What's black and fuzzy and can't stop smiling?

Here's a little Monday morning warm fuzzy.
So this little Sesame Street video got it's 15 minutes of fame on the internet recently.  If you haven't seen "I love my hair" here it is:

 (Pardon the video formating, I'm new at this...)

Of course, the most interesting part of the sketch for me is the story behind it.  Just to spoil it, one of the head writers wrote it for his adopted Ethiopian daughter (as if I wasn't all misty already.)
Click here for the interview.


Daddy wasn't born yesterday

I was in the bathroom this morning when Yordi waltzed in.  She saw me preening in the mirror and told me that I looked great. I said I would be finished as soon as I yanked this one particularly irritating hair.

"Really, Dad, your hair looks fine as it is," she smiles.

"Thanks, but this one is grey and it's bugging me."

"Gah... Dad.  Everybody at church has grey hair.  It's okay." She smiles and bats her eyes reassuringly.

"Um... that's very thoughtful honey.  Wait.  You just want me out of the bathroom don't you?"

"Yeah, I need to brush my teeth."


Sleeping in Seattle

Lee and I recently got a week long vacation in Seattle, without the children.  I KNOW, right?  Well, it was wonderful.  We walked and talked and finished sentences, had whole conversations, picked up ideas from the day before and, in general, remembered why we liked each other.  It's so easy for that core of the relationship to get buried with all the needs and demands of the OTHER PEOPLE that live in our house. 

I was a little worried about flying.  The last time I was on an airplane was coming back from Ethiopia, and that was a horrible trip... worth it, don't get me wrong... but, horrible.  The flight to Seattle was reasonably set at 4 hours... instead of 16... so that helped.  Lee got me a window seat, which I didn't want... me of the tiny bladder... but it turned out to be really nice.  The whole flight was clear and blue, and seeing the horizon curving pleased me.  From up there, water towers looked like jellyfish and wind turbines looked like wispy flowers.  I loved watching the land undulate across the country. (I think we were in Canadian airspace at least part of the time.) Here is where the mountains stopped for a bit.

The reason for our visit to Seattle was a conference that Lee was attending.  With the conference, we got a dinner in the Space Needle at dusk.  The people we were with had speculative conversations about whether the top portion actually was rotating or not.  I'm sure the open bar had nothing to do with that particular line of reasoning.

And here's the city as the sun was setting.  I took plenty of pictures of this as the evening wore on.  I kept walking around and around the circle.  It was mesmerizing.

 More later.  Possibly. Probably.


Careful which way you launch that conversation

I read this article today about how children who have a "conversation friend" learn better. They figure out reading quicker because they've already heard the words used in context. They also gain better problem solving and social skills if they have someone available with which to talk through their thoughts. The article then lamented that the role of the conversation friend isn't being filled by parents any more, exacerbated by the economy, both parents working, longer shifts, etc... What I took away from the article was, as a parent, we need to create opportunities for conversation time with our children and relish those times when they happen. Sounds basic enough, but it's something I've kind of gotten away from as I've become one of those in the 'longer shifts' category.

So tonight, I had that article percolating in my noodle as I picked up the kids for soccer. And, I think that's the reason I left talk radio on instead of switching it to the top40 station the kids usually prefer. The kids asked why, but accepted my answer of, "sometimes I'm in the mood for music, other times I'm in the mood for talking." Maybe the kids would pick up on something and it would spark a conversation that didn't involve deciphering pop lyrics, or on the other hand, the talking might mellow them out a bit before bed. Either way, I welcomed the change. The radio host had latched on to something (or a series of things, honestly I don't really remember) to be highly incensed about and he was very animated.

After listening a bit, Yo piped up from the back seat, "Dad, what's a launching pad?" Perfect! An excellent question asked because this guy on the radio used the phrase. So I stumbled through the definition in Tired-Daddy-ese. My explanation went something like, "Well, a real launching pad is where a rocket or missile sits before you shoot it. But he's using it to mean a place where something big and important starts." "Oh, like how a rocket starts slow and then gets faster and faster," chimed in Habtamu. "Well, no, in this case I think he's talking about something that starts quickly too, but you've got the right idea." The radio guy was actually talking about Afghanistan being a 'launching pad' for terrorist attacks, but of all of the words in that statement, I was glad that 'launching pad' is what got Yordi's wheels rolling.

A couple minutes go by and the radio blathers on.

"Dad," I hear from the back seat. "What's a drug dealer?"


I'm afraid my answer this time wasn't nearly as eloquent...