.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 6th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I swear a see people driving with that level of distraction on a regular basis.
quuf From: quuf Date: February 4th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
This made me smile big. I still have vivid memories of "Everybody Dance Now!", and of how well you and K handled it.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 4th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ahh, yes. I had repressed that song. Same Bean!
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: February 4th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I've thought about what the next phases of the four children that live next door and in front of me will be. I think you've hit it. Right now, they're all fun and games, emotional outbursts as predictable as 3-6 yr olds can be, but they will change soon. They're all good kids though. I really enjoy them, and they invite me to go to the park with them to play all the time.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 6th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Nice. Parks are very underrated. Skylar is a very good kid, in general. She just needs her dad in order to release all the energy she otherwise keeps pent up inside.
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: February 6th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Pent up energy and not knowing how to express it is what most, in my opinion, kids and parents are at odds about in the pre- and teen years. My neighbor's (both families) children are just so full of emotional outbursts (though not in frantic ways). I hear them crying and laughing within a 5 min. timeframe, and sometimes I just laugh about it because I know that's what young kids do. You can't fault a child for being themself. Maybe, that's part of the reason the kids like me, because I'm sympathetic to them. Also, I'm around them enough and have shown them all enough respect that I've earned their friendship, such as it is. When I was moving boxes out of my apartment and down to my gallery, they came running over to find out if I was moving. When I told them no, they were happy. That's a beautiful situation in my mind; to have neighbors that care about you is nice (they parents like me too, of course).
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