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CTFD, or Whatever

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the “CTFD theory” of parenting, a method of raising your kids that says, “Calm the f*&k down” to every parental hangnail. It’s nice to have letters associated with the function that women, who have never had kids, around the twins have been playing in their parenting.

D: I’m worried about Fisher.
Auntie Ann-nuh: About what?
D: Well, he [whatever]. And, I hope he [whatevers].
Auntie Ann-nuh (staring): Right, I mean, you should be so lucky. That kid’s got it made. He has two parents that love him, and…[CTFD].

Or…

D: I worry sometimes about Cory.
Auntie Jen: Why, what’s up?
D: Sometimes she [whatevers], and she really shouldn’t because if she keeps at it, she’s going to grow up to [whatever].
Auntie Jen (scoffing): She’s fine. When I was growing up, do you know that I…and she…and then he…and it…so you should definitely [CTFD].

Even though both would be a constant wreck if either had a kid, it would be so wrong not to appreciate the wisdom, wholly unfettered by experience, that they dole out about raising mine.

The Hand That Feeds You

At a summer associate lunch in 1999, an attorney at a potential law firm explained why he had never been a pet owner: because it’s all about food. According to him, people happily fool themselves into thinking that the animal “loves” the mind attached to the body ending in the hand that feeds it. When pressed that the same thing could be said about the connection between parent and human child, his answer was, “Why, yes, it could. That’s why I don’t have kids.” Strange way to live, but…

…this morning, during this weekend’s only “Brave” viewing…

F (as Elinor’s stomach rumbles and she rises into a bear): Daddy, I’m never going to make you a cake that turns you into a bear, okay?
D: Thank you, Fisher.
F: Because I love you, Daddy.

Pause.

D: Cory, are you ever going to feed me a cake that turns me into a bear?
C: No, Daddy.

Pause.

C: Because I like the blue gum that you gave us yesterday so much.

Meeting Obama?

Daddy arrives mid-morning at preschool…

C (looking up from a raised planter with surprise): Daddy!
F (head turning, whole face smiling): Daddy!
D: Hey, guys, are you ready to go?
F (coming over for a hug): Go where, Daddy? Is it afternoon time?
D: Did Papa forget to tell you?
C: Are we going on an adventure, Daddy?
D: Yes, we are going to get your passports. Did you forget?

Fisher shakes his head, yes, he forgot. Cory drops the shovel she had been using in the planter as big to-do ensues in the class while Daddy and the twins depart at such an odd time. In the car on the way to the post office to meet Papa so that both parents can vouch for the twins’ citizenship…

C: Did you bring our pictures, Daddy?
D: Yes.
C: It’s exciting!
D: I’m glad you are excited to get your passport, Cory.
C (big smile): We are taking our passport pictures to Barack Obama, right?

Daddy explains that Barack Obama is too busy today to process their applications personally, but that he has people for that. They deflate a little, but only a little.

That Needs a Privacy

Fisher in the water with Papa and friends, Cory climbs out to join Daddy under a poolside umbrella…

C: Daddy, I’m tired.
D (gesturing her up): Come up here, Bee Girl. Want to take a rest?
C: Uh-huh.
D: Come here in the shade. It’s better in the shade.

Cory settles back onto Daddy, resting head on the towel thrown over him.

D: Are you having fun today, Cory?
C: Uh-huh.
D: You sure are tired, huh?
C: Uh-huh.

Daddy closes his eyes. Long pause. Feeling Cory move the towel draped over Daddy, Daddy opens eyes.

D (drowsily): What’s the matter, Bee Girl?
C (pointing to Daddy’s half exposed chest): That needs a privacy, Daddy.

Cory smiles wickedly as she moves the white towel to cover up the exposed half of Daddy’s chest.

D (shifting to tickle Cory): You are one cheeky Bee Girl today.
C (all that shifting dropping the towel so carefully placed, Cory pushing it back up): And your chi-chi needs a privacy, Daddy!

More tickling.

Only Girl, Special Girl

Bedtime on the Fourth…

F: There are five boys in our house, right, Daddy?
D: Right.
F: Papa’s a boy. Daddy’s a boy. I’m a boy. And Kohl and, er, um, eh, Boston. They are both boys, too.
C: And there are only two girls, right, Daddy?
D: Right.
C: Quincy is a dog, though, so I am the only girl. The special girl, right?
D: Right, Cory. Of all the people in this house, you are the only girl.
F: Daddy, I wish the boy of Mr. Matt and Miss Julie could just come and stay with us.
D: His name is Luc, Fisher. He’s fun, isn’t he?
F: Yes, I wish he could be the other boy here, too.
C: No! That is not fair. Then, there would be two boys and only one girl.
D: Well, how about if Chloe, Luc’s sister, came, too?

Pause.

C: Chloe is a baby. She’s too small. Iffin we have another girl in the house, I want her to be Ellie.
D: Okay, well, I’ll let Matt and Julie know, and I’ll let Mr. Brian and Miss Kate know. But, if they come to stay with us, then Fisher, you won’t be the only little boy anymore and Cory, you won’t be the only girl.
F (without pause): That’s okay, Daddy. I want to play with Luc so much; so, that’s okay.
C (after pause): Iffin Ellie comes to stay with us, I won’t be the only girl anymore?
D: That’s right.
C (another pause): I’m okay iffin Ellie stays with Mr. Brian and Miss Kate, Daddy. (Yet another pause.) Because they will be sad iffin she comes to stay with us, so that’s okay iffin I’m the only girl in this house.

Nice…guess there’ll still be just one of us rocking the sparklers in heels and a tennis dress after all.