Monday, December 20, 2004

My daughter's school is closed for the next two weeks for "Winter" break. So, I'll be spending this week with her, and the wifey will be on kid duty next week.

Usually I accidentally corrupt my daughter in stupid ways during these vacation days. Generally this takes the form of some sort of "potty mouth" behavior (because I am the Prince of Potty mouths), but occasionally we'll delve into racketeering or maybe treason. Not this time though! This time I'm on my best behavior. First off, I'm reluctant to repeat past mistakes, and also my mother-in-law will be joining us for a few days later this week. I've been polishing my "good father" mask in preparation. Shiny!

We kicked off Daddy-Daughter week yesterday with one of our patented (note, no actual patent has been issued at this time) trips to the grocery store. The daughter enjoys these trips much more if we shed our everyday personas and turn it into a series of SPY MISSIONS!

Typical missions at the grocery store include:

- Go find the bottled water, BUT DON'T LET ANY ONE SEE YOU!
- See if you can procure 20 brussel sprouts into this bag WITHOUT LETTING ANY OF THEM ESCAPE!
- Go find daddy's favorite beer.

We each have daughter-assigned spy names. They change from time to time, but currently, I'm XO (pronounced ex-oh) and she's Callis. Obviously we cannot use our real names in the grocery store. International havoc would be wreaked. Wreaked, I tell you.

The spy missions break down when we run into acquaintances at the grocery store. This happens surprisingly often, usually when we're both crouched down by the Tampax display, waiting for "the coast to clear." People are either too polite, or too mortified to ask what the hell we're doing. That's probably for the best, as we'd hate to have to kill them. Ok, hate is a strong word.

Yesterday, as we got ready to leave for the store, my daughter found her American flag and said, "Oh! Oh, daddy! How about every time I complete a mission, I'll wave my American flag back and forth and that's how you'll know that I'm done!?"

I was horrified.

Don't get me wrong, I love living in this country. I'm not a big fan of the current administration, but I've got a good life here and I know it. I'm not likely to move to Canada or anywhere else for quite a while, but I'm also not really the type to wave a flag around in the grocery store. I do live in San Francisco, queen of the blue states.

Anyway, I'm going to try and not teach my kid any new naughty words this week, no matter how panicked I get when she expresses unabashed patriotism.

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