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Office Work

Cory associates banks with fun (in the form of suckers given out to patrons’ kids).  Fisher associates playgrounds with fun (in many forms).  Apparently, each wants work to be fun.

D:  We have to get to bed, guys.  Papa and Daddy have a lotta bit of work to do tomorrow.
F:  But, Daddy…
D:  Guys, we were just on vacation; so, tonight we need to get in bed early.
C:  Daddy, is work at Paddington boring?
D:  What, Cory?
C:  Is work at Paddington just super-boring?
D:  Work at Paddington?  Paddington doesn’t work.  He just eats marmalade.
C (exasperated):  No, when you did work at Paddington, was it so boring, I said!
D (tired, thinking):  Do you mean Covington, Cory?  When I worked at Covington?
C (as if that’s what she had been saying all along):  Yes.  Was that so boring?
F:  Yes, it was just boring because Auntie Ann-nuh didn’t work there anymore, right, Daddy?
D:  That’s right.  She left.
F:  And Auntie Jen lefted there, too, right?
D:  Not lefted. Left.  Yes, Fisher, she left, too.
F:  That’s so boring.
D:  That’s true, Fisher.
C:  But, Auntie Jen works with you at Wilbur, right, so that’s not boring.
D (smiling):  Yes, Auntie Jen works at Wilmer with me, and she definitely keeps things far from boring.
C:  Is Wilbur an office?
D:  Yes.
C:  So, you work in an office?
D:  Yes.
C:  I don’t want to work in an office when I get bigger.
D:  Where do you want to work?
C:  In a bank.

Pause.

D:  Fisher, where do you want to work when you get bigger?
F:  I’m thinking, Daddy.
D:  Okay.
F (after a bit):  I want to work where you work, Daddy.
D:  You do?  Why?
F:  Because I want to work with you, Daddy.
D:  You want to be a lawyer?
F:  What’s a lawyer?

Pause, while tired Daddy avoids thinking of a way to explain what a lawyer is.

F:  What’s a lawyer, Daddy?

Continued pause.

C:  A lawyer works in an office.  I wanna work in a bank.
F:  Oh.  Well, I just wanna work with you, Daddy, because I like you, Daddy.  But, do we have to work together, er, uh, eh, in an office?
D:  Well, where do you want to work together?
F:  Oh!  I have a good idea, Daddy!  We could work together on the playground!  Working in an office is just boring, but working on a playground, that’s not boring, right?  That’s a good idea, right, Daddy?
D (wondering how successful a family playground business might be):  That’s a great idea, Fisher.  You have such good ideas.

 

Having Chi-chi’s

During a rough morning, Cory seeks solace by braiding a doll’s hair. She insists on taking it with her in the car to preschool.

C: Daddy, can you fix my doll’s chi-chi’s?
D: Not right now, Cory. I’m driving. (Pause.) What’s wrong with her chi-chi’s?
C: They won’t stay covered.

D (taking a look at the next stoplight and handing the doll back): Oh, the strap on her dress is torn. I’ll have to fix that when I get home.

Daddy adjusts rear view mirror away from the cars behind to watch the kids instead.

C (talking at first to herself): Her chi-chi’s are going to be showing then. Chi-chi’s are only for girls. I am going to have chi-chi’s because I’m a girl. Fisher is not going to have chi-chi’s. (To the car.) I am going to have chi-chi’s, but Fisher is not, right, Daddy?
F (his face working in concert with his mind): Yah, but, eh, er, Cory is not going to have a hair penis! Eh, uh, er, and Cory is not gonna have hair on her pagina, right, Daddy? Nanny, nanny bootwhackers, Cory isn’t going to have hair on her pagina…
C (looking straight at back of Daddy’s head, not realizing he’s watching, and smiling, in the rear view mirror): Daddy, I am too going to have hair on my pagina, right, Daddy?
D: Um, sure, so, yah, Cory, you are right.
F (reaching for another angle, having lost that one, and then rubbing both sides of his face with his hands): Yah, Daddy, but only I am going to rough. Only boys have rough. And Cory is not a boy, so she’s not going to have rough. Right, Daddy?

D: That’s right. Cory is going to have chi-chi’s, and you are going to have rough. But, that’s okay…we don’t want everyone to look the same, do we? That would be boring. We want some people to be boys and some people to be girls, right? And, we want girls to look different than each other, and boys to look different than other boys, right? Otherwise, that’d be…
F: Boring.
D: So, some girls have big chi-chi’s and some girls have small chi-chi’s and that’s…
C: And some people have no chi-chi’s. Like Fisher.
D (frowning): And that’s okay, right? And some boys have lots of rough and some boys have a little bit of rough and…
F: And some people, er, uh, have no rough. Like Cory.
D (frown deepening and changing away from puberty-related issues): And that’s okay. Some people are tall and some are short and some have blue eyes and some have brown eyes, and that makes it all fun, right?
F: Yah, because otherwise, it’d be boring.

