Archive for Sunday, July 20, 2003

Toddler’s twirl turns dad into a prince

July 20, 2003


Hi! How are you? Good! Here is my column! It has short words today. Why? Because I am spending a LOT of time with my daughter. Her name is Sophie. She is 3! My wife is a sportswriter. She went to, Paris, France, to write about tennis. She left me as the lone parent. With a 3-year-old! For 16 days! That makes 384 hours. Or 23,040 minutes. But who is counting? Ha ha!

My wife called me. She said it was hard work, sportswriting in Paris, France. I bet! But there is wine there. Not here! Here we drink juice in little boxes decorated with pictures of licensed characters. We drink juice a lot! It is 287 percent sugar. So we have lots of energy! We wake up at 5:45 a.m. no matter what time Daddy got to sleep. Then we watch kids' TV shows starring licensed characters. They learn good lessons: Share! Be nice! Work together! Drink juice!

Daddy wishes there were an early-morning kids' TV show called: "Let's Go Back To Bed." The licensed characters would yawn a lot and say: "I'm tired! Let's all lie down and be very quiet until at least 7:45 a.m.!" Wouldn't that be great? Daddy would send money to that show.

But no. We are wide awake, and it is time to play. All day long we play and play and play! We even play chess! Really! Do you want to know how you play chess with a 3-year-old girl? OK! I will tell you:

First you put all the chess pieces on the squares. Then some pieces decide to have a birthday party. They make a circle and sing "Happy Birthday." But they won't let the other pieces come to the party! The other pieces are sad! They are crying and lying down on the chess board! So the Mommy piece tells the birthday-party pieces that they have to let everybody come to the party. Then everybody sings "Happy Birthday" some more times. A lot more times! Everybody is happy! Everybody wins, in chess! Time for more juice!

Our very favorite game to play is Princesses. The Princesses are licensed characters from Disney. Remember the old cartoon stars such as Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Julie Andrews, etc.? They did not have a hit for many years. Their careers were in the toilet! They were working as telemarketers. Then Disney decided to call them "The Princesses." This is called "rebranding." Now they are hot! Princess dolls are very big sellers. We have several hundred. When people ask me: "What kind of floor covering do you have in your home?" I answer: "Princesses." They're everywhere! Sometimes I step on them in my bare feet. Ouch! They have those hard, pointy bosoms, like Barbie. We have plenty of Barbies, too!

Here is how you play Princess: You get a Princess, or a Barbie. Then you brush her hair for a while. Then she gets married. That's it! You don't even need a Prince! Or, sometimes Winnie the Pooh is the Prince. It doesn't matter! It is not about the Prince. It is about the princess. She is beautiful. She has beautiful hair. So she gets married! She lives in a big castle! It is not clear who is paying for this lifestyle. Maybe somewhere there are a bunch of licensed taxpayer characters.

Sophie's very favorite Disney Princess is Ariel. She is the Little Mermaid. In her movie, she magically turns into a human. Then her dream comes true: She marries a warehouse manager!

No. That is a joke. Of course she marries a prince. Sophie loves Ariel. She has a mermaid doll named Ariel. She has beautiful hair! She gets married a lot. She also takes a bath with Sophie every night. Ariel's hair gets very wet. But Sophie wants to sleep with her. So Daddy has to blow-dry Ariel's hair. And brush it out. Every night! Imagine how Daddy feels, styling a mermaid doll's hair, while the other daddies are watching "SportsCenter." Ha ha! Daddy is thinking that Mommy better get home soon from Paris, France.

One night, Sophie was Cinderella. She has a Cinderella dress. She put it on over her Tigger pajamas. It was a good look. Then Sophie said: "Daddy, will you dance with me?" And we danced. We held hands and went 'round and 'round. Then it was time for Cinderella to run away. Cinderella doesn't stay around forever.

But for a little while there, Daddy was the prince. That was nice. Even better than "SportsCenter."

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