Tuesday, August 21, 2007


As discussed in yesterday's post, there's a certain amount of Dada worship from the Object's two year-old cousin. While she was generally happy to chill with me, at one point, Daddy passed her off to me for some hug 'n' kiss action. She recoiled in horror, shrieking as though my kisses were flesh-burning acid. "No no no you go! I want my Daddy, not you!" You'd think that last phrase would have offended me, but I understand exactly where she was coming from, having once been a Daddy's Little Girl (DLG) myself. DLGs understand that Dada is the only superhero, knows the answer to all questions, and can fix anything and everything from booboos to bad endings to bedtime stories.

SuperDada status is not immediately bestowed the moment he cuts the cord; it is earned through a series of events of epic heroism. To the toddler who is still working on figuring out that whole hand-eye coordination business, a man who can come along and juggle and then scoop you into his arms and tickle you into paroxyms of joy must surely be some kind of demi-god. The Object's cousin has achieved SuperDada status, and deservedly so. Take just one instance from the beach trip. This particular SuperDada, an avid and experienced surfer (who taught the Object to surf some 15 years ago, a precursor and/or indicator of his current status), took his two-year old bundle o' toddler adorability out with us and other assorted family members to jump over some benign waves in the surf. After each roll, the lot of us clapped with riotous joy, "YAAAAAAAAY! So much FUNNNNN!" At first, the DLG was tentative as SuperDada lifted her to "swim" through each wave, but finding only reassurance and encouragement, she relaxed and began to enjoy herself, giggling spasmodically with the rest of us as she rolled through the trough.

The wind picked up and the waves grew little by little. With each passing breaker, and SuperDada had to lift the DLG higher and higher. One wave washed over us, cuffing SuperDada in the face as he held his daughter high over his head, protecting her. Suddenly a swell loomed over us much bigger than any of the ones we had encountered; it was definitely going to crest before we could go over it. Bracing ourselves, all eyes turned to the father and the DLG. Time decelerated to a speed slow enough to watch the paternal decision-making process at work. Would SuperDada continue holding his only begotten daughter up over his head, hoping that the wave wouldn't hit the pair with enough force to knock her out of his grasp? Or would he take the suddenly apparent really, very, extremely fragile life under the waves with him? As paternal instinct kicked into overdrive, a look of determination crossed SuperDada's face, humbly pleading for mercy while at the same time challenging the very power and might of the vast expanse of ocean, C'mon, just try and fuck with Papa Bear. I dare you to come between me and my daughter!

He clutched her close to his chest, shielding her head and neck as the wave crested, pitching us underwater. I roiled around the water, hoping that if I went limp, I would eventually find air again. My strategy worked and I surfaced first, followed closely by the Object's seven-year old cousin (whom I'm convinced is part mermaid; she popped up with a perfect Ariel hair-toss), and the Object himself. We coughed up hefty lungfuls of saltwater and detritus, gasping to replace it with precious oxygen and scanning the briny foam as seconds ticked by slower than hours.

Finally, SuperDada materialized out of the waves, cradling his daughter. Seeing that she was unscathed and breathing fine, he hugged her closely, while the DLG started to sputter out traumatized tears, wondering why SuperDada had betrayed her and allowed that great big black thing to bonk her on the head and make her go boom. SuperDada shot us a look, mentally calling for backup, Guys, I can't do this without you. It takes a village; let's make it happen. Somehow, instinctively, we all knew exactly what needed to happen, and shrieked with what we hoped sounded closer to delight than panic, "YAAAAAAAAAY! So much FUNNNN!" Confusion flashed across the DLG's face and she stopped in mid-sputter, seemingly asking, Fun? Really? I remain unconvinced.

"YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!" we cried out again in our most persuasively gleeful voices as SuperDada hugged her and held her up again. The tears threatened to drop as the DLG looked SuperDada warily in the eye, searching for any hint of b.s. Finding none, she relaxed into SuperDada's protective grasp, her faith in superheroes restored. As a gentler wave lapped by us, all was right with the world: SuperDada had saved the day, turning harrowing trauma into a moment of childhood joy, making the water once again safe for DLGs everywhere.

Well, for some, anyways. "Guys, I'm packing it in. There's no way I can go through that again," SuperDada said in a shaky voice as he turned back to the shore. "I think I might need some booboo ice."


Blogger Kaze, Latte, or Chase said...

Hey there! Its the "crazy cat lady" checking in! This weather stinks...I miss the beach!!


5:32 PM  
Anonymous Chris Chan said...

When I first read the first line of your post, I thought that the Object's two-year-old cousin was into nihilistic art.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

inspiring so exhausting to be a superparent

11:07 AM  
Anonymous carijudy said...

Though I’m not a Superdada or a parent, I was so riveted I almost cheered at the end.

11:21 AM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

Ahahahaha, I just got that Chris Chan. I'm pretty sure she's more of a n anarcho-primitivist, though.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scary. Its hard as a parent to go through that.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Chris Chan said...

Just what is an Anarcho-primitivist? Do I know anyone who falls into that category?

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post!

11:19 AM  

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