b Papa Dog's Blog: Stripey Shirt

Papa Dog's Blog

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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.


Anonymous Big Sister said...

You are back! Yippee! Loved the shirt story. I can see it all happening through your description.

4:55 AM  

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