Raising Girls

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t grow up around a lot of women.  Sure, there was dear old Mom, but she was outnumbered by the male delegation in the house.  Now, after all these years, I know how she felt.  I am a foreigner in a strange land, and it looks like I’ve got a lot to learn.  After all, when a 4 lb Chihuahua is the only other male you’ve got to watch your back, you learn to adapt.  So, in light of my ongoing studies, here are some things I’ve learned about raising girls:

      FACT#1:  There are no good girl cartoons.  Strawberry Shortcake, Holly Hobby, and the flat-out weird stuff they play on Noggin – none of it is any good whatsoever.  Trust me, I’m a cartoon expert.  GI Joe, now there was a cartoon.  The evil forces of COBRA were always thwarting the safety of the world on a daily basis.  No problem for the GI Joe crew.  Using only sheer force and massive amounts of over the top weaponry, they simply destroyed, with massive explosions, whatever was the source of the problems for the week.  I’ve yet to see anything comparable in any of CB’s cartoons. 

   The closest I’ve come to serious conflict was when Blueberry Muffin was hacked off about not being invited to Orange Blossom’s party.  I was hoping for some real drama, but it was all worked out with a few kind words, a hug, and a sleepover at some other weird kid’s house.  It probably wouldn’t have mattered any way, it looks like those houses are all made out of cookie dough, so there probably wouldn’t have been that much of an explosion in the first place.


      FACT#2:  Playing house means playing house.  And I mean literally doing what you would do in a house.  This is probably no shock to the female readers out there, but it floored me.  CB has a 3-story dollhouse that is filled with furniture, kitchen appliances, and various other things you’d find in, surprise, a house.  We do things like iron clothes, rearrange the kitchen furniture, do laundry, and get ready for parties for family members.  I keep thinking the people in CB’s house have got to be dead anytime now as they have birthdays on a daily basis.

      There’s also a baby’s room, complete with changing table and crib.  CB LOVES to make the baby cry so Daddy has to change the diaper and get it back to sleep.  I guess CB hasn’t realized that she has a baby sister that is performing this routine round the clock.

      Only once did it get really interesting.  I had CB convinced there were 4 ninjas, 2 ex CIA agents, and a hit man surrounding the house.  Daddy was in the kitchen scrounging for weapons, when CB invited them all in for a party.  Turned out it was the hit man’s birthday.  Oh well, I shouldn’t complain, at least the ninjas had to change the baby’s diaper for the rest of the evening.

Theta Love

It was a reunion of sorts for Al this past weekend.  Getting together with some Theta’s that she hadn’t seen in over 10 years.  I won’t harp on how long it’s been since her college days, she’s sensitive about that, and seeing how she’s much older than I am, it’s probably best to leave it alone.

Group picture.  OK, I’ll admit GD was right.  Pictures from multiple cameras at once, might not have been the best idea.  But everyone looking straight ahead and smiling at one camera, that’s so 20 years ago.  It’s time for a fresh perspective.


I know Al had a blast, as well as CB.  She’s pumped about the next trip to Graham’s, and speaking of the next trip.  I’m taking the liberty of using this post to begin my online petition for the 2007 event. 


It’s abundantly clear that Spears was not in attendance, and as great as the event was, it was lacking as a result.  Therefore, it’s up to the online community to “Keep Hope Alive” and see what you can do about next year.

 As a final note, there was some serious gossip flying around this event, and Al seems to think I was involved in that.  Clearly untrue.  As a man, I am unable to involve myself in such things.  I was just making sure that pertinent information was passed along to the right people, and if that information pertained to people who were not in attendance and may or may not have been involved in scandalous events…well that’s merely a coincidence.  Gossip?  I think not.

Backseat Choir

To say that Little Miss MK dislikes the car would be tantamount to saying that World War II was a small misunderstanding between friends.  She hates it, and she lets you know about it as well.


CB hated the car also, which was no big surprise, as she pretty much hated everything, except for Mommy holding her and eating, and generally both at the same time, for the first couple of years of her life.  But our angelic little MK is so happy and content 95% of the time, that this came as a shock to us.


Fast forward to Sunday afternoon.  I had taken the girls out to lunch, and we were going to hit the Arboretum and just wander around outside on a beautiful day.  Nice and scenic.  Except of course for the gettin’ there part.


We’re cruising down the highway, and in the back seat, MK is screaming at the top of her lungs; and I mean she is going at it hard.  Not to be outdone CB has recently learned the words to “Jingle Bells”, with her personal favorite lines of “Dashing through the snow” and Laughing all the way, HO! HO! HO!  Not wanting the rest of the song to interfere, CB is content with repeating those lines over and over…and over.


