I knew that meeting my baby nephew I-man for the first time was going to be epic, but I didn't even anticipate the full epic scope of his journey to the U.S.
The first thing I noticed about I-man is his sheer baby strength. You would not believe how much wrestling is involved with taking care of this guy. He is constantly trying to arrive at a location known only as Anywhere but Here.
After it came to my daughters' and my attention that all I-man had to play with at home in Germany were "wooden blocks and glockenspiels," we knew we had to help a brother out.
We also had to show him the beach.
Our many talents.
A raging baby social life.
The day we said goodbye to I-man was very sad. As I pulled out of my parents' garage, he gave the best baby wave I'd seen from the whole visit. Violet and I cried while Daisy frowned into the Mindcraft my departing brother got his nieces addicted to within minutes of saying hello.
That's OK. It's probably a fair trade for I-man's new Monster High doll fetish.
My daughters fight to an extent I never thought possible. I grew up with annoying brothers, and I fought them. However, occasional scuffles with brothers is nothing compared to the deep emotional complexity and profound competition between my two girls.
Believe me, when my girls show the love to each other, it doesn't just make my day, it gives me purpose as a human on this planet. Since the Halloween candy, which they've been disciplined about squirreling away, I've seen some very good behavior.
This afternoon was Violet's ballet class. Toward the end of the hour, Daisy made an excuse to go outside.
Violet and I found a bubbly Daisy on our way to the car, with an announcement to share: "I just want to tell you something but YOU HAVE TO PROMISE you won't make fun of me."
"NO, fine. I'M NOT TELLING YOU. I'll tell you when I'm older."
Tell us now.
"Well, the thing is . . . when I'm an adult . . . I want to invent a new type of dance. THERE I SAID IT. The dance is happening on a ledge - or a beam - and I'm using some of the moves I've learned from jazz . . . I shouldn't have told you!"
Sure. Neither Violet nor I had much to say at first. Then I thought about it and advised -- if you're planning on inventing something as an adult, you should really start working on it now.
Daisy reassured us she had already started working on it.
A few minutes later, buckled in the back seat, Violet expressed her misgivings about her big sister's dream, "Well, how will you let . . . how will you tell THE COUNTRY about your invention?"
In my head I thought youtube, but I didn't want to say it outloud. I mean, no reason to encourage reckless youtube videos.
Daisy pondered on her sister's rather respectful and curious reaction to the dream that she had discovered 15 minutes ago. But as Daisy started to respond with her plan to get the message out to the country, Violet took over the invention discussion with, "You know what I would invent? . . . a wheel! It would be two wheels and it would be spraying out things . . . my wheels would be spraying out ICE CREAMS!"
I couldn't help it -- What? . . . that doesn't make sense!
Crazy hyena laughter in the back seat. And, from there, the conversation degraded into other crazy inventions before looping back to the old standard - fart jokes backed up by actual farting in the backseat. Totally annoying.
Still, before I might be able to announce a new invention in dancing that happens on a ledge, I can show you a world premiere of another dance you might never have seen before. Remember where you saw it.