Dad, got any gum?

Posted by Danny (written last Sunday)

My trip responsibilities used to be:

1)      Carry all suitcases to the car after they were packed.

2)      Load the car.

3)      Get cash.

4)      Drive.

5)      Swim with the kids at the hotel (Lisa did NOT swim at indoor hotel pools).

6)      Carry all bags into the house when we returned home.

My have things changed. 

Packing:  I do pretty well at remembering the critical things that must accompany us on trips:  bathing suits, toothbrushes, rubber bands for hair.  It’s picking out the clothes that stresses me out.  I can’t imagine that we’d ever be in Boston in February and need shorts or flip flops.  But I pack them.  What if a heat wave rises from South America?  What if we unexpectedly get invited to a Hawaiian themed party when we get there?  My mother-in-law can fit two weeks’ worth of clothes in a book bag.  It’s a combo of good folding and strategic planning.  Not me.  What if someone pees in their pants?  Might need an extra outfit or two.

Shopping:  In Boston I went with DJ to a store to help pick out flats (that’s a type of women’s shoes) for the cotillion dance on Thursday.  Actually, she’d already been in the store with her Nana and Aunt Sallie, but since I was carrying the credit card, I got to make the final decision.  She asked for a size 8.  I made the woman bring an 8 ½ too.  I’m not sure why – when Lisa bought the kids shoes, there always seemed to be a lot of boxes sitting around; it seemed like one just wasn’t enough.  I had her stand up and walk and felt for her toe.  I’m pretty sure I came across as knowledgeable.  After that I looked at the saleswoman and at DJ and said, “What do you guys think?”

“The 8” they replied in unison. 

“Yeah – my gut was leaning in that direction too.”

Gum:  Does gum come with the pocketbook or do you have to buy it separately?  I’ve never met a woman who did not have gum or lifesavers on her person.  Men produce sweat.  Women produce lifesavers.  They never run out.   I’m now in charge of trip gum.

As kids my mom always made us split a piece of gum in half.  Until last year, I didn’t know you could fit an entire stick in your mouth.  And when I finally did chew a full Wrigley’s, I felt ashamed. 

“Dad, why can’t we have the whole piece?” 

“I don’t know, ask your grandmother next time you see her.”

Skipping and dancing:  Today at the airport, Michelle was holding my hand and said, “I like to skip.”  Although it was phrased as a comment, it was really a question.

“I like to skip too.  There’s a big, long open hallway right here.”  And off we went.  I thought I’d get some eye rolls but instead got warm smiles.  It gave me enough courage to take the next step (the airport wasn’t crowded).  I learned to Chasse and Grand Jete.  Took me about 12 tries, but once mastered, it was good enough for Michelle to brag on me to her siblings.  At least I think it was bragging, she said, “Everybody, everybody, look at Dad!” and she was laughing in a proud sort of way.

I might give Jesse some props too.  Yesterday at the nephew’s birthday party, he broke out some impressive moves to in Sync’s Bye Bye Bye.

I did do two things that are typical dad.  We ate dinner at Dunkin’ Donuts tonight and this morning I coaxed Stephanie into going to the lobby to fetch my coffee.  Some things never change.

Floral Feet

Posted by DJ

Ok so my dad spent a lot of money on these shoes…ugh. They have like polka dots on them and kind of look like they have doilies all over them. In my opinion they look like some shoes that Vera Bradley would sell for men. Again, he’s such a dork.

Wallaby Hell

Posted by Danny

Look like new, huh?

So Michelle and Stephanie needed new shoes and it happened that a couple of Lisa’s college girlfriends were in town.  We met them at the mall, ate dinner and began the search.  This was probably the first time I had been responsible for purchasing kids’ shoes independently.  I always had an opinion about what our kids wore, it just didn’t matter; until now.

As we began strolling past the stores, one caught my eye.  It was big and full of shoes, racks and racks of them.  I darted in and immediately spotted the kids’ aisle.  From behind me I heard Lucy, one of our guides.

“Back away from this store Danny.  Just back away.  There is nothing here Lisa would allow your children to wear.  Back away quickly.”

I’m compliant.  I didn’t question.  But the store did have a TON of shoes and the prices were remarkable from what I could tell from my short stint there.  That night we found nothing and our women helpers were gone.

My kids always had cute and stylish shoes.  Where did they come from?  The next day we hit Target, Kohls, Payless, Paymore; I couldn’t find a thing.  Finally I phoned one of my “moms on call”:

“Jill, where in the heck can I find decent shoes for Michelle and Stephanie?”

“Well, there’s a cute store near my house but it’s not cheap.”

“At this point, I don’t care.”

We walked in the door and the salesperson could sense I was weak.  How many times a day do you see a father alone with his daughters in a shoe store?  I felt like I had a target on my forehead.  She began engaging the kids, walking back and forth between the Uggs, Wallabees and Toms.  All cute; all expensive.

We walked out with five pair of shoes and a hair bow.  I also walked out $250 lighter.

When Michelle got to school with her new Wallabees, one of her friends told her she did not like them.  She said she thought they were ugly.

The next day I pulled them out as she was getting dressed.  “I think I’ll wear something else today”, Michelle informed me.

“I spent $60 on these shoes!  I don’t care what Kimmy Gibbler thinks about them!  PUT THEM ON YOUR FEET!  NOW!”

I have to give credit to DJ who came in the room and tried to convince Michelle that they were really cool shoes.  It didn’t work.  I think she’s worn them twice in the past two months.  I think I’m going back to the big store in the mall.

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