I’m driving a hundred and three down the highway, Al is repeatedly trying to ask me something but can’t be overheard because of the of the backseat symphony of “WAAAAAHHH”  “LAUGHING ALL THE WAY”  “WAAAAHHHHHHH”  “DASHING THROGH THE WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!”


Now I understand why our conversations have become nothing more than inaudible grunts and complex hand gestures.


We finally stopped at an extremely busy intersection, with multiple semis exiting the highway, planes overhead, constant honking, road construction crews in every direction, and in the midst of it all was a homeless guy on the corner.  Al looks over at him and says, “Poor Guy” 

 And I’m staring at him longingly, thinking “Stuck in that intersection in all that chaos.”  Hmmmmm, must be a symphony of silence.

Donut Dork

Recently, my girls took a field trip.  Now, if you’re like me, a field trip brings back memories of broken down school buses with no A/C, lost sack lunches, and trips to museums that had employees older than anything on display.

Not so with these kids today.  Nope, my girls went to Krispy Kreme…

Nothing better than watching the mass production of sugar fried fat!

Proudly displaying her hat…more on that later.

Al and I have been laughing about this picture non-stop.  Something about her expression, and that hat… She looks like the proud new employee showing up for her first double shift.

The hat.  It took on a life of its own.  CB was obsessed with her new found headwear.  Saturday, CB and I spent all morning in her playroom.  One of her favorites was grocery store.  So, of course, she was HEB Manager, and she had to have her hat.

Saturday afternoon was our neighbor’s birthday party.  Al had CB all dressed up, pink of course, with matching pink bow.  The only problem was, you couldn’t see the bow because it was covered by the Krispy Kreme/HEB Manager hat.  She would not take it off.

Al was dying, and I was cracking up.  “None of these kids went on the field trip.  They have no clue what the hat is for,” Al was pleading with me.  “Plus, my daughter is not going to look like some dork in that hat.”

CB’s response was priceless.
“I’m gonna wear my hat to the party, and all the kids are gonna say, OOOOOOOOH Where’d you get that hat?  And I’ll say HEB!”

She was convinced it was the coolest thing ever, and knew that all the other kids would be extremely jealous.

Needless to say, Al won out in the end.  Although I still think the hat would have been the hit of the party.

No Surprises Here

There’s a myriad of reasons why it’s great to have kids, but I didn’t know that aiding and abetting was one of them.


Yesterday was my birthday, and I’ve always been a bit of a snoop when it comes to presents or surprises.  I had no idea that CB would prove to be such a valuable asset.


Earlier this week, CB was sitting in my lap and we were chatting about nothing in particular.  Out of the blue she says, “Daddy, we got you a shirt for your birthday.”  Then she goes right back to discussing her adventures at the park.


I couldn’t stop laughing.  Al has this look of horror on her face, and CB is busy chatting away.  It was just something that popped into her head, it involved Daddy, and she thought she had to share it.


Looks like Christmas will come early this year.

Trick or Treat

After much fan fare, it’s now time for the first, official appearance of Strawberry Shortcake and her little sister, Apple Dumplin…

Close up of Miss Flavor-Flav…, er, Apple Dumplin.

One of the best things about our neighborhood is the sheer number of kids.  We were able to round up a halloween posse in a matter of seconds.

Miss CB Hanging with the Big Boys.

This was the first “official” trick or treating run for Miss CB.  However, with massive amounts of candy available, much like her mother, she caught on quickly.

When you’re this cute, the spoils of victory come easily

Webster's Definition of Pack Rat

1: a bushy-tailed rodent (Neotoma cinerea) of western North America that has well-developed cheek pouches and that hoards food and miscellaneous objects
2 : a person who collects or hoards especially unneeded items
3 : Connie Havens

The 3rd definition is especially handy here.  My parents recently cleared out portions of their attic. I always said I wanted to be in Europe if Dad ever started cleaning out the house, but I made it realtively unscathed in Austin.

They did bring several huge boxes of “my stuff”.  This stuff consisted of countless drawings, art projects, and other things that I was completely clueless about.  One such treasure was an Indian vest made out of a grocery bag, and matching hat made for a Kindergarten Thanksgiving Day event.  Leave it to Connie, it was all still intact

CB loved it.  Although I don’t know what is more depressing. The thought of that vest being over 25 years old, or that CB had no idea what a “Paper” grocery bag is. 

Either way, I feel old.