Madison’s really taken to the idea of summer. I took two mini-naps yesterday afternoon after coming home from the beach. Madison didn’t skip a beat. She did go into low-power mode for a time. Low-power mode is that thing where my daughter curls up into a ball on the couch, puts her thumb in her mouth, clutches Honey, closes her eyelids, and homes in on Disney Junior. The only energy expended is for breathing and intermittent blinking. Well, she stayed up very late last night because Lynnette went to pick up her parents at the airport (and therefore was not there to tell her to go to bed) and I was too busy enjoying watching The Avengers without interruption. She slept in until 9:15 this morning, at which point I ran into the bedroom and shouted “You gotta get up! Abby’s going to miss her hair appointment!” I was met with a grunt.
Lynnette told me that she scheduled Abby’s grooming for 10 in the morning. “Do you want me to make it for earlier?” she asked. “No,” I said. Madison is a Gremlin in the morning and I knew that the more time I had to get myself ready, the better. Also, it meant I could let Madison sleep in as long as possible before having to face her wrath upon stirring her. While her rise-and-shine resistance isn’t as eloquent as the traditional “Who dares rouse _______________ (insert name of mythical creature here) from his slumber?” it is a wholly unenjoyable experience. When she finally got semi-vertical, she struggled to make it to her feet. I snickered a little and oops, she heard me. “STOP THAT!” she screamed with eyes closed. “You gotta sheesh, you gotta brush teeth, Abby’s going to miss her appointment!” I said, hoping to create a little urgency. Take a guess how that turned out.
Whenever Abby sees her leash or hears the word “walk,” her excitement level approaches that of Jessie Spano on speed. When she saw my pull her leash out of the drawer, she rushed me and started jumping and sprinting around the living room. “Calm down,” I said, trying to approximate the tone of Don Draper. The three of us eventually got into the car and Abby started whimpering before I pulled out of the driveway. She doesn’t seem to enjoy car rides at all, except when I lower one of the windows a little, but I am wary of doing this because sometimes I genuinely believe Abby capable of making a leap for it because she seems to hate car rides so much. The only option left to her, then, is to climb onto Madison’s lap and tremble.
Was was happy to get out of the car in the PetSmart parking lot and trotted along the sidewalk. She was in fine spirits until we got into the grooming room. She appeared to remember the place and what happens there. She was so shaken that she allowed Madison to carry her in public, something she almost never allows Madison to do. “Why is Abby shaking so much?” Madison asked. “Because she doesn’t like being pampered,” I said. And she calls herself a Higa.
I sent a few photos along to Walmart before we left the house. Lynnette and I are in the slow process of filling frames and other such items with mementos of our trip. Since Lynnette’s phone takes pictures in odd, full-frame dimensions, it apparently makes printing out 5×7 and 4×6 more difficult. Instead of printing out the five pictures without incident, it took an extra 30 minutes for the last of them to be printed satisfactorily. If you know me at all, then you know this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me insane.
Madison and I picked up breakfast at McDonald’s and she inhaled hers. I suppose she must have really slept hard because she didn’t say much to me during breakfast. Her hands were in constant motion, lifting food to her mouth, returning to her tray to procure more food, and so on.
As you can tell from this photo and the one above it, today wasn’t my finest work with Madison’s hair. Again, she slept so hard that when she woke up, I already knew it was going to be a tall order for me to get it into any kind of respectability. So yeah, I combed and brushed and tried to go for the ponytail, but as I sat there watching my daughter eat her breakfast while looking like she just got up (you know, as opposed to having gotten up 15 minutes prior), I gave up the ghost. When we left McDonald’s to stroll on through Walmart (a Higa Summer Staple), I pulled the rubber band from her hair. “Shake it out,” I said. She looked at me with a puzzled look. Lynnette and I generally don’t let her hair down in public. “Go ahead,” I said. She smiled and threw out some pretty intense head shakes. They were coming-out-of-a-pool-in-slow-motion quality, really. I tried to justify my quitting by reminding myself that Madison prefers her hair down, but we don’t let her because it always gets in her mouth when she eats. And, as amusing as listening to her gag when she retrieves her own hair from her own throat, she’s 5, not 2. Go ahead, say it. Good job, dad.
Scene: Inside PetSmart Grooming Center. Groomer, Phil Higa, Madison Higa.
Groomer: How was Abby’s hair cut last time?
Groomer: Did they trim the fur around her face?
Groomer: How low did you want her fur cut?
Phil (pauses): The last time, the lady said these two are two short.
Groomer: Yeah, that’s too short.
Phil: The shortest possible, then.
Groomer: Okay, what about the tail?
Phil: What about it?
Groomer: Did you want me to leave it?
Groomer: Or did you want me to cut it lion-style, kind of trim it like a diamond at the end.
Phil: Yeah, sure, let’s do that.
Groomer: I was thinking…
Groomer: I’ll trim the ears but leave the hair a little long.
Groomer: I think they’ll look cute with a little fluff.
Groomer: What about the face?
Groomer: I can go short in the cheeks.
Groomer: It’ll give her a narrower face.
Phil (thinking of his own fat beard): That’s good.
Groomer: I’ll leave a little fur around the mouth, though, is that okay?
Phil: I’m sorry. I didn’t really understand anything you just said. I can’t visualize any if it..
Phil: I trust your judgement.
Groomer: Do you want bows?
Groomer: Which ones do you want?
Groomer: I have three pink bows: this one, this one, and this Hello Kitty one.
Madison: Hello Kitty.
Phil: Sorry, Abby.