Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Stripping Chimp

Part of the reason I started this blog is that I swear, some of these stories write themselves. With my, er... unique... family, I am sometimes just the messenger.

So, I love my mom. She is a truly unique (there's that word again!) individual, and I could probably write an entire blog just full of funny stories about Bunny. Which isn't her real name, but her childhood nickname, discovered by my brother when he was about 14. From then on, Mom became Bunny, or "The Bun." When Monkey was born it seemed only fitting that instead of just being Gramma, my mom should be called Bunny.

Anyway... Bunny loves, Loves, LOVES these kids. She is a typical grandmother in that respect, always sending packages to the girls for every holiday with something fun or different. They absolutely lose their ever-loving minds when they see a package from Bunny and Papi has arrived.

Part of this tradition, and the girls' mind-losing-ness, is that her gifts tend to be things no one else would think to send. She is the person who discovered Monkey's bizarre obsession with funky socks, and has nurtured that with a steady influx of new inventory. (We have on video the opening of last year's Valentine's Day box, where Monkey just keeps repeating-- and in the EXACT tone of voice as John Travolta in his Sweathog days-- "I got SOCKS!!" Pure freaking GOLD, I tell you!)

So we just had Valentine's Day, and with it, a box from Bunny and Papi. Monkey's older sister can now recognize the handwriting so she knew the source. Due to some questionable behavior from both offspring, the Bunny and Papi Box sat high out of reach on the dining room hutch until the 14th rolled around.

It was a a Tuesday this year, which meant Big Sis was at her mother's. Thus, Monkey got to open her part of the Bunny and Papi Box solo. Inside was a card and a dancing sock monkey, which plays Usher's "DJ's Got Us Fallin in Love" and does a rather IMPRESSIVE scooting, sliding dance.

Very, very cute. And, a monkey, so you can't lose there. Big hit.
It is also very loud by the way. And really, realllllllllly easy to make go. More upsides, for the little one.

It did a lot of dancing throughout that week.

Since Bunny usually tries to get the girls similar-- but NOT the SAME-- things, and Big Sis' package looked similar in size and shape, we kind of figured she also got a dancing animal.

Even knowing that, we were ill prepared for the actual unveiling of the gift.

The words are starting to fail me because I am laughing too hard to type. Please bear with me...

So OK, the weekend rolls around and Big Sis is back in Doodle-land for the weekend. Behavior is slightly better so we move forward with opening her part of the Bunny and Papi Box.

Dear Lord, I wish we'd had the camera rolling.

We made her read the card first (before it got flung across the room-- she is only seven, after all), and then she tore open the tissue paper wrapping.

And unveiled:

A stuffed chimpanzee.

...Wearing I'm-too-sexy-for-your-party Kanye West sunglasses.

AND a pseudo-police looking outfit, complete with a patch that reads, "Love Patrol" on the sleeve.

Eyebrows raised, Monkey Doodle Daddy and I caught each other's eye, warily.

Then, Big Sis pressed play.





... the chimp began to STRIP.

I will let that sit for a minute. Re-read it.

Because, nothing says "I love you, granddaughter" to a seven year old, *quite* like a stripping chimp.

Who also plays the song: "I know you want me... You know I wantchaaa... I know you want meEEeee... You know I wantchaaa..."

...And opens up his Love Patrol jacket to show a flashing LED heart.

...Annnnnd swivels his low-slung-khaki-clad chimp hips.

Seriously. I could not have made this up if I tried.

It is so SPECTACULARLY inappopriate that I -- *I*!!-- was actually rendered speechless.

Annnnnnnd, then I started laughing. Not the quaint dainty laugh, either. This was like, snorting, foot-stomping, incredulous and horrified and yet also just maybe a teensy-bit manic and scary, laughing.

This touching family scene was capped off by the fact that Big Sis' mom (The Ex) showed up to pick her up roughly ten minutes after this... creation... was introduced to the room.

We had not sufficiently composed ourselves before she came in, and the oddness of the moment was palpable.

She warily asked what was going on. All I could muster was, "Uhh... my mom sent the girls some stuff for Valentine's Day..."

The Ex replied that was very nice of her.

MDD snort-laughed, and, I think, farted.

At which point I reverted to a 10-year old and started laughing, too.

The Ex was understandably confused by this reaction. Then, Big Sis came back downstairs shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! Look what Bunny sent me!" ... and pressed play.

Time stopped, briefly.

The only sound was the stripping chimp, strutting his inappropriate stuff through our living room.

Thankfully, she laughed. She knows Bunny, so she didn't even have to ask WHY this was deemed a good gift for her child... Some things you just take for the spectacular weirdness they are.

MDDaddy managed to weakly explain, "We'll be talking with Bunny about the uh..., the...uh..." Gesturing...

"The Stripping CHIMP?!" I volunteered.

"Yes. Uh. That," he answered.

So of course, the kids freaking ADORE this whacktastical toy. It has been playing non-stop.

We really weren't sure what to do about it. At one point, MDDaddy decided to hide it. We told the kids it was sleeping. Yes, we did.

But, he put it in OUR ROOM!! And I didn't realize that, and thus made rather unexpected eye contact with it, and COMPLETELY lost my marbles snort-laughing, so it had to get outta there.

Big Sis was really upset that it had been taken away, and really, it's not fair to not let her have it, when Monkey gets to have hers. Even though Monkey's dancing primate is PG-rated and does not make anyone uncomfortable.

So we conceded that we now share our home with The Stripping Chimp.

We just had to remind Big Sis that it is NOT OK to go singing that song. Especially not at church, please!

Also NOT OK: dancing naked along with him, because he seems to inspire such behavior in the girls.

Something tells me we have a new family heirloom.

