Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Happy Spot

All of you mandatory reporters and Department of Human Services folks can sharpen your pencils and get out a new manila folder, my family might be back on your radar in the next week.

I blame it all on Current Husband (CH) and his plan for cable domination.

CH had one of his "There HAS To Be A Better Way" moments and cancelled our cable, thinking we could figure out how to watch everything we like on the Internet. To his credit, the kids are watching much less TV and reading more books. To his great dismay, I've been missing Project Runway and Mad Men. This is to his dismay, because during the scheduled times of my shows, I walk around the house with a glass of wine and a cleaver and mutter under my breath about missing the things in life that bring me joy. Because of him. But at least he isn't pretending to send one of the kids up in a "science balloon" or pimping me out to Wife Swap, so there's that.

But I digress.

Since we no longer have the Toxic Twins that are Disney and Nickelodeon in our home, the only TV the kids are really interested in is PBS. My youngest has been enjoying catching up with Clifford the Big Red Dog. The other day, in between giving children a ride on his Big Red Back and accidentally ripping up Mr. Bleakman's garden, Clifford wanted Emily Elizabeth to scratch his Happy Spot, which would make Clifford's leg move. This entertained my youngest daughter to no end. She couldn't get enough of watching Clifford move his leg when scratched.

A few days later, I'm in my bedroom folding clothes. CH is laying on the bed, enjoying football and watching me be his domestic slave, when our daughter runs into the room, jumps on the bed, and starts scratching CH's back. Suddenly, I stop folding CH's boxers and look up in horror. What did she just say?

YD: "Where is it, Daddy?"
CH: "Lower, it's lower..."
YD: "Is THIS your Happy Spot?"
CH: "No, lower...that's got it!"

And then CH starts shaking his leg and Youngest Daughter shrieks in glee. She jumps off the bed and runs from the room to find someone else's Happy Spot. She is happy. CH is happy. I am alarmed. I decide to kill CH's buzz.

ME: "Um, honey, what is that all about?"
CH: "She liked that Clifford show, so she finds the Happy Spot and I'm Clifford."
ME: "You DO know how this is going to sound at school, right?"
CH: "Uh, NO."
ME: 'I spent the weekend in bed with Daddy rubbing his Happy Spot!"
CH: "Oh no."
ME: "Oh yes."

Every Monday morning, the first graders do a chart that shows what they did over the weekend. It is like a flower, with the main activity in the middle and the activities associated with the main activity branched off. Here is how I pictured Youngest Daughter's Weekend Chart: Rubbed the Happy Spot - with Daddy - in his bed - his leg moved - he's a dog - our special game.

I had to take action. The only way to get Rubbing the Happy Spot off of the school chart was to come up with a better activity. And this is why you could find my family at the IMAX theater this afternoon watching the last Harry Potter movie, with my youngest daughter in a formal dress and her favorite fake Uggs, an owl hat someone knit for her, three boxes of candy on her lap, and a Sprite in her hand. Because money might not Buy Me Love, but sugar will buy her silence, and if diversionary tactics keep the DHS off my doorstep, my work here is done.

Clifford The Big Red Dog using some kid's head to rub his Happy Spot.


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