Posted by: laughs4dads | February 17, 2010

Quality Time, Part II

A continuation Monday’s post: my account of a typical rainy day when my daughter was two.  This day was so long, it will, appropriately, take three posts to cover it.   Scroll down for Part I; Part III will appear on Friday.

11:17 AM Barbara takes Casey upstairs to get dressed.  This takes fifteen minutes during which time I gulp down four cups of coffee.  By the time Casey reappears, I figure I’m ready for anything she can dish out.

11:32 AM We play “Duck, Duck, Goose.”  We sit on the floor and one of us walks around the others tapping them on the head.  When the person who’s “it” says “goose,” the person tapped has to chase the tapper around the circle.  Casey invents a few variations, like running around the entire house.  It quickly becomes obvious I did not drink enough coffee.

11:58 AM Barb takes Casey to the supermarket, even though we don’t need anything.  Meanwhile, I go to the video store to get something to watch while Casey takes her nap, since the baseball game I was planning to watch will get rained out.  Barb, bless her heart, gets Casey interested in the live lobsters, and they are gone for an hour.

1:00 PM Lunch.  Casey, who is usually one of the world’s slowest eaters, consumes a turkey sandwich in five minutes and then dumps 478 Lego blocks at my feet.  I construct a scale model lunatic asylum, no mean feat considering that Casey has not allowed me to remove the Oscar and Grover puppets from my hands–even while I was eating lunch.  As soon as I place the last brick on the lookout tower, Casey knocks the whole thing over.

1:30 PM Nap time.  While Casey sleeps, hopefully until tomorrow, Barb reads the paper and I watch the tape I rented.  I have chosen an old Sherlock Holmes movie with Basil Rathbone.  This was, I am aware, a risky move on my part, since there is a good possibility Casey will wake up before the end, and I’ll never know who done it.  As it turns out, though, this does not happen.

1:38 PM What does happen is that Casey wakes up almost immediately.  Barbara brings her downstairs.  Casey finds the remote control for the VCR.  For ten minutes, I try to follow the mystery in fast forward.  Basil Rathbone sounds funny as a falsetto.

1:50 PM We take out the Play-Doh and sit around the kitchen table squeezing it.  We own such an immense collection of molds that it is quite conceivable for us to create a six-course dinner made entirely from clay.  This is not what we make, however.  What we make is a very large mess.

2:07 PM Casey unceremoniously leaves the table, signaling that she is finished with the clay.  Barb follows her out of the room while I begin the task of picking up tiny clay fragments and distributing them into the proper color-coded cans.  This chore, I might add, is even harder to accomplish while wearing hand puppets.

2:22 PM Casey yawns.  Maybe now she’s ready for a nap.  We move toward her hopefully.  Alas, it is a false alarm.

2:30 PM Out come the non-toxic washable markers, the blunt-ended scissors, the glue and the construction paper.  These materials manage to occupy our daughter for less time than it took to assemble them in the first place.  I get the idea that we might be better off spending the rest of the day preparing to play with things rather than actually playing with them.

2:48 PM We let Casey feed the fish again.

2:56 PM I suggest to Barbara that perhaps the rain has let up enough to go for a walk.  We go to the window and see a raccoon drifting across the driveway on a little raft.   Barb shakes her head solemnly.  “What the heck,” I say, “it’s just water.”

3:09 PM Casey yawns again.  Barb whisks her into her arms and we both race upstairs with her.  When we arrive, however, Casey informs us, by means of hysterical crying, that a nap is not in her immediate plans.

3:11 PM As long as we’re upstairs, we play “Chase Daddy Around the Bed.”  This is one of Casey’s favorites, and it’s always good for killing fifteen minutes.  Unfortunately, as I get older and more out of shape, I worry that time may not be the only fatality.

3:34 PM Barbara takes Casey back downstairs.  I am allowed ten minutes to sit on the bed and catch my breath.

4:07 PM I finish a dramatic reading of How Many Bugs in the Box?  Four other volumes are next to me on the floor, having already been perused.  I have only been able to manage an average of three and a half minutes per book, which means even if I read all 39 of Casey’s books, it will still be almost two hours until bedtime.

4:25 PM Casey announces that she would like to take a nap.  Of course, it is now too late for her to take a nap.  If she takes a nap now, she’ll never go to sleep tonight.  This means that we not only have to keep her entertained for the rest of the day; we have to keep her awake.

Friday: The Dramatic Conclusion

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