Bars and Blisters
Daddy approaches the playground where the twins are playing with their YMCA after-care compatriots. Fisher spies Daddy first and runs to fence…
F: Daddy! Daddy! Cory did the monkey bars! Cory did…
C (running behind): I did the monkey bars, Daddy!
D: You did? You…
F: She did them two times, Daddy!
C: I did them the whole way!
D: The whole way? No way! All the way across?
F: And she got a uh, er, eh, show him, Cory!
D: You went all the…
C (holding up her right hand): See, I got this, Daddy.
D (moving toward their side of the fence): Let me come around there and see, Cory Bee.
Daddy touches a blister’s aftermath on her hand.
C: Ouch, Daddy! Don’t press it!
D: That was a blister, Cory. Wow. You must have working hard at those monkey bars.
F: Cory got that boo boo on the monkey bars, ‘cuz she just went…
C: I did it twice, Daddy! I kept my eyes up like this… (Facing upward.)
F: Yah, because you can’t do the monkey bars if you don’t look up at the bars, and I held her two times, but then…
C: …then I did it on my own two times. But, then I got this, so…
F (as the group walks to gather backpacks and head to the car): Cory, can I make you a paper airplane when we get home because you did the monkey bars?
F: And, Cory can I make you a card because you got that boo boo?
C: Yes, Fisher.
F: Thanks, Cory. Daddy, I’m going to make Cory an airplane and a card. So, here, Cory, let me carry your lunchbox, because your hand has a, er, uh, eh…
C: Blister. Here, Fisher. Thank you.
Later, after Fisher “helps” Cory exit the car and navigate the front lawn, which, you know, can be very tricky with a blister, the group walks in the door, and Cory, endangering the health of her hand by risking paper cuts, immediately pulls paper after paper out of her backpack…
C: So, Daddy, we need to go through each of these. (Arranging pages devoted to the letters E, P, D, and F on the dinner table, together with other worksheets.) So, I have to decide which is my favorite, so we know where to start. Okay, so this is the letter E, Daddy, see…
D: I do.
C (pointing to eight capital E’s scrawled on lines on the page below a diagram demonstrating how to form one): Which one is your best one?
D (eying the two that Mrs. Powell clearly marked with red stars): Which one do I like the best?
C (very official sounding): Yes, which one is your best?
D (pointing to one of the starred E’s): This one.
C: Okay, so that one is a good one, yes, Daddy, but…(pointing to the other starred E)…this one is also good.
F (running in from the office): Here, Cory, here is your airplane. Thank you for doing such a good job on the monkey bars today, Cory.
C: Thank you, Fisher. (Setting aside the paper airplane and returning to her worksheets.) Now, which one of these E’s is your best Fisher?
F: This one! You really did a job on this one, Cory. Very good job. (Pointing to one and then rushing off.) I need to go make you a card for your boo boo!
C (turning back to Daddy, still sounding official): So, Daddy, this F has a line that is too long, but this one is hanging upside down like an American flag, so…
…on and on and on…until bed. It’s good to know that a threat from outside the home, that monkey bars blister, ends the typical bickering, circles the wagons, and kicks Fisher’s brotherly instincts into high gear. If Cory runs into any real trouble out there, she won’t face it alone. And, if that one night is any judge, they really like school.