Have A Little Faith!

There are so many times that I’ll be hanging out with Weevy and she’ll say something absolutely ridiculous and hilarious (or hilariously ridiculous), and I’ll think, holy fuck, I need to write that down before I forget it.  And 99.9% of the time I don’t write it down, and I forget it, and there’s another moment of Weevy’s childhood that I’ll never get back.

When I decided, back before Weevy was born, that I wanted to be her primary caregiver from cradle till… well, that has yet to be determined, I thought that by being with her all the time and taking care of her day in and day out, it would slow things down and I wouldn’t look around one day and realize she’s a grown woman and wish I’d spent more time with her.  And I’ll tell you, some of the days and weeks can really crawl by at a pace so slow it can appear that time is actually going backward.  But the months go by pretty fast.  And the YEARS… holy hell, how can it be 8 1/2 years since a tiny little human being came sliding out of my wife’s private parts?  So I have gotten to savor every day, I have spent an amount of time with my daughter that many busier parents would envy (and some hands-off parents would question), and for fuck’s sake, it’s STILL all going too fast.

Anyway.  When school started and we moved from the Upper West Side to Murray Hill, Weevy and I (and sometimes her mom as well) started what we call “Horizon Mondays.”  After school, one day a week, Weevy and I ostensibly do something vaguely cultural around town.  One week we visited the Morgan Library.  One week we hit the Empire State Building observation deck.  Other weeks, we went to our favorite local pastry shop and ate macarons and drew for an hour.  You get the idea.

For some reason, a couple of weeks ago, my lovely and brilliant wife suggested that we spend Horizon Monday at the Nintendo Store, about a 15-minute walk from our new digs. This didn’t seem very educational or of much cultural value, but I couldn’t think of anywhere better to go, and once Splatoon-mad Weevy heard the word “Nintendo,” she was sold.  So off we went.

This is a really long and roundabout way of getting to a few awesome Weevy quotes that I’m writing down for posterity’s sake, so I can read them years hence and chuckle at the memories.

So we got to the Nintendo store, Weevy’s head pretty much exploded, and we kept running up and down from the second to the first floor, looking at all the cool stuff (and, to be fair, a display of vintage Gameboys and the like, so it was almost sorta kinda like visiting a museum).  I was entirely unmoved, being a video game agnostic myself except when it comes to things like Home Run Derby.  Super Mario leaves me cold, what can I tell you.  But we were looking at these things called Amiibos, basically plastic figurines of characters in the games Weevy plays.  I was very impressed that she hadn’t asked me to actually, you know, BUY her anything, but I guess she was trying to stick to the whole “we’re visiting a museum, sort of” type vibe.  But I made the mistake of looking at an Amiibo and, trying to sound like I was into the whole scene, said, “Wow, that’s so cool.”

“Buy it!” Weevy said within about .372 seconds, trying to sound encouraging.  But hey, I might have been born on a Thursday, but it weren’t LAST Thursday.  I knew what was coming.  Lowering her voice, she said with a slight conspiratorial air, “I kind of wanted one of those, too.”  Of course.  Only so I wouldn’t feel so alone when buying one for myself.  And guess who wound up going home with an Amiibo and who didn’t.

So that was the first awesome thing she said.  The second came when we were walking home.  Like most 8-year-olds, she has the ability to change moods on a dime.  I told her that I had to stop at the bank on the way home.  Much wailing and whining ensued.  “But WHYYYYYY?  I WANT TO GO HOME!  Can’t we just go home?  DADDYYYYYY…. Not fair.”  The usual.  But as soon as we walked in the toasty warm bank (it was quite a chilly January evening), Happy Weevy burst forth once more. “Oh, it’s so nice and warm in here!… This radiator is making my butt really warm, Daddy!”  For some reason, volume modulation goes out the window when Weevy is making this sort of observation.  “DADDY, FEEL MY BUTT!  ISN’T IT WARM?”  That one came out at, I’m guessing, roughly 179 decibels.  I must say, I was torn.  Touch her butt, which might seem a little pervy to ignorant bystanders?  Or refuse and risk hurting her feelings?  Well, needless to say, I touched her butt.  And it was indeed toasty warm.  Thank you, Chase bank, for your excellent butt-warming radiators.

