Monday, May 6, 2002


I actually ended up spending a lot of time one-on-one with Kelly Sunday, even factoring in my normal Sunday strength training session, which takes 90 minutes to two hours, depending on how I'm cooking. Jean took Kelly to church in the morning, and I did all my usual chores, but when they came back, I asked Kelly if she wanted to come to the library with me, as her request for the video Air Bud had arrived. My copy of Breaking Windows was in too. She was up for it, so off we went.

Too bad, Daddy. The library doesn't open for another hour! I was too fixated on getting all my errands and chores done early, and we jumped the gun. So I asked Kelly if she wanted to go home and wait, or come with me to Home Depot to pick up a new widget for the basement toilet, since the rod which pulls the plug had snapped recently. She asked the equivalent of "what's in it for me?" by wondering aloud if Home Depot had any toys or "stuff for kids". I said I wasn't sure, but if we found something for a couple of dollars, she could have it.

So off we went to Home Depot. Immediately on our entry to the store, Kelly saw the gardening section and fixated on the seeds. She's had pretty good success lately, with a bean sprout and flower bulb growing on the sill of our kitchen window. So I asked her to wait until I'd completed my mission and promised to come back to the seed section. I found the right hardware for the toilet pretty quickly, then went in search of:

  • a tiny screwdriver

  • a cheap soldering gun and solder

Why? Because I've received notice that 'soon' I should be receiving my kit for a Gameboy Advance front-light. This is a 'hobbyist' kit, in that you put it together yourself, and that requires certain tools. Tom and I are going to put ours together at his place before NOVA some weekend after they arrive, and he has a Dremel tool, so I don't need that. My friend at work, Burr, has latex gloves (which I need to avoid getting finger oils on the light guide), so I don't need those. Turns out that latex gloves are good for changing oil in your car. That Burr, so fastidious! So that left the screwdriver for opening the case, and the soldering iron for attaching the power wires. I found them and we went off to buy some seeds.

Now if you've been following my little journal you know that Kelly never stops at 'yes'. I told her she could buy two dollars worth of seeds. She said, "why not three?" I said she could give me a dollar from her allowance if she went to three. It never stops. So we got our goodies, paid for them (where we had an interesting moment when Kelly asked the cashier if she was a man or a woman) and headed back to the library.

The library trip was uneventful, with Kelly stocking up on additional Pokemon videos for the afternoon at home. I succeeded in installing the widget in the downstairs toilet, thus paying the absolute minimum dues needed to maintain my membership in the Man Club. Time passed, we had lunch, I worked out, and then offered to go for a walk with Kelly before taking a shower. To my surprise, she jumped on it.

Earlier in the day she had found an old 'talking' watch which no longer talked because I'd been lazy about locating a replacement battery. Kelly decided it was a Clockstopper watch. So our agenda on our walk was to play store, where each utility housing for cable or phone becomes a storefront, and one of us the merchant. The twist was that she was going to use the 'Clockstopper' watch to freeze the 'merchant' and play pranks. This usually consisted of leaving the money in cute places, like balanced on my nose, then 'unfreezing' time.

So we took off, me with my straw cowboy hat (bad decision, too windy and cold) and Kelly with her bright red and grey watch. We played Clockstopper Store several times, and then we entered Little Woodrose Park. Boy was Kelly in explorer mode Sunday. We followed the groomed trail about a third of the time. The rest of the time we were diving off the clean wide path and through the brush, following the faintest weaving dirt path through the wood. I had to duck and hunch numerous times to get through places Kelly wanted to go. I got a workout all over again. Finally we headed home, stopping at several 'stores' on the way.

Too bad the day had to end on a bad note. Kelly and I were rough housing and she smacked my hand in such a way that she took a divot out of her finger. I went to the bathroom with her to fix it up, and when she saw it, she got mad at me and pegged me with a beachball. I told her that that was unacceptable, and she was confined to take a bath, brush her teeth and go straight to bed. She spent the rest of the evening engaging in activities designed to flaunt her unrepentant attitude. "Look, I found a bunch of Sailor Moon playing cards in the closet!" "Are you guys going to bed yet?" "I'm just going to play quietly in my room, okay?"

This morning I said goodbye to her, and I'm pretty sure she'd completely forgotten the whole episode. Still, if she pegs me in the head with her beach ball in a clear act of malice, I'm gonna 'ground' her again.

And that concludes the Sunday report!

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