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KIDS, WIFE, QUOTES (permalink) 11.28.2006
put your brother down and go to your room
no biting, no kicking, no pinching, no hitting. alex, no hair-pulling. bella, no bear-hugging.
this gets said, by me, at least once a day in our home and an easy twice on weekends. being an only child has in no way prepared me for witnessing how two siblings can interact. i mean they adore one another. really. i've seen it. but man can those waters of affection turn acerbic if the most minor of things goes sideways.

it starts with a thud in some distant room of the house. next you'll hear a raised or strained voice and then scuffling. i move quickly, far more quickly than marty, to the disturbance point. i'll find bella and alex locked up on one another. peeling them apart is about as easy as separating folded over packing tape, especially when cradling a three-month old in one arm.

afterwards i turn to marty, expressing my shock. but instead of words of consolation or empathy i get the equivalent of a college scouting report on how quick and strong alex seems to be and even with a hint of pride she may use words like 'gamer' or 'scrappy' to describe his art of self-defense. then she, the sixth of seven children, will go about her day, leaving me alone in my quiet disbelief.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.21.2006
smart, smart girl
before running out the door one morning i was sent upstairs to get a replacement dress for one that got soiled during breakfast. once upstairs i couldn't find the particular garment i was told to retrieve.

TROY (calling down steps)
hey bella, do you know where your red dress is? it's not in your closet.

BELLA (calling up steps)
uhhhm ... try checking in ... uhhhm ... did you look in ... uhhhm ... just try looking harder dad.

would you believe, her suggestion worked.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 11.17.2006
leaving other people's dna in my wake since year 2000
bella clips her own fingernails. toenails too. has been for well over a year now. she's quite adept at contorting her hands and feet in all sorts of crazed poses to get just the right cut. the thing i love most though is how meticulous she is about cleaning up. as clippings drop she plucks them from her thigh or shirt and adds them to a small pile of prior victims. and, if a shard jettisons through the air she tracks it with eagle-like awareness and then retrieves it, even getting up to recover the runaway if necessary.

another thing about bella is she's an improver. she often devises methods for doing things faster, smarter. at some point bella deduced that instead of handling every nail piece individually, it would be quicker to hold her foot or hand over some sort of container. this way, the debris, aside from the occasional shooter, would fall right in thus saving her a step. while you would think we could all celebrate such a handsome improvement i was quick to identify a slight flaw in her process. her receptacle of choice is my work shoe.

now it's not that bella is inconsiderate. when done, she carefully picks up the wingtip and empties it into a nearby trash can. after the initial pour, she'll peer into the dark recess of the shoe with squinty eyes. if she detects any hangers on she'll give it another tip and shake, possibly even clanging it against the side of the bin. when satisfied, she returns the shoe to it's home beneath my dresser.

this leads to a second issue in bella's workflow. if she's in the middle of her grooming and neighbor-molly sticks her head in our door calling for her, the clippers get immediately dropped and the shoe left in place as bella hurriedly scrambles down the staircase excitedly calling "coming molly. i'm coming." then at some later point in the day marty will walk by, see the shoe in the hallway, pick it up, quietly curse me and haphazardly toss the footwear in the direction of my dresser.

the next morning i will slide my socked and unaware foot into the loafer moments before dashing down the stairs to usher the younglings to school and then myself to work. i may notice something straight away but in the a.m. fervor don't take enough heed to do anything beyond wiggle my toes or shift my foot around. it isn't until hours later when i'm sitting in my office discussing some mundane matter with a colleague that it again occurs to me something is amiss. it is here that i roll my chair back, remove the shoe and tip it over. as i watch the translucent pieces of human waste tumble through the air before disappearing into the dull-colored carpet my mind screams "noooohhh!" i turn to look at the face of my alarmed co-worker. it is clear they feel are too near someone with an exotic disease that makes their toenails brittle and crumbly. and my condition appears so dire i can't even wait until i get home to attend to my illness privately and on top of all of this, am inconsiderate enough to just cast my withered body pieces all willy-nilly about the workplace.

have i mentioned that bella will also on occasion trim her own hair. that particular habit has 'night in jail' written all over it.

