Month / April 2014

Father with daughters as toddlers, then teens

1. STOP GROWING! My youngest recently turned fourteen. Overnight it seems like she grew another four inches, so that now both of my daughters are nearly as tall as I am. It does not feel right that they stand close to eye level with me. Maybe that’s why an old picture of them standing in front of me at half their current heights now has a prominent place on my desk.

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My daughter sounds like Sylvester Jr from Looney Tunes cartoons.

1. DISPLEASED DESCENDANT. I know I’m in trouble with my youngest when she calls me “Father” instead of “Dad.” She’s too young to get the reference, but when she addresses me that way, I can’t help but hear the voice of Sylvester Jr. from the old Looney Tunes cartoons. I half expect her to begin her explanations of how I’ve let her down with, “Oh father, oh father, the shame of it …”

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Daughter's independent birthday celebration.

1. UNNEEDED PRESENCE. It could not be possible that I spent only five minutes with my eldest on her 17th birthday. My sole responsibility on this big occasion was to drive her to a hotel where she spent the night celebrating with her friends. It made me long for the days when I had to contend with 25 screaming girls at a roller-skating rink or Build-A-Bear store. Did I really feel that I had to “endure” those 90-minute squealfests? Did I not see this day coming?

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Surfeit of Pillows

1. PILLOW PROLIFERATION. When I was single and had a house to myself, I had only one throw pillow on my couch to use when I wanted to recline watching TV. Now that I live with three women, there are pillows everywhere. My bed and couch have so many pillows of so many varieties it seems like they’re exhibits in a pillow museum. Any time I want to sleep or sit, I have to “gently” dislodge them. (Throwing them gets me into trouble.) Now the pillows are even turning up in unexpected places. (Do we really need lumbar support pillows at the base of our dining room chairs?) I half believe my wife doesn’t actually buy these things, but instead they multiply on their own, like rabbits.

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