Friday, July 28, 2006

Father Goof's Precepts #1

Never get into an elevator with a bicycle messenger.

Pets & Kids I: Territorial Inhibitions

Quick thought for parents with more pets (that is warm-blooded, free-range four-leggers) than people in the house:

If your little one is having consistent #1 accidents in the same place or so: he may not be having trouble toilet training. He may be marking territory.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Playtime I: Imagining the Mundane

My son plays these elaborate games within games. Recently, he and I built a zoo out of blocks and boxes, populating it with various toy animals. He and I were the zoo keepers. The animals had a playtime - where they had several adventure games (the monkeys were playing pirate, while the hippos - incongrously - were pretending to be lions, and the pigs were playing family.) As we shuttled between these games, we also had to attend to ongoing business at the zoo which was receiving visitors who were having their own adventures.

(I kept losing track of which adventure we were in - and my son would scold me for not paying attention. This game did something I didn't think possible - it gave me sympathy for the Windows operating system. No wonder it keeps shutting down when too many things are open.)

Eventually the little bears at the zoo began an elaborate pretend game, in which one of the bears was king and the other bears were coming to him with their problems. I couldn't exactly follow what the problems were - the narrative thread was a bit shaky. However, at one point, my son, playing the little bear king, said, in his deep little wise voice, "That is an important problem. We will have to have a meeting."

I was so proud. Already, he knows how to evade issues by referring them to a committee. (I was about six times his age before I learned how to do that.)

This may not augur well for his future success however. When I was little, I had lots of Fisher-Price toys. So I put the little Fisher-Price parking garage right next to the Fisher-Price airport and charged exorbitant rates. When the Playmobil guys came by and tried to build another parking garage I bought off the Fisher-Price town council to pass new zoning ordnances. The Fisher-Price dad always complained about the parking rates when they went on their daily vacations to my underwear drawer - but what could he do? I also owned the Fisher-Price school bus which was the only shuttle service available.

Unfortunately, my business achievements peaked early and have not been matched by comparable commercial success in adulthood. I am hoping my son is still on an upward trajectory.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Annals of Boredom III: Scary Voices

When I read stories to my kids and did my scary voice for the witches in stories like "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty" my kids got upset and had nightmares. Now I read them in my Fran Drescher voice. My kids couldn't stop laughing.

My wife has nightmares.

Wife Management I: Immaturity Works

If, for whatever reason, you and your wife discuss which of your friends you should marry should your spouse die: don't!

But if you do - don't pick the friend who's company you actually enjoy and think is an interesting person. Always, always, always, pick your best looking friend. Yes, it shows you are superficial and immature, that is - you are a guy. That's fine, your wife expects this - it is safe. Attempting to show that you've entered adulthood will only hurt you.

In the game of life, good looks are a lucky hand. Good if you've got them, but not really indicative of anything important. Your wife can deal with this.

But enjoying another woman's company as a person - that is a threat, a danger. That is what she thinks (and hopefully does) have with you.

In short, it is counter-intuitive, but on this one - be a dope.