Thing #3: We arrived home to be greeted by our lovely and overaffectionate cat, Princess; the missus was out for the evening.  At bedtime, I told Weevy, as I tell her every night, “It’s time to clean cat poop” — meaning the litter box, not some stray clumps lying around on the floor, although that happens too.  Weevy conveniently manages to “forget” to clean the box on nights I don’t remind her.  They’re part of her weekly chores, for which she is compensated with an allowance, but she doesn’t seem to mind the docked pay for nights she didn’t clean cat poop, which makes me wonder just how effective a teaching tool this whole fee-for-service allowance method really is.

Anyway, on this night, she dragged her heels as usual.  But I was having none of it.  “You have to clean poop tonight.  I’m away tomorrow [I was headed out of town for official whiskey business], and I know you’re not going to clean poop with Mommy.”

That raised her hackles.  “How do you know?!” she fairly yelled.

“Because Mommy NEVER cleans poop.”  Not quite a truthful statement, but fairly accurate.

“WHY NOT?” Weevy said in mock outrage.  “SHE CAN’T CLEAN POOP OR SOMETHING?”

“No, she CAN, she just usually doesn’t.”

“HAVE A LITTLE FAITH!  ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”

I got her to clean the poop with me, but I thought that was hilarious.

Weevy’s at that age where her Nintendo and her iPad are far more amusing to her than her parents, so we don’t talk as much as we used to.  We’ve gone hours at a stretch where the only thing she says to me, besides, “Daddy, can I have something to eat?” is “Daddy, can I have something else to eat?”  But on those all-too-rare occasions where she does interact with me, she’s still a hoot and a half.  May she never change.  And may time slow down… just a bit.  I don’t ask for much.

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The Princess In Black

Back in Weevy’s younger days — those halcyon days of pre-K, mostly — she wore regular clothes only when she was in school or when she was sleeping.  Other than that, it was costumes, all day and every day.  And not just one costume a day.  She’d go from Elsa to Rapunzel to Strawberry Shortcake (known for some reason as “Strawberry Shortcut”) to Ariel back to Elsa… Her record for costume changes in a single day, if I remember correctly, was eleven, but it may have been more than that.  I think we spent as much time changing costumes as we spent actually playing.  She’d wear her costumes out, too, creating quite a stir among the Upper West Siders who had the good fortune to encounter a real live Disney princess in their midst.

Nowadays, she’s a hip, sophisticated third grader whose fashion tastes run to, as she calls them, “tight butt pants” (heaven help us when she hits puberty), unicorn sweatshirts, and sneakers.  Costumes?  SO passé, dah-ling.  But there’s still a little bit of Little Weevy in Big Weevy.  For Christmas she asked us (well, she asked Santa, in whose existence she apparently still believes, which gives this secular Jew very mixed feelings) for a Ladybug costume, referring to the character in the TV series Miraculous, which I haven’t seen.  No shell or anything, just a bodysuit (complete with gloves and feet in red with black polka dots.  But sure enough, on Christmas, she wore it to her aunt and uncle’s house, where it beautifully complemented her cousins’ pajamas and football uniforms.  She wore it the entire next day as well.

Today was “Dress Up As A Character From A Book You Love” day at school, or something like that.  And magically, as if she was four again, her excitement grew steadily by the day until yesterday, when we went shopping for the black shirt and face paint she required, she could barely contain herself.  It’s the first time all year she was actually looking forward to school.  So much so, in fact, that at 10:20 last night, when I was still getting ready to go to bed, she got up, blew past me, and sat down at the computer.  “What are you doing?” I asked.  She looked at me like I was a fucking moron and said, “It’s time to get up.”  I pointed her to the clock and back to bed, where she stayed until… 5:00.  “Good morning!” she chirped.  Cranky Mommy & Daddy made her go back to sleep, but by 5:30 she could no longer be contained.  Fuck it, we said, and got up, got her bathed and dressed and made up as The Princess In Black, whose costume she also wore last year.  But hell, she’s in a new school now, so a repeat performance was called for.

This was, I think, the best day of school she’s had all year.  Between staring at her classmates’ costumes (none of whose were as awesome as hers, in my opinion), staring at her teachers‘ costumes, and staring at her own costume, of course, she was totally in her element once more.  I guess costume-mania is like riding a bike or something, you never forget how to do it.  “I wish every Friday could be costume day, Daddy,” she told me on her way to school.  Me too, Weevy, me too.  Although my tune may change once I have to wash off all that black face paint in an hour or so.  I can’t say I miss the multiple daily costume changes, but… oh, who am I kidding, I miss it all.  Hell, if I could go back and do it all again — the pacifiers, the diaper-changing, the deathly-dull, hours-long princess games — I’d do it in a heartbeat.