PHOTO (permalink) 11.10.2006
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
november 2006

FAMILY, HEALTH (permalink) 11.09.2006
this idea has legs, just like our blankets
on very cold nights, our home has one less blanket than it needs. which bed comes up light is about as predictable as who will be resting in any of the various sleeping spots our house has to offer.

obviously, you'd think the adults would carry the advantage being bigger and smarter and all. but, little people move quietly and have more to fear if caught. so blankets get tugged back and forth across a bed and even drug from room to room in the night's silent hours. but that's not all that gets transported. i once saw alex pushing a miniature baby stroller down the hallway at 3am. i looked just long enough to verify my blanket wasn't in it before flopping my head back on the pillow, tightening my grip on the corner of my linen and going back to sleep.

three nights ago i drew the short straw. while sleeping in alex's bed (which is pushed up against bella's bed), i got bested by bella who wound herself up so tight in my comforter, my fatigued arm couldn't work her out of it. so i spent the night in and out of sleep, curled up and shivering. i gave up on sleep around 5am and headed towards the bath for a steamy shower. in passing my nemesis, i cast a scornful look at the blissfully warm and sleeping girl. i swear i saw a contented smile form on her rosy face as i stumbled by tightly hugging my naked chest. while i stood waiting for the shower's water to get hot, i noticed something about my body; it felt lean and my skin was super-taut. it was almost as though my body's futile attempt to generate warmth caused me to loose three pounds in the night. then my mind recalled a suggestion from a health magazine where it said drinking ice cold water, instead of tepid, burns forty extra calories per glass because your body has to heat the liquid once in the stomach.

it seemed to make sense. at least to my un-rested and slightly bella-jealous mind. instead of gyms having saunas they should have seat-lined deep-freezes where old rich guys could go in with their buddies and sit around naked debating last weekend's games while chattering and rubbing the tops of their thighs for warmth. granted if these did exist, i wouldn't actually get a membership, because between having a wife who doesn't like to turn the heat up past 60 degrees and a daughter who outfoxes me with frustrating regularity, i'm already paying a mortgage on my very own seat-lined, bed-scattered deep freeze.

and as clarifying note, marty is the exception to this rule. she (a) always sleeps in the same spot and (b) never goes without covers. everyone living here knows not to lie on mom's clean patch of sheets and to never slide a blanket off her sleeping frame. even bella won't tangle with that sleeping lioness. and that's saying something.

SCIENCE, WIFE (permalink) 11.08.2006
the nature aisle is calling
i once read that mcdonalds restaurants were designed to make a person want to leave after twenty minutes. something about the molded chairs, brilliant colors, plastic art and the like. i never gave this theory much credit until i saw a target store's effect on my wife. within seven minutes of entering a target marty will need to defecate. and i'm not talking about a subtle sensation that needs answered in the next half hour or so. i'm talking about an urge so swift she grabs waify high school employees by the arm and commands them to direct her to the nearest restroom. i think their new store designs, which place the bathrooms up front by the checkouts, are in direct response to marty and others like her.

i on occasion get the feeling that having a website may have run its course, then i get to post some cherry life detail (about someone who is not me), like how target's color scheme makes my wife's sphincter go limp and i wonder what i'd do without such a viable and diverse platform.

KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 11.03.2006
your slippers sir
i was brought out of my sunday morning slumber by getting pushed on the shoulder by bella and told:
dad i brought you your underwear. i need you to get up and fix the dvd player.
i guess we've left the everyone-can-be-naked part of our life. or perhaps we've just left the dad-can-be-naked part of our life. i see a plush terry cloth robe in my near future.

QUOTES (permalink) 11.02.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
you should know

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 11.01.2006
once again
and the sixth annual everyman competition is underway.

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