Yesterday I had to take my two year-old daughter to the office with me for a couple of hours in the afternoon, because we were stuck without a babysitter. No big deal. She’s well behaved, and she spent most of the time talking on her invisible phone. That’s her new thing. But then we’re driving home, and five minutes into the commute, she’s got her hand to her ear and I hear her say, “Heh-whoa? Mommy? Ess. Da-dee guckkk. Out. Now. Okay. Bye.” If you need a translation, it’s: “Hello? Mommy. Yes. Daddy’s truck. Out. Now. Okay. Bye.” Then she had the same conversation with her two older siblings, then my in-laws, then my parents, then various aunts and uncles and friends.
I know Mommy’s got the comfortable car seat, and I wasn’t upset or anything. And insulted isn’t the right word, because how can you be insulted by a two year-old? But I couldn’t accept the fact that riding with me was such a traumatizing experience that she needed to contact our entire extended family for help. So I resorted to distraction. She had her Five Little Monkeys book with her, and she’d been looking at it in the office too, so I started singing the song with her. I realized my mistake at once. If you don’t know the monkey song, here it is:
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Four little monkeys…
And it goes on and on, each time another monkey falls, each time the Monkey Mommy calls the Monkey Doctor, who apparently only practices preventative medicine, and you’d think once you got to zero, it would be over. Right? No. Because, “Mo gock-keys Da-dee? Mo gock-keys?” And I had to think: What’s worse? Being mocked by my two year-old talking on her invisible phone? Or singing the friggin monkey song? I’ll admit, it was a toss up. But then, “Peas, Da-dee? Da-dee peas? Mo gock-keys?” And I’m a sucker for peas. So we sang the friggin monkey song, for thirty minutes, all the way home, just so she wouldn’t beg to be rescued from her personal car ride hell. But that was okay, because I thought maybe one day when she’s older, while she may not remember our monkey singing session exactly, she might have warm fuzzy memories of simpler times when she had some laughs in the car with Daddy. But then we got home, and my wife asked her if she had fun. And she says, “No, Da-dee guckkk. Out. Now. Peas?” It’s a good thing she’s cute.
Later on, my wife and our six year-old daughter, The Comedienne, were in the living room practicing cheers. Our daughter recently signed up for first grade cheerleading at school, and while my wife swears she won’t volunteer to coach, I know she’ll end up doing it anyway. Mostly because all the other parents will take a collective step backward and volunteer her by default. But that’s alright, because I know she’s the only one who gives a shit, and if she doesn’t do it ten little girls won’t get to cheer.
Anyway, my wife was teaching The Comedienne some of the cheers she remembered, so I thought I’d join in the fun and throw out the classic, always funny:
You ain’t got no alibi!
You ugly! Hey! Hey! You ugly!
The Comedienne thought this was hilarious, and I should’ve known right then, because I saw the sparkle in her eye. I thought it was a sparkle of appreciation for Daddy, for imparting to her a bit of classic comedy. But, no. In fact, her little six year-old mind was spinning with the possibilities of talking smack with spelling cheers. It didn’t take her long to come up with her first:
This got me A Look from my wife, because she knew from that moment on it was pointless to try and teach The Comedienne anymore “real” cheers. And I had giggled, just a little, but all our daughter needs is the slightest bit of encouragement and she’s off to the races. So, a minute later, she performed this one:
This time she added some choreography, such as jabbing her index fingers at the imaginary opposing team in cadence with the spelling. And once again, more laughing from me. But now my wife was laughing too. So our daughter continued:
This one’s a little difficult. It took me a couple minutes to decipher, but it translates to: Your Pet Monky Is Ded.
And this is where I lost it. I don’t know if it was the previous monkey delirium I had been subjected to, or fatherly pride that my sweet little girl had come up with such a simple, yet ruthless, smack talking phrase, or the image of her leading a group of first graders in this cheer at a basketball game, because I know, left unsupervised, she would. I think I laughed for ten minutes straight.
And it went on and on, though her follow up cheers were mostly variations on the above themes: Your Butt Stinks, Your Monkey’s Butt Stinks, Your Monkey’s Butt Is On Fire And It Stinks Really Bad, etc. Anyway, I don’t what was with all the monkeys yesterday, but I’ve had my fill.