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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Life around the Manor.

Busy weekend. Even with the Parental Bonus Hour called "Daylight Savings." Which isn't much of a bonus given that the kids' internal clocks just go off an our "earlier."

1. We have a hyperactive nephew, N, who is basically a good kid. But his favorite activity seems to be pummelling or viewing the same. I wandered into a conversation between my wife and mother in law yesterday about N the Viking:

M-i-L: "N is going to be the Grim Reaper."

Me: "Sounds about right. Say, what's he going to be for Halloween?"

Heather and M-i-L: [The Look™, followed by stifled laughter.]

Me: "Oh, riiight. Like you weren't thinking the same thing."

2. Rachel has glommed on to my voice (I can read music and carry a tune without causing the dog to howl), insisting that I sing at least one song before she goes to sleep at night. Her favorites are "Waltzing Matilda" and "Men of Harlech" [Zulu version]. Alas, she requires the annotated versions of each song: "What's 'billabong'?" "What's 'rebounding'?" Kinda throws the rhythm off.

3. I can't recommend enough changing the words to the kids' favorite shows. A surefire way to start an argument (and distract them from the unblinking eye).

Noggin is a pretty solid network for the younguns--between 6am and 6pm, the network has no commercials, and no agendae, either. The programming can be soporific, but it's about the safest thing out there (short of loading the DVDs). None of these virtues apply to the programming that runs between 6pm and 6am on the same network, renamed to the faux-cool "The N."

Noggin has its flaws, though--did I mention "soporific"? So much so that Heather and I often yearn for what we call the "Egyptian Brain Treatment." This is a reference to a favorite part of the mummification process where bladed device is shoved up the corpse's nose into the brain cavity and swirled around long enough to liquify the cranial contents, which are drained out and used as part of the embalming process.

Anyway, back to the word change: for some reason, all of the kids enjoy "Wonder Pets," an animated show featuring a duck, a turtle and a guinea pig who go out and rescue other animals in (very slight) peril. Cute to a saccharine fault, it wears thin for adults after two minutes. But the kids love it.

So fun with the theme music is a sanity-preserving necessity.

"Come on, son--wouldn't this be better with tougher animals? Say, a badger, an ankylosaurus and an eagle? It'd be called "Thunder Pets!"

[In a basso profundo:]

Thunder Pets/
Thunder Pets/
They're on their way/
To punish the wicked/
And save the day...

Heather is especially fond of "Blunder Pets"--imagine the slapstick possibilities. Ditto "Dunder Pets."

After fifteen minutes of watching, my personal favorite is "Chunder Pets."

Sad to say, all our suggestions ever receive are howls of outrage.

Which, of course, is the point.

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