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March 24, 2003

Toddler Hops

Ngnat announced to the other two-year-olds in her daycare class today that, when she was at home, she drank beer. As you might imagine, this caused no little comment among the staff at the Baptist church housing the day care, seemingly all of whom sought out her mother to inform her of Ngnat's beverage choice when she arrived to pick up the smallest alkie of them all.

"That's crazy talk," I told her when apprised of our child's new status among the pre-literati. "She can't even tilt the glass to pour properly, for god's sake."

To be fair, no one really thought Ngnat has a cold one or two at the end of the day to unwind. All of the above was accompanied by the genial wink and a nod attitude so prevalent among modern child care providers and mothers when it comes to discussing alcohol use among minors.

I'd give a dollar to hear the conversation when her classmates ask for beer at home because Ngnat drinks it.

Of course, the fascination with beer is my fault. I'm a man, how could it not be my fault? No trip to the grocery store is complete in Ngnat's mind until we stroll slowly past the beer cooler, gazing at the bottles and cans in their serried ranks, looking, usually in vain, for something new. That's not a practice she picked up from her mother.

The slow beer stroll is one of the things we did Saturday, once we abandoned the house to the painting coterie. It was at least as interesting as Piglet's Big Movie, which was also sadly bereft of quality alcohol. As far as reviews go, it finished a distant second in the race for Ngnat's attention to the tub of popcorn in my lap. When we saw Lilo and Stitch a half year ago, we couldn't tear her attention away from the screen; she barely even moved except to change thumbs. Saturday it was all I could do to keep her still, though once I allowed her to sit on the stairs she gave Piglet at least some attention. On the plus side, she did make it through the entire movie without one bathroom trip, something she failed to do for Stitch.

And then we went to the bar, where Daddy sat Ngnat on the stool beside him, fed her complimentary peanuts and drank beer after beer, growing increasingly red faced and restive, muttering more loudly at the television screen with each round, until he picked a fight with the smart-mouthed stranger at the other end of the bar and was tossed out to lay, semi-conscious, in a puddle of his own vomit.

Oops, sorry. Started channeling Angela's Ashes there for a minute. Some faint echoing wave of St. Patrick's day must have just passed by. But really, what more can you expect of a family where the toddler claims to drink?

What we really did was go to Fyes and buy The Iron Giant, since I had promised her a good movie, and needed the excuse. I've always thought it one of the more affecting American animations, certainly as good as any of the Disney classics, and better than most.

We watched it after the painters finished up that night, and she demanded it again Sunday while we applied with SpongeBob tattoos upstairs in Mommy's bed.

I asked her where my bed was, and she pointed at the guest room.

Not even three, and she already has a thorough understanding of the basics of married life.*

Iron Giant was the first thing she asked about this morning, and at the top of her schedule again when she came home. I can see myself becoming almighty tired of the Iron Giant here soon, though it's still preferable to the Barbie as Rapunzel video.

*No, I don't actually spend enough nights in the guest bed for her to consider it mine. I just wrote that to scare my parents. The guest bed in now in the computer room, which was previously known as Daddy's room. To recap: Nothing to see here, move along.

Posted by Bigwig at March 24, 2003 10:58 PM | TrackBack
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