Friday, May 22 2020

blippi, running guy, and a story with mimi




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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Aren’t you glad you made it to Friday? This week kind of flew by, and I’m grateful that we’re coming up on another weekend.

Now you might be thinking, What’s so different about the weekend, Alex? What difference does it make whether it’s Thursday, Friday, or Monday? To be honest, not much. It takes work to ensure that each day feels different than the last, and sometimes I think I have to fake it a bit. But I remain confident that treating the days of the week like they still mean something is my secret weapon in keeping the cheese from sliding off my cracker, so to speak.

How is Friday different? On Friday’s, Marissa and I share a beer during lunch. There are also no weekly chores for us to do on Friday. There’s also a special bottle of beer sitting in the fridge that we’ve been reserving for Friday.

Sip. And speaking of maintaining the structure of a regular week, yesterday was Thursday, and I like to take it easy on Thursdays. In the morning, after a short and sweet breakfast, Rodney and I hung around the house while Marissa caught up on sleep. Rodney took in some Blippi while I tidied things up on the family computer.

Did I mention that Blippi has made his way back into our life? For the uninitiated, Blippi is a lovable jackass who makes YouTube videos for children, and his videos are so effective in holding their attention that it’s actually kind of disturbing, like he’s some kind of Seattle hipster pied piper. Deep down, every parent must hate Blippi because he’s the one person in the universe who their kids trust as much as them.

Our house had to take a break from Blippi. There was an episode where he was showing kids how neat it was to play with power tools, and, with the under-emphasized nuance of parental supervision completely lost on Rodney, we caught him messing with a power outlet. The small incident scared us, so we banned Blippi.

One morning, Rodney asked to watch Blippi. “Blippi is broken right now, dude,” I said, parroting our carefully rehearsed angle. Rodney reappeared moments later holding a screwdriver.

“Dada, I fixed Blippi,” he said. The dishonesty wasn’t sitting right with us, and so we revised our story to be a little more honest: “We don’t like Blippi. We don’t think he’s good.” Talk about not pulling any punches, right? This response caused Rodney to just walk away and sulk. There were other shows that held his attention - Dinotrux, X-Men, and good ‘ol Paw Patrol, but he was still asking for Blippi once a week.

“I think we should bring Blippi back,” I said to Marissa on the porch after Rodney went to bed. “He’s still asking for it months later.”

Marissa sighed. “I’m still mad at Blippi,” she replied.

“It doesn’t sit right with me that he’s still asking for him months later. If it didn’t matter to him, he would have forgotten about it by now,” I said thoughtfully. “We’re not getting this genie back in the bottle.”

That’s the story about how Blippi wormed his way back into our life. Rodney is happy to have Blippi back, but he almost lost the privilege this week. While we were giving each other nicknames, he started to refer to Marissa as dee dee, which is the name of Blippi’s real life girlfriend and frequent guest on the show.

“DUDE, YOU’RE ON THIN ICE!” said Marissa in a comically angry voice, shaking her fist.

“You’re DEE DEE!” yelled Rodney, laughing.

“Dude, this is not advised. I don’t think you appreciate how delicate this whole Blippi thing is,” I laughed.

Sip. Marissa took Miles to the doctor yesterday. The little tank is already a whole pound overweight. While they were at the doctor, Rodney and I took the dogs for a walk.

Have you ever walked beside someone who was bad at walking? Maybe they don’t walk in a straight line, or they don’t have the self awareness to know how much shoulder rubbing is normal. Maybe they’re just a little too clumsy, and you sometimes get caught in the mayhem of them tripping over their own feet.

One understated drawback of kids is how terrible they are at walking. Rodney’s intentions are great - he tries to walk beside me and help me hold the dogs’ leashes, but he just ends of getting tangled, tripped up in my stride, and when he falls, the whole caravan needs to stop to address the damage.

The best version of Rodney that can join you on a walk is Running Guy. Running Guy is a character of his that likes to sprint ahead of the caravan, usually wielding a foam sword or a stick in his hand. Running Guy likes to stay one or two driveways ahead, chasing the feeling of independence. Meanwhile, I’m free to walk at a normal pace, unencumbered by the clumsy footing of a toddler.

The one drawback of Running Guy is that he likes to forage for food. In between swiftly dashing across brick dividers and stepping between bushes, Running Guy will tactically crouch beside a plant, pluck off a leaf or thick blade of grass, and stick it in his mouth.

I scolded Rodney. “DON’T. EAT. PLANTS.” Running Guy gave me a skiddish look - a blade of grass hanging out of his mouth. Then he continued on his way. Occasional sidewalk snacking aside, Running Guy is still may favorite companion to have on a walk.

After dinner, we did a Duo session on the couch with Mimi and Poppa. She read him a book called I Love You, Stinky Face. It was a cute book, the premise revolving around a child challenging his mother’s love with “What if I was a monster?” or “What if I were a big scary crocodile?”

“Should I keep going?” asked Mimi after finishing the third page.

“He’s been sitting still this entire time,” I replied. “I think you’re onto something.”

Mimi finished the book, and Rodney smiled. “What a surprise, dude,” I said. “I think that counts for tonight’s story. Thanks for reading to us!”

Thanks for stopping by, this morning. Have a wonderful Friday.