Monday, February 9, 2009

The rain started at 3:30AM, I was later informed by the household mommy, who mentioned it with the authority of someone who had witnessed it firsthand. In the dim morning twilight you could hear it smacking the window, and impossibly so, given the state of endless drought and global warming we're in. Our house was up to 2 inches by yesterday afternoon, and we're looking for a couple more today, but that's not what got me out of bed. The Little Ditchman got me out of bed. She came down the hall and climbed up on top of me and whispered, "It's raining again," and then, "Come on Daddy, let's go downstairs so Mommy can sleep just a little bit longer." She's so considerate.

But she wouldn't let me watch the news with my coffee, she wanted me to read her a book: Franklin Says Sorry. It wasn't my first choice. I'm not a fan of these "Franklin" books, with their eerie animals, always smiling, talking, walking upright. The bear, the fox, the turtle, the beaver, the snail -they're all friends, see, not like in real life. But just like in real life, one of them screws over the other ones and then has to say he's sorry. I read the whole thing, but by the time we got to the end, the part where Franklin says he's sorry, the Big Finish, the Little Ditchman was done with it. She was distracted by something else.

So what would you do? Finish the book anyway? Force her to pay attention and get the lesson? Make her apologize for dominating your coffee and wake-up time? A real life lesson! I let it all go, of course. I'm pretty sure she's been through this story before. I was just bummed that I had to start the day with those pictures of Franklin in my head. They spook me.

Anyway, Handy Manny was on. This show rides the line of exploiting the Mexican laborer stereotype, has anyone noticed? No one seems to be complaining about that, but hey, at least Manny can get consistent work. The show is one of a score of those new children's series where the things look like they're drawn and animated by faceless, unfeeling robots, with characters every bit as engaging. (At least Disney had the wherewithal to employ Los Lobos to write that snazzy theme song.) I bring it all up because I wanted to mention that there is a curious sexual tension between Handy Manny and Kelly, the hardware store owner. No, really -my wife noticed it, too. Don't believe me? Even Wikipedia mentions their mutual attraction, played in the shadows, as subtext. I try not to picture anything too lusty in my head. The images have all the sensual form and romance of mating Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.

Just thought I'd mention it. What's on the agenda for this rainy day? More of the same and then more of that: work, phone calls, orders placed, potty training, and the usual odd tasks that keep piling up around the house. Add to that the regular periods of laughter, followed by the whining and whimpering, and then more laughter, and then more screaming, crying, and the incessant belligerence of toddlerhood.

And, hey, someone pick up these toys!

"No, Daddy. It's a Dinosaur Trip!"

Which is exactly what I'll be doing later if these aren't picked up.