Little bit impatient
Favorite Digital Artists
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Police, Johnny Cash, M83, Bon Iver
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, The Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch Series by Robert Parker
Destiny, Table Tennis, Chess
Appaloosa, Heat, Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach's), Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums
Favorite TV Shows
Bojack Horseman, Legion, The Office, Better Call Saul, Justified, Deadwood
My daughters name is Ivy.
She. is. a. character. She realized pretty early that she could make us laugh. We encourage her creativity, and we laugh with her. But we also think about balance. Sometimes it's tough not to laugh too much at certain things. We try to show her that she doesn't need to constantly entertain us, and that our love and attention isn't conditional.
Her use of language fascinates me. She started speaking in sentences later than I thought she would. Instead, she uses gestures to communicate more than our son does. But now at four, Ivy talks a lot. And to a biased dad, she has interesting things to say, or interesting ways of saying them.
When she was two, she referred to water as, "no". I think she made that connection because we would ask her, "Ivy do you want some water? ..No? Ok sweetie well just tell us if you get thirsty."
I think we followed the first question with second because her facial expressions seemed to us like indecisiveness or a desire to say no without disappointing us. Eventually she began to associate water with, "no", and despite our gentle protestations, Ivy held onto the tradition for several months.
It was a fun little quirk.
In the Fall, we visit the local Pumpkin Patch. It's a popular spot in our small town, and this day was no exception. Waiting in traffic, I said something about a crowd, and Ivy echoed my sentiment with the following words: "Crowded like a mungo."
She said it with the kind of casualness you imagine only adults have learned. Laughing, I asked, "Mungo?"
THAT'S WHAT I SAID, she announced, switching very quickly from casual to defensive, as if she understood that I was questioning the legitimacy of mungo as a real word.
Over the next few weeks I had the great pleasure of witnessing her exploration of this word. To her mom, she would walk up and say, "Hungry like a muungooo". To her brother, whilst picking books to read before bed, "Mungo book!" And to express exasperation at something happening in a tv show, "What in the mungo??"
After some prodding and some consultation with our 7-year old son, Jesse, we gathered that Ivy first started saying "mungo" after watching an Octonauts episode that involved Flamingos.
It especially tickled me that she was using it in the way we use curses. Originally, it might have meant, flamingo. But now it's a catch-all.
Where I might say, and not in front of the kids, "what in the actual fuck?" Ivy says, "what in the actual mungo?" And as far as I can tell, she does it completely unprompted. That is, we don't curse around her, apart from the very seldom, "Shit" at a stubbed toe or something. She's not in school yet. We know what media she consumes. It just came naturally to her to explore the word this way.
We try not to laugh too hard at it all the time, because it's fun to see her explore naturally instead of just trying to make us laugh.
I love being a dad. Seeing little people learn language, develop personalities, and imagine worlds, is so unexpectedly fun. You know that all of this will be a part of it, but there's just no way of predicting the specific joy you feel. The joy you get seeing and being a part of their growing up, as it happens.
And I know it's not unique at all, from a certain vantage point, this thing I'm describing. There's even some kind of comfort in knowing that parents in India, Hawaii, Palestine, Israel, Russia, China, and all over the world, are experiencing this is exact thing I'm talking about. But from another view, the specialness of the contours of our little family, can never really be duplicated, or adequately expressed, or known in the way that I get to know them, right now. And I cherish that.