The Child is two years old. Two and some change, but I stopped recording or relaying that kind of down-to-the-second-NASA-esque-birth-clock long before she was one. She was “nine months” for several months. All the other children at story time had accurate receipts for their time on Earth, nine months two weeks, nine months and one week two days, forty two weeks. Weeks?! I’m not adding that up. I went to public school. Also, I don’t care. So The Child was in age limbo till one, and has suffered from a punctuated equilibrium ever since.
Regardless, The Child is still aging, growing, biggering, getting closer to being The Kid. Guess who asks questions? Kids. Can I have a puppy? Will smoking make me look cool? Can I watch Star Wars Episode One? Led Zeppelin? I spend most of my sparse free time thinking up answers. So far, they are as follows:
No, nope, a million times no, and special daddy music shut the door!
Thinking up answers ahead of time is all well and good, but The Child isn’t quite the regular type of child. We took The Child to buy her first pack of big girl underwear (not to be confused with… well, big girl underwear, she’s actually a bit tiny for her age) and she didn’t pick out anything from the girl’s selection. Not the pink ones that say “sassy” or the slutty tinkerbell ones in a bikini cut. She wanted some more or less white boy ones with Thomas the Tank Engine emblazoned on them. She later found these to be defective, as they only had “boy” trains. No Emily, Rosie, Molly, not even a narrow gauge engine (that top hat guy has some explaining to do). Take that, advertising demographic research intern, go hit your books or charts or whatever it is you hit when you’re wrong. When kids her age at the aquarium are filling their pants because they saw Nemo, The Child is looking for Dorry.
Where did advertising go wrong? The TV has pulled a couple shifts as parent pro tempore and she can spot a chicken nugget at fifty paces. She’s just a bit out of step with the standard kids-buy-the-darndest-things beat. There is a whole history of easy answers and pre-fab solutions that ubiquitous advertising has given parents since the Bass trademark (kids back then were big on pale ale) and The Child will shuck and jive around every one. Which means The Spouse and I have to learn to think on our feet. Speaking of which…
This is the Battle of Evermore, Child, pull up a hobbit and shut the door.