Daleks and Angels and Grasshoppers, Oh My!

We have a bit of a grasshopper infestation. Well, ok, maybe if there’s been a person or two who has actually contemplated not coming to our house because of them, it might be more than just a bit of an infestation.

When Allison came home with us the other night, the grasshoppers greeted our return with their usual fanfare. Hundreds of grasshoppers began to jump in celebration. Think the big “Be Our Guest” number in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A fountain of jumping insects all across the yard.

That’s when we learned that Allison is slightly phobic about grasshoppers. She opted to wait in the car while Jane went in to retrieve her clothes. Unfortunately, the backseat was also occupied by a four year old, who bounded out of the car without shutting the door. While Jane called to Allison to come inside and Allison called out that she was fine, a grasshopper decided to join her.

Suddenly, she was not fine. She began to shriek. And then flail. She begged Jane to come retrieve the grasshopper. And then in a final move of desperation, she scrambled out of the car, jumping from foot to foot and shaking her arms.

Now, this is what I love about Jane’s friends. No, not that this one is afraid of grasshoppers. That’s not what I’m getting at. It has to do with how she chose to describe the nightmare once we were safely back in the car. As she shuddered slightly, she said, “That was horrible. That was the most awful experience ever. That’s worse than Daleks and Weeping Angels combined!”

I’m all for Jane having friends that relate their real-world experiences to Doctor Who. Even if she’s prone to hyperbole.

Boys in Tutus

When I arrived at the preschool to pick up Hal this afternoon, a dad in the hallway informed me that Hal was wearing a pink tutu. Perhaps he thought this would faze me. It did not. I have a long history of little boys in frilly dress-up.

When I reached the half-door of the classroom, it looked like there had been a fabric explosion. A little boy, not Hal, was strutting about the room in a long gauzy green dress. Another boy was struggling with a hot pink tutu. Yet another was in a blue number.

A little girl in a pale pink dress and a cow head approached me at the door. She explained that her mom (who was not present) had let her wear her Halloween costume and patted the soft horns on her head.

“Are you a cow princess?” I asked her. She nodded and beamed with delight.

I hadn’t yet found Hal. The teacher was sitting against the wall, looking slightly apprehensive. “We are playing dress-up and they can wear whatever they want. That’s what he chose to wear.”

I followed her gaze and found Hal on the floor in a fairly unremarkable dress, looking worried.

“Hal, you look absolutely stunning but we need to go to church. Can you take it off and get your shoes back on, please?”

He smiled broadly and proceeded to talk to me about all the various dress-up options. I noticed that the only children wearing the boring “boy” dress-up uniforms were… girls. And if all the boys weren’t wearing dresses, I’m pretty sure it’s just because there wasn’t enough to go around.

Hal doesn’t have a lot of experience with dress-up dresses. Daryl, on the other hand, lived in them for quite some time at around the same age. His sister had a chest full of them. He coveted them, hoarded them, tried to sleep in them. He thought dresses were the best thing in the world.

One memorable Sunday before he was potty trained, he quickly dressed himself for church. Unbeknownst to me, he had taken off his diaper and donned a pair of ballet pantyhose instead. When I came to pick him up from the nursery after the service, the lady explaining his accident to me was looking at me very strangely. Since most kids his age couldn’t dress themselves, particularly not in something as difficult as pantyhose, she had assumed I had done it. That was a rather awkward moment.

As Hal and I left the school today, he told me how much fun it was to try on dresses and how much he’d like to have some at home. I agreed that it was fun to dress up. I’m not worried about my son and I am grateful that his school does not enforce strict gender stereotypes when it comes to playtime. Donning a fluffy dress doesn’t make a little boy confused or gay. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s secretly a girl inside. It simply means that, let’s face it, the fluffy dress is a lot more fun than the police uniform. Unless the uniform comes with a gun. Or maybe a sword. Daryl took the best of both worlds when he infamously ran around my brother’s house in a Disney princess dress with a plastic sword shoved down the front. I believe he called himself a “Ninja Princess”.

“Mommy,” Hal said as we approached the car, “I want you to wear some dress-up. I mean real play dress-up, but not little. Big. For you. Not a real dress, a dress-up one. I would like that.”

“Ok, Hal. We’ll have to see about that.”

Big Dreams

Jane: “When I grow up and become a famous movie maker, I’m going to make a movie called The Mysterious Benedict Society and it’s going to be the most awesome movie ever.”

Me: “You’ll have to get Mr. Trenton’s permission to make that movie.”

Jane: “Oh, no problem. I’ll get permission.”

Daryl: “When I grow up, I’m going to be a multi-billionaire and then I’m going to buy Disney.”

Jane: “Disney already bought Star Wars.”

Daryl: “No, they bought Lucas Films, which means they bought Star Wars and all the other movies too.”

Jane: “That’s right. Being a billionaire is so last year though. I’m going to be a multi-trillionaire and then I’m going to buy Disney from you.”

Daryl: “Well, then I’ll just get multi more multi billions and multi more trillions and then I’ll be richer than you.”

Jane: “So? I’ll still have Disney.”

Daryl: “Well, I’m going to make something. I’m going to come up with something that will allow me to have an unlimited bank account.”

Jane: “You can’t do that. You know why? Because our money is tied to the gold at Fort Knox so there can’t be any such thing as an unlimited bank account.”

Daryl: “I know. But I’m going to be the King of England.”

Jane: “You can’t be the King of England. You weren’t born in that blood line so you can’t be the King of England.”

Daryl: “I know, but if all the people that were born of the blood died then I could be.”

Jane: “How are you going to pull that off?”

Daryl: “I’m just good like that.”

Jane: “How are you going to get all this money anyway?”

Me: “How are you going to get all that money?”

Jane: “I’m not.”

Me: “No, that money you said you were going to have when you said you were going to be a multi trillionaire and buy Disney.”

Jane: “I’m not.”

Me: “So you were lying?”

Jane: “No, I was pretending. Where are you going to get all that money, Daryl?”

Daryl: “I’m just pretending too. And while I’m pretending to have all this money, I’m going to have a big mansion.”

Jane: “You realize if you buy a big mansion, you’ll have a mortgage note on it.”

Daryl: “I know.”

Jane: “And that means you’ll have to pay it.”

Me: “I think if he’s a billionaire, he can afford the mortgage. If he even has to take one out at all.”

Daryl: “I’m going to have 10 mansions. And a light blue limousine. That would be cool.”