b Papa Dog's Blog: June 2006

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Baby Dog’s Second

Two years ago Baby Dog emerged from the womb and today we had a party to celebrate that grand entrance. In those first hours of her life I remarked more than once on how lucky my daughter was to have inherited the face of her mother. Mama Dog insists now that Baby Dog looks more like me. I disagree, but as we see more of Baby Dog’s personality asserting itself, I see the many ways she takes after me and I can only hope she learns more quickly than I did how to bear up under the handicaps I may have passed along. It’s become very clear, for example, that she doesn’t care for gatherings of unfamiliar people. I’ve pretty much written the book on that one. Practically from the moment we arrived at Halmonie’s house for the party, Baby Dog was looking at me hopefully, saying “Go home now?” She actually coped better at this one than she did at the BBQ/picnic a few weeks back (probably because the surroundings at least were familiar), but still, I’m pretty sure her favourite part of the party was the same as mine: when we snuck out for a few minutes to mail some letters at the mailbox on the corner. Well, okay, that and the chocolate cake.

After, when the only ones left were Mama Dog, Baby Dog, Halmonie, and me, Baby Dog lay down on the blanket under the canopy in the back yard and played with her Lego train engine, zooming it around like an airplane and singing a song she’d learned in daycare. It was the first time she’d looked relaxed all day, and as Mama Dog and I had one more slice of cake apiece so as to carry that much less home* and Daddy treated himself to a hard-earned glass of wine, we whiled some moments that were perfectly happy and companionable. She’s young, and nothing’s set in stone, but if she takes after me as much as it seems, she’s going to find such moments hard to come by in any company but that of the trusted few. I hope she adapts better than I did, and finds a way to relax in the company of strangers; but if not, I hope she at least she can always have such contentment after the party’s over and the company has gone away.
*Our story and we’re sticking to it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stripey Shirt

So, Baby Dog has reached the age where she has clear if sometimes somewhat randomly achieved preferences in food, music, activities, and now clothing. I mentioned her attachment to the Spider-Man t-shirt that Mama Dog got from a thrift store. It didn’t take long before she started saying “Spider-Man shirt” each time she got dressed for the morning. A while back, I was trying to put on a new shirt, a striped one that Mama Dog had picked up somewhere or other, and Baby Dog became defiant. In addition to having acquired preferences, she is also starting to assert defiance when these preferences are thwarted. She squirmed and whined and resisted being put in this awful new shirt. “Spider-Man shirt,” she insisted. This defiance phase is constantly requiring new and cunning stratagems on the part of her parents who, fortunately, are up to the task. I held the shirt up so that she could see it. “Look,” I said. “It’s striped. It’s a stripey shirt.” Then I started to sing, to the familiar Spider-Man tune, “Stripey shirt, stripey shirt/Put in on and it doesn’t hurt…” Intrigued to find that this shirt, too, came with a song, Baby Dog put up her arms and consented to be dressed. I continued to improvise. “It’s a shirt, partly red/There it goes, over your head/Hey there/There goes the stripey shirt.” And so on. Naturally, this has become an entrenched part of the ritual every time I dress Baby Dog in her now-beloved stripey shirt. The lyrics are different every time, but she doesn’t seem to notice.

Unintended consequence: last night at dinner time I turned on the Napster as usual and asked Baby Dog what she wanted to hear. She answered: “Stripey shirt on the computer?” I had to explain to her that “Stripey Shirt” is a song only sung by Daddy and that it does not exist in recorded form. I played “Spider-Man” instead, but clearly it wasn’t the same.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Apparently It Really Can Sell Anything

I’m still not ready to post regularly again, but yesterday I came across something in the paper I just had to share with you. The photo below was on the back page of the Chronicle business section yesterday.

I showed it to Mama Dog much as I’m showing it to you, with the paper folded so the ad copy couldn’t be read. I said, “See this picture of a fellow with his face buried in a young lady’s cleavage?” “Uh-huh,” said Mama Dog. “Can you guess what it’s advertising?” “Uh…Viagra?” she ventured. Good guess, but no.

The answer, if you dare, is here.