Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stretch Marks & Raisin Bran

I sometimes forget that, for Dylan, literally everything is new.  Child psychologists have compared young children to empty vessels who are waiting to be filled with knowledge; sponges, that absorb all that is around them; or, drunk, homeless men who shout at you for no reason.  Okay, that last one's mine, I admit.  But Dylan soaks up quite a bit.  Dylan has been interested in (her words) "all sortsakinda things" lately.  Here are a few examples:

Bones/dead things/the cemetery:
I have to blame my cousin Julie on this one, although it's not really her fault; she just happened to be in the car with Dylan when they drove past a cemetery.  Dylan asked about it and, in the explanation Julie told her that we'll all die someday.  "Julie?" Dylan asked, worried, "I kind of have a cold right now."  "I think you'll be alright," Julie reassured her.  Questions about dead people lead to questions about bones, and if you've ever been around a four-year old on a hot questioning streak, you'll understand that bone questions can last foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.  "Daddy, what's this bone?" "Uh, tibia? no, fibula.  Maybe."  "And this one?" "Skull."  "This?" "Still skull." "How about this?"  "Uh.  Finger bone.  And that's your eyeball bone.  Go ask your mother."

For a few weeks, every morning Dylan would tell me about her dreams.  You think dream stories are boring?  Try made-up dream stories.  Most of Dylan's involved princesses, snakes, rock slides, deer, horses, and me, killing one or all of the above with a sword.  I'd get a full, detailed report on two or three of these dreams every morning.  They really made no sense -- like real dreams -- and it took me a while to realize they were a cross between the bedtime story we'd read the night before and the latest Dora episode.  So, for example, Ferdinand the bull might get covered by a rock slide and I'd have to come in -- with a sword, and maybe a princess -- to kill a deer that was trying to ... you get the picture.

Raisin Bran:
Every night, just after we read Dylan a story and say "I love you," Dylan wants to share a secret.  I usually forget the secret portion of the ritual, so she has to get out of bed and come find me.  The secret? It's always the same.  "I want Raisin Bram in the morning," she whispers.  Raisin Bram?  Not the most exciting of secrets, or cereals, for that matter, but if she needs a little bran in her diet we'll gladly give it to her.  She used to only eat Raisin Bread, and now I think she might be changing her cereal allegiance to strawberry mini-wheats.  Whatever it is, it's a secret.

Stretch Marks:    (*Names have been changed to protect the mothers)
Dylan came home from pre-school last week and announced, "Guess what, Peggy-Sue* has stretch marks.  Her mommy does, too.  Daddy, I wish I had stretch marks."  How in the hell do I respond to that?  Obviously, my first question was how does a kid in pre-school get stretch marks, and secondly, how does a kid in pre-school know about stretch marks?  Then, the very next morning, over cartoons and secret cereal, right after a Barbie commercial, an ad for stretch mark removing cream came on the television.  "Oh, I wish I had stretch marks," Dylan cried.  Let the child psychologists sponge that up, I say.

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