The Color of Bacon

January 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm 4 comments

“Our house is the color of bacon,” my daughter said with absolute certainty.

Questions in the Cold

We were sitting on the front step of the house at about 11:30 at night. She was wrapped up in her brother’s red Angry Birds fleece hoodie blanket. My son was asleep on my shoulder; he and I were covered in our own fleece blanket.

My daughter was suffering from a bout of croup and our pediatrician suggested “front porch therapy”, i.e. exposure to the cold and moist nighttime air. So there we were in the cold and moist nighttime air taking in and assessing everything we could see under the bright light of a street lamp.

“How many mailboxes do you see over there?” I asked.

“Oh! One, two, fwee!”

“Do you see the moon?”

“Yeah.”

“What color is it?”

“Um… white. Daddy, what is dat guy doing?”

“He’s walking with a snowboard on his back.”

“Why?”

“Probably because he was up in the mountains today riding his snowboard on the snow.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what he likes to do.”

Why?”

“Is your nose feeling better? Would you like to go back inside? Because we can go back in right now if you like…”

The Three-Year-Old Lens

The color of bacon? That concept had never occurred to me. We own a brick house; it’s made of the kind of narrow bricks that can look like bacon if seen through the lens of a three-year-old. This is the same lens that looks at a banana and sees a telephone, and asks how long our broken Ford Ranger will be at “the truck doctor”. It is interesting watching her join concepts together like that in an attempt to better understand what happens around her. It also makes my job of answering her questions a little more enjoyable…

“Daddy, are you otay?”

“Yeah, I just got sick. Daddy’s not feeling well.”

“Why?”

“Because my tummy didn’t want any of my dinner and decided to get rid of it. It’s like when your brother picks up food he doesn’t want and throws it on the floor.”

“Your tummy said ‘I don’t like dat’ and frew it on da floor…”

“Yeah, kinda like that.”

Watching My Imaginary Step

In addition to an increasing ability to analyze her world, my daughter’s imagination is blossoming. This has led to spontaneous dangers popping up all around me.

The other night while I was feeding my son, my daughter suddenly shut both of the kitchen doors and exclaimed “there are monsters outside waiting to eat us!” A minute later she pointed out another danger. Now I had to step carefully over the river of hot water that ran from the refrigerator to the cupboard. The path to my son was blocked! Monsters were just outside the door! He showed no concern, however, and kept on mindlessly stuffing peas in his mouth.

I have to work within these moments very carefully. When they occur in a relaxed environment they are a joy. But when we’re in the parking lot in the pouring rain and I’m trying to buckle my little adventuress into her car seat I don’t have a lot of patience for playing along with the dragon that’s about to eat our car.

The Play Time Shuffle

This is yet another part of parenting that brings a lot of joy to my life if done right. Raising little kids takes a lot of concentration and effort, especially in my case where my wife is often at work during the evenings and I’m flying solo. I need to be careful about dismissing imaginary beings, ignoring irrelevant questions and opportunities to play with them simply so I can chores done faster. Too often I find myself responding to my daughter’s questions and requests for play time with “I will as soon as I… [insert chore here]”. Making the time to shuffle around like a zombie so she can squeal and run through the house is just plain fun and always worth it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the teeth brushings will have to wait a few minutes while I drive a bus to take the unicorns to school…

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Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Happy Birthday, My Big Boy Mocha Porter

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mom Land  |  January 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Beer, bacon and babies. You got me. 🙂 Nice post!

    Reply
    • 2. Hop Dad  |  January 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Ha! Thank you!

      Reply
  • 3. Joe Clark  |  January 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Another great post, Hop Dad…..thanks again.

    Reply
    • 4. Hop Dad  |  January 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Hey, Joe! Thank you very much! The stories seem to write themselves.

      Reply

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