Paint Date with Mad, Insanity with Lynnette

Aunty Tracey gave Madison and I a very generous Clay Cafe gift card for our birthday. We finally decided to make use of it today. As for the usual, Madison was a corpse this morning and we played that one game where you repeat your kid’s name with varying tone, inflection, speed, and volume and your kid grunts or yells at you every time until they snap and their anger props them up in bed. Try it sometime, super-fun.

One of the reasons I tried to take so many pictures is that it would prevent me from trying to fix everything Madison did.

One of the reasons I tried to take so many pictures is that it would prevent me from trying to fix everything Madison did.

Madison picked a star-shaped container to paint. I spent about eight minutes looking around for something to paint myself. I paced before the shelves of unfinished items and settled on a coffee cup before remembering that I don’t drink coffee. And since I couldn’t see myself drinking Coke out of it, I decided that I would simply help out Madison with her star and save the balance for another paint date.

Madison quickly selected five colors: blue-green (or green-blue. Tough call.), mango, yellow, purple, and blue. She told me that she selected the blue and mango because of the Mets. “Thanks, Mad!” I said as I thought That’s the not the right orange. She was off. And that’s when it got challenging for me.

I tried to relegate myself to brush-drying duties only.

I tried to relegate myself to brush-drying duties only.

I am by no means a great artist, but that’s because I lack the skill to actually create anything. Ideas, though? I got a ton of those lying around inside of my head. I know myself well enough to know that having any kind of expectation of what this star would look like would only serve to frustrate me as soon as Madison went rogue. She’s 5, even if she listened (which she wouldn’t have), it still wouldn’t have been what I wanted. So I kept my distance. I let her pick the colors, I let her pick the brushes, and turned her loose. I figured she’d enjoy that more than me looking over her shoulder shouting out orders or “offering suggestions,” as Lynnette erroneously calls it. Let’s be clear: it’s backseat driving. Sometimes Lynnette back set drives the cooking of dinner. Sometimes it’s the construction of a pre-fab bookshelf. All I know is that I hate it when she does that, so I tried very hard not to do that to Madison.

I kept a stack of napkins handy in order to dry off her brushes. I had miscalculated, Madison, though. She didn’t want complete freedom like I would have. She wanted companionship.

As long as it isn't pointed at her, Madison can handle a blow-dryer.

As long as it isn’t pointed at her, Madison can handle a blow-dryer.

“Don’t you want to paint with me, dad?” she asked. “Oh, I thought you wanted to do it by yourself,” I said. “We can take turns,” she said. I picked out a few more colors and started painting into the few white sections Madison left over. By chance, I picked out a yellow paint with orange specks in it. “What’s that?” Madison asked. “It looks like tobiko,” I said, jokingly. But yeah, Madison still takes me exclusively literally so she said “I want a tobiko one, too!” and ran off towards the paint racks. A few moments later, she arrived with a pink “tobiko” paint. Even the Mayans could have predicted this accurately.

Madison and I split painting duties as well as a strawberry/banana smoothie for the rest of the session. I will post pictures of the finished product as soon as it is available to lunch.

These are the faces of of people who get exactly what they want for lunch.

These are the faces of of people who get exactly what they want for lunch.

After our paint workshop, Madison expressed her desire for miso soup for lunch. Fortunately for us, Sushi at Ward was literally only a few steps away from Clay Cafe. I began to order our meal and I felt a shove in my leg. It was Madison. She was clutching a bag of her favorite chips. It was actually kind of funny because if she wants something, she’ll do call my attention to it by saying something like “Oh, look dad!” which means “I would love for you to purchase this for me, father,” which – by the way –  is a pitch-perfect imitation of her mother’s and my mother’s passive-aggressiveness. If she really wants something, she’ll actually ask instead going through the Lynnette Pascua/Karen Higa charade. But I guess she REALLY wanted those Sun Chips because she rammed right into me without any conversation. It was a good date until we got back home. Like so many of my dates, it ended with a failed attempt to get someone into bed. “You’re going to nap right here,” I said. I fell asleep. I assume Madison didn’t, because when I got up, she was on the couch staring blankly into the TV. It was off. “What are you doing?” I asked. “You snore too loud,” she said. She’s not wrong.

Aside: Insanity isn’t just a clever nickname. Back it up: All the other times I’ve tried to quit smoking, I immediately put on 5-10 pounds. This time has been no different. Only this time, I figured I may as well do something about it. Lynnette borrowed a set of Insanity discs from her friend and we tried it for the first time today. Holy. Shit.

We set up the laptop in the garage and played the disc. We had to take the Fitness Test first. “Is this what it feels like?” I said. “What?” Lynnette asked. “When my students walk into a test they know they have absolutely no chance of passing,” I said. Lynnette laughed. I wasn’t kidding. Long story short: I like to think I didn’t fail the test. I like to think I got an INC. Let me put it this way: the next time I take the test, if I do even one each of the last three exercises, I will have increased my performance by 100%.

Among the things I thought during the fitness test: Why would I do that? What the hell? Are you kidding me? Horseshit! Dude. What? Wait, this is just a test? I want a re-take. I going die. My legs hurt. My lungs hurt. I wish I brought water down here. It’s too far away. Shit, I lost count.

Lynnette is in far better shape that I am, and she provided me with the highlight of our workout. I gave up before she did, and as she was winding down herself, her breathing was labored. “I’m done!” she said in between gasps for air. Then the voice on the computer said, “It’s time for our next exercise, it’s called ‘suicide jump.'” Lynnette let out this moan/groan of fear and hatred and hopelessness that killed me. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was perfect.

I don’t know how long it will take until I’ll be able to actually do a full workout. But I hope I can stick with this. I do know this, though: Lynnette and I will sleep very well tonight.


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