Don’t Get on the Witch Train

The kids know not to get on the Witch Train when it pulls into the station.  It’s the slight green cast to the fog and the sudden chill to the air that signal the train’s arrival.  There’s no ding-ding-ding of a people train, no, no. You hear a cold clang-clang-clang, and a horn that more cackles than toots.  When that cackle cracks the air, the chilly green fog is gonna swirl and you can bet that the Witch Train is coming and you can bet that the Witch Train is gonna stop.  Don’t. Get. On.

F:  Have you ever seen the Witch Train, Daddy?
D:  You more feel the Witch Train than see the whole thing exactly.  That greenish fog and that shiver in your bones affects your senses, you see.  You shiver like this…(shivering)…when you feel that fog and hear that cackle.  If it stops, the door opens, and…well, no, I shouldn’t tell you.

C:  What?
F:  Tell us, Daddy!
D:  When the door slides open, you know why the fog turns green before the train comes.  Light and smoke, both a weird green, pour off that train, through that open door, all cold and wet and smelling yucky, too.  And then…a hooded black figure steps onto the ground right there…
C:  Daddy, is it Kleodora?
F:  Did she come to visit, er, uh, eh, her brother, Zagrimor?
D:  No, it isn’t Kleodora, guys.  If it were Kleodora, that would be a tight spot for any daddy to get out of.  No, no, it isn’t Kleodora, thank goodness.
C:  Who is it then?

Daddy grabs one of the twin’s black blankets and forms a hood over his head in the dark room.

D (in thin, other-worldly creature voice):  Come.

The twins pull back.

D (more insistent):  Come.  (Hissing sound.)

C:  Daddy!  Don’t get on!

D (sticking a finger out of the black blanket):  Come.

F:  Daddy!  No!  Don’t go!
D (taking the blanket off):  The conductor of the Witch Train has only one spell.  It’s simple.  And powerful.  It just says, “Come.”  That one word, and you feel your legs start to move toward the Witch Train, even though you don’t want to go.
F:  Is the conductor a boy?
D:  No one knows, Fisher.  
C:  Is the conductor a girl?
D:  No one knows, Cory.  It just points at you and says, “Come.”  When it does, you better be ready because it is hard not to get on the Witch Train when that conductor calls you.
C:  Has anyone ever gone to Witchy Land on the Witch Train?
D:  Plenty of people have gotten on that train, guys, but not many come back to tell what happened in Witchy Land.  It’s Kleodora or the witch berries or other creatures that gets them, see. (Pause.)  But, the ones that have gone and come back, they are the reason we know about the Flutterflies and Dark Wing Forest and the Mirror Pool and Kleodora’s black peacocks with a  thousand grey eyes.  Some claim that they’ve even caught a glimpse of the Rainbow Flower in Pucker-joop’s garden.
F:  Don’t eat a witch berry, Daddy!  They should not eat a witch berry.
D:  That’s right, Fisher.  But, some people don’t know better.
F:  And the only way to wake up iffin you eat a witch berry is from a twin kiss.
C:  And there might not be twins there to kiss you, right, Daddy?
D:  That’s right.  You could sleep a long time if you don’t have twins to kiss you awake.  
F:  What’s a pickle-joo?
C:  And, Daddy, what’s the Rainbow Flower?
D:  Oh, only the most beautiful flower in all the worlds.  I haven’t told you that story?  Ima gonna have to tell you that story, guys.

D:  It’s a fantastic story, guys.  When I tell you, you are gonna, well, you are gonna smile…but not until after Pucker-joop….wait, have I even introduced you to Pucker-joop?
F:  Who’s Pucker-joop?
D:  See, no, we don’t have enough time to get through this one tonight, guys.  I mean, if I haven’t even told you about Pucker-joop…he’s one of the last gardening gnomes in all of…no, guys, no, let’s not even get started.
F:  But…
C:  Just one more…
D:  I’ll tell you tomorrow night.  But, for tonight, it’ll have to be enough to remember that when the Witch Train pulls into station…
F/C:  Don’t get on!

Fours Wild!

Cory and Fisher are each four.  With Papa joining Daddy at 44 yesterday, the family has gone officially “Fours Wild,” which the kids believe is the rarest of states.  They know to have eyes out for anything “four-related” until Daddy ends the run by turning 45 in October.

While shopping for the “4” candles to give, one per kid, to Papa, Fisher gets started…

F:  Oh, I know what I have four of, Daddy.
D:  What’s that Fisher?
F:  Fingers!
D (paying half attention to cashier):  What?
F:  I have four fingers.
D:  Fisher, you have ten fingers.
F:  But, I have four fingers.
D:  You have more than four fingers, though.  How many fingers do you have?
F:  Ten. But, I also have four fingers, right?

Right.  And, short attention spans will hopefully keep four whole months of “Fours Wild” from happening.