There is a post script to this story. I finally had the chance to talk with my mother and ask her, basically, WTH????

My suspicion turned out to be right on target: she had picked out the one for Monkey, and wanted to get Big Sis something similar... so she just grabbed another dancing primate.

She thought it was cute that the heart lit up. She never played it all the way through his routine, and never heard the song or saw the swiveling hips.

She also didn't believe me initially, as to just how BAD this thing actually is... so I took a video of it and sent it to her.

Sorry it is sideways; it looked normal in my phone. But then, normal is a truly relative term, isn't it???

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Party Planner

There are few things my little girl loves more than a good party. We've had a few lately; it seems like birthday party season for the under-10 age group is in FULL swing right now.

Her first classmate party was last weekend; technically, first AND second, since it was for twin boys from her preschool. It was at their (ginormous) home, and there was a magician and a balloon-animal-making uncle and magic wand painting and all sorts of hilarity. She was good guest, except that teensy moment when we uh, lost her. Briefly! Just briefly... but yeah.

Turned out, she had gone to the potty and managed to lock herself in. One of the other moms, waiting with her kid, helped get the door open. (fail, on my part...her Daddy and I were eating a cupcake. With hand-made marshmallow bunnies on it.)

This week, Monkey was sick (more on that in a later post) so I stayed home with her Tuesday. A day with Mommy *not* working apparently = PARTY.

While I was on the phone with the pediatrician's office, she escaped the family room, only to return wearing: her Easter hat, a Hawaiian lei, eight bangle bracelets and two beaded necklaces. I asked what was up with all that, and was told, with a shrug:

"It's. A. PARTY.... Didn't you call my friends yet?"


So, imagine her three-year-old glee when I announced Wednesday night that we had to stop off at the store on our way home to pick up BIRTHDAY STUFF for one of my co-workers.

(It was for the birthday of the one person in the office who generally plans all that stuff for everyone one remembered, until I figured out late on Wednesday that HER birthday was, in fact, THURSDAY. Could've been an epic fail, but I saved us all the discomfort. Yay, me.)

Monkey seized this opportunity. With gusto.

She actually clapped her hands together, and started rattling off a list of what we were going to get:

"OK! We need... a cake!! And, a card! And- decorations? Yeah, decorations. Balloons! Wrapping paper!! Candles?"

I stopped her there, to say we were getting a card and a cake and that was probably it.
Her disapproval was palpable.

So, we walk into Jewel at the door right by the flowers. They are ALL set up for Valentine's Day.

She walks in, stops dead in her tracks, throws her hands up and says, "WOOOooooo!!!! Wook at dose FWOWERS!!! OOOOOH!" This, in response to a teddy bear bigger than my child, with a vase of red roses and baby's breath.

Fellow shoppers chuckled heartily.

I told her those were pretty, but that's not what we were looking for, and led her to the cards. In her so NOT inside voice, she declares "OK I WILL PICK THE CARD! Look! SPONGEBOB!"

More chuckles from fellow shoppers.

I explained Mommy's friend is a grownup, and probably not that into Spongebob, but we'd see what we could find. So, we kept looking... she enthusiastically grabbed a GIANT Strawberry Shortcake card, and promptly (and LOUDLY) started singing "Straw-ba-babba-berry, Strawberry Shortcake!"

I decided card shopping needed to be done. Like, now-ish.

I finally located the "birthday cards from group" area to pick something suitable for work and not preschool. Monkey was grabbing and/or commenting on every card she saw, until she finally settled on THE ONE.

I was still looking. Triumphantly, she hands me her PERFECT card.

"MOMMY!!! THIS is IT!!!!"  With the biggest, proudest grin you can imagine.

So, I think, OK, well, we're in the right section... and look down at the card in my hand.

And at my super-proud preschooler, rocking on her heels in gleeful anticipation.

So, this card...

The cover is an image of a dog.

Drinking out of a toilet.

I am not even kidding.

Somewhat apprehensive, I open it to read:

"The secret to getting well soon? Get plenty of fluids."

...I nearly wet myself. Ironic, no?

I started snort laughing, which was probably bad because she then jumped for joy and said, "See!! It's perfect! It's a DOG, and he's IN THE TOILET!!!!!!!"

To be honest, I don't even know what I told her. I think something about it not saying "happy birthday" so it didn't "count" as a birthday card.

I grabbed a monkey-themed (of course, you saw that coming, right?) group card and herded her towards the bake shop.

Where she went straight to the birthday cake binder, loudly saying NO to "stupid boy cakes" like Thomas and Iron Man. Apparently my co-worker should have gotten the purple Dora princess wand cake, but I am a dolt who does not have good taste in cakes because that's not what we got.

She actually DID pick the winner, a chocolate crumble bundt cake.

In line, waiting to check out, she suddenly announces (loudly, of course): "HUH!! We FORGOT the ice cream!" and started to leave the line. I calmly informed her there was no need for ice cream, and we had what we needed.

In the car on the way home, she asked what time I would be picking her up to take her to the party.


I had to explain that this was for Mommy's friend, at work, and it wasn't going to really be a "PARTY" party, just something at work, so unfortunately, Monkey wouldn't be there.

There was a sad pause.

From the back seat, I get:

"Well, who's going to do the decorations?"

I said, "There aren't going to be any decorations, I don't think."

She nodded, solemnly, and then said:

"That's why I should BE there."

Thwarted by my card choice, she decided to make her own card for my friend. I should've taken a picture before giving it to her, because it was friggin EPIC Monkey, in all her glory.

She drew a picture of the cake. It kind of looks like an igloo.
Next to the cake?

Darth Vader.

Who is eating the cake.

Or, maybe fighting it-- it's hard to tell, really.

OMG, do I love this kid.