And by on the clock, I mean this: I try to to sleep in as long as possible, Regina wakes up at some horrible hour to run, and, usually when I just hit REM sleep, Grady starts yelling for milk. And The Routine begins. Grady gets his milk-fix, a banana, and a clean diaper (usually not in that order), then he's off on his own to go roll cigarettes or whittle. It doesn't matter, my attention is now on the girl. Dylan is pretty good at getting up, but pretty bad at getting going. She tells us she's going pee, then will spend ten minutes making faces in the mirror. All the while we just think she's constipated until Regina goes and checks on her. Then I
My brothers used to have illustrated diagrams of the four hair styles they could pull off. Their girls would point at one (pig tails, pony tail, side pony, or top pony) and they'd oblige. I don't have a cool cheat-sheet, so every morning is a new adventure in hair styling. I try to get away with the easiest, the pony tail, but end up getting conned into something elaborate (for me) like a braid. Dylan keeps asking for a side pony, but I feel like I have to draw the line somewhere. I know, the 80s are cool again, but there are just a few styles that should have stayed there.
Dylan, now, is an old hand at pre-school. Her dad, however, isn't. She'll remind me for a week that show and tell is on Friday. Usually by Tuesday we'll put something she can share in her backpack. Then, come Friday, I have a trip to the bakery on my brain and the backpack gets left in the car. Dylan's been carrying around a shed lizard skin for three weeks now, just waiting for her time to shine.
She's also learning jokes, and so we've been perfecting her stand-up routine. Right now she has a solid fifteen minutes, but it falls flat after that. Well, right now she has a lot of "conceptual comedy." This means she understands the cadence of the set up, but doesn't think the joke clear through to the punchline. I get lots of: "Knock-knock." "Who's there?" "Giraffe." "Giraffe who?" Long pause, then laughter, "Giraffe carrying a monkey!" It isn't Richard Pryor, but I laugh anyway.
I'm learning things at pre-school, too. No, I'm pretty good with my colors (just not matching them), but I learn things that most parents never need to know. For example, last week the teacher told me that we had a dead calf in one of our pastures and it was starting to stink. Sure enough, I went down and checked and she was right. Pre-school: it's good for everyone.
Grady is back at the Greatest Place on Earth (daycare) and is loving the constant attention and hot toddler babes. The kids come home either energized or completely wiped out. If they want to party, Regina turns them loose with the chicks. Grady's gentle, but so was Lenny in Of Mice and Men. Regina now calls him King Kong because he wants to hold those cute little chick soooooo badly, but his grip goes from 0-10 without much in between. And while Grady tries to squeeze them, Dylan tries to keep them all bunched together, like Mick, Greg's Border Collie. If they're too exhausted, Grady gets a knife and a hunk of wood and Dylan works out a few Knock-Knock punchlines. By then, we're all exhausted and we go to bed, ready to try it all again in the morning.