Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"The Bunny Story"

By popular demand. Really, this is Kristi's story to tell, but she thinks blogging is every bit as big a waste of time as watching Buffy DVDs or reading the Worth1000.com forums. So it falls to me. I know I won't do it justice, but a man's got to try. I apologize in advance.

Emma has been particularly difficult lately. I won't go into all of the details; just trust me when I say that she's been a real strain on both my patience and Kristi's. One way it manifests itself is hypochondria. Every couple of weeks I'll get a call from Emma, using the school nurse's phone. "Dad?" "Hi, Emma." "I'm not feeling well." Even when the nurse says she's got a fever and I take her home, by the time 4:00 rolls around and Elli next door gets home, Emma is feeling great and wanting to play (not that I let her). Kristi and I have talked to her about our jobs and responsibilities, and how we can't just take off any time Emma's not feeling 100%, and how school is her job and she's got to tough it out just like we try to do when we're not feeling great.

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I got three calls from Em. Each time I told her that if she didn't have a fever she needed to stay at school. She did, finally, stay until school was over. Kristi and I were at a loss to understand this one. Finally, though, after Emma went to bed, Kristi had a sudden realization while brushing her teeth, and burst out of the bathroom to tell me about the drive to school that morning.

The girls were (typically) rushing to get Emma to school in time to avoid another tardy slip. Kristi was driving, concentrating on balancing speed versus safety. Emma, on the other hand, wanted to talk about her material needs. Specifically, she wanted to discuss her need for another pair of red cowgirl boots for her birthday.

Now, this would be her third pair of red cowgirl boots. She outgrew pair #1 years ago, and passed them on to her cousin Tatum in California. She can still squeeze into pair #2, but not comfortably. So clearly she needs another pair (much like I need to start a collection of Angel season sets, now that my Buffy collection is complete).

Kristi, being a reasonable adult (and a stressed driver), pointed out that Emma's birthday is in April. If she got tooled leather boots in April, she wouldn't wear them most of the summer (they're too hot, and summertime is flip-flop and watershoe time anyway). And by the time things cooled off in the fall, they probably wouldn't fit anymore. Why not wait for Christmas?

Emma, being an 8-year-old girl and thus inherently unreasonable, wouldn't accept this. If she couldn't have them for her birthday, what about Easter? "Easter is in April too," Kristi pointed out, "and if we're not buying them for your birthday, we're not buying them for Easter either." Emma tried cajoling, arguing, and finally whining, and (I think) Kristi actually pulled over at this point because she was so stressed.

"We are not buying you the boots. We're not buying them for your birthday, and we're not buying them for Easter." "Fine," pouted Emma. "Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring them."

At which point, Kristi clutches at the air with both hands and shouts, "Emma, I am the Easter Bunny!!!"

Result: one sick child.

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