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C: I won! I’m shaking my bum bum! I won!

The game-playing has begun in earnest, a constant rotation between Connect4, mancala, and Sorry!. Three times in a row, Fisher comes from behind to beat Daddy and Cory at Sorry!, and Cory is none too pleased. In the next game, Daddy works hard to both tilt the game in her direction and to hide the fact that he is tilting the game in her direction.

C (stomping off after what appears to be another Fisher turn-around): I’m not playing!
D: Oh, come on, Cory, you should…
C: No! I am not playing because you and Fisher just always…
D: Oh, come on now, it’s a game, so…
C (top-of-lungs petulance): No! It’s not fair because…
D (turning back to the board to remove her pieces): Okay, Cory, if you don’t want to play, Fisher and I will just play together.

Cory runs back, sits, and harrumphs.

D: Does that mean you are playing?

Cory grunts, meaning yes, since her arm has been absolutely twisted.

Fisher still wins, and Cory still has three or four angry, very unattractive sore loser fits. Daddy consoles her by telling her how cray-cray the celebration is going to be when she actually does win, that she’s gonna dance around the house and shake her bum bum and go generally nutso. A smile breaks through, her mind clearly refocusing on that day…

…which day ended up being this past Friday. She did dance around the house, she did shake her bum bum, and she did generally go nutso nutso.


F (climbing into bed to cuddle with an oversleeping Daddy): Good morning, Daddy.
D (mumbling and cuddling back): Good morning.
F: Daddy, can we have a dance party, like we did yesterday?
D: I don’t know. What time is it?
F: I don’t know. Can we have a dance party like you said?
D (glancing at clock): I don’t know, Fisher. It’s kind of late. Daddy overslept today.
F: But, you said we could.
D: Sorry, Fisher.


F: Okay, Daddy.

Fisher pats Daddy on the cheek and leaves the bed. Ten minutes later, Daddy drags himself out of bed to follow…and finds Fisher all set up and ready to go, having made the first few moves for Daddy and Cory…and having taken Daddy very, very literally.

In the Round

The twins also use the trampoline to appear in the round. Overheard on Monday morning while bouncing…

C: Fisher, let’s pretend the grass all around has people, okay? And we can sing to them. I will go first.
F: Okay!
C (directing Fisher to the side of the trampoline): Now, you sit here, while I do my song, okay?
F: Okay!
C (moving to the middle, then loud enough to wake the dead): I’m on the edge…of jory! And (incomprehensible mumble).

Since it’s Veteran’s Day, Daddy smiles, thinking, well, the grass could be filled with troops and what better game to play than USO.

C: Your turn, Fisher.
F (switching places and then bouncing to his own beat): It’s hard to look right at ya, baby! So, here’s my numbah, call me, maybe. It’s hard to look right at ya, baby! So, here’s my numbah, call me, maybe. It’s hard to look right…

He doesn’t know the other words, if there are any, he liked his performance, and the “troops” didn’t complain.

Game Change?

Arrows – up arrows and down arrows – have curbed Fisher’s morning clinginess…for the moment at least. Daddy has explained that a five year old is not a toddler. Toddlers don’t earn allowance, but five year olds do, with emphasis on the word “earn.”

To earn their hefty weekly sum of $1 (sometimes the paper, sometimes four quarters, ten dimes, etc.), the twins must (1) be given fewer than three time-outs, (2) tidy up their room (bonus points if they find an element of fun in the job that must be done), and (3) go straight into their classrooms when the 8:15 a.m. bell rings every day – zero tolerance for tardiness. For each time-out, they get a down arrow; for cleaning up their room, they get an up arrow; for being on time all week to school, another up arrow. A Saturday visit to “the board” precedes doling out anything “earned.”

It’s the combination of some of their favorite things that has them towing the line right now: a calendar (which they are learning about in school), piggy banks (which they can now start to fill), arrows (akin to “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” but also shot by Merida, duh), board games (which are to die for right now), a dry erase board (enough said), and magnets (well more than enough said). One early hiccup occurred when they each received a $20 bill in a birthday card. But, Daddy scooped that up quickly before the wheels could turn long enough to realize that it would require 20 weeks to “earn” what they had just received by mail for seemingly doing nothing.

At the 8:15 a.m. bell, Fisher still beelines for the top of the slide. But, in response to Daddy’s mock-worry, “Now, Fisher, remember you have to go right in your classroom to get an up arrow for being on time to school. I want you to get that up arrow. You wanna get that up arrow, don’t you,” he kisses Daddy good-bye and walks into the room, sans tears.

Eh, it seems to be working…

Little Boedy and Little Pupillo

In junior high gym class, Coach Nelms was smart enough to put Scott Boedy and Jeff Pupillo on opposite teams during soccer season. The two of them were head and shoulders above the rest of the boys, who would either stand or run around, only occasionally interfering with the furious game of one-on-one going on around them. Most of the rest of those boys only touched the ball when either Boedy or Pupillo used a dazed, too-slow opponent’s legs as a backboard off of which to bounce the ball over the sideline so that it could be picked up, thrown back in, and moved further down field. For an hour, they danced around their classmates, taking shots at each other’s goal, before a whistle would blow, and the coach would call that a class.

The twins’ pre-soccer coaches don’t seem to understand that as the kids try to scrimmage more and more, it is important to separate their Boedy – a taller ponytailed girl about a year older than Cory – and their Pupillo – a blond boy who’s fast and kind of small for his age. They serve their function right now, for sure, showing everyone else what to do by translating the coaches’ words into action, but when chance doesn’t separate them, the coaches should start to. Otherwise, the other three teams are largely relegated to gaggles of bemused barriers, moving here and there in highly ineffective packs.

This past Saturday, a few of the other players, including the twins, started to “get” it. Cory had to face the team having the little Pupillo and little Boedy first, and she became the only opponent who seemed to understand what the two were up to. Once little Boedy or little Pupillo got the ball, she would race back to her goal, knowing that none of her teammates could stop them and that an inevitable shot on goal was coming. When he faced them a little later, Fisher took a different tack, twice using muscle to break away himself…only to careen well to the left or the right of the goal, unable to focus on both dribbling and dribbling, um, somewhere specific.

After one goal against Fisher’s team, made possible, in part, by opponent error, Daddy hears little Boedy say to little Pupillo: “That was really funny. That boy helped us because he kicked the ball toward his own goal, right?” Little Pupillo responded with what, if they were older, might have sounded like smug laughter. Daddy smiles, thinking, “enjoy it while it lasts.”