The sun’s out longer so when Madison emerged from the bedroom in her PJs, she commented on the fact that there was still sun outside. The implication – because my daughter is on her way to becoming a master of passive-aggressive subtlety – of course, is that it was too early for her to go to sleep. She was probably right, but the earlier-than-usual shower was a way to get her ready for the conclusion of Charlotte’s Web, which in turn would mean that Lynnette and I could get to the next episode of Scandal quicker.
By now you know that Lynnette and I have been roped into Scandal like few shows before. Recently, Lynnette got into Orange is the New Black, and in the past, I’ve watched shows like The Wire without her. I thought the same thing was going to happen with Scandal because I was so very much into catching ’em all, but I was wrong.
Two nights ago, an episode ended at about 9:55 and I did the whole but-the-next-episode-will-end-by-ten-thirty-no-commercials-remember pleading, but Lynnette wouldn’t have it. So I did something which some might consider underhanded: I pressed play anyway. “What the?” Lynnette said when she heard the audio. “Philip, did you?” she shouted. She put on her glasses. “I hate you,” she said. I kicked both my legs up to approximate what a fish out of water looks like.
My favorite part of this whole shared experience is the way Lynnette and I have been able to call out plot twist with an estimated 77% accuracy. I don’t know how Lynnette’s been doing it, but I know that I’ve just been thinking of the most absurd possibility and going with that. If the plot lines of Scandal where represented physically, they’d be thinner than Christian Bale in The Machinist and more tangled than… Tangled?
Lynnette and I weren’t the only ones who got caught up last night. I knew that Madison would take the end of Charlotte’s Web hard, but I missed the initial water works. When I came back into the bedroom, Madison was seated on Lynnette’s lap. She had red, watery eyes and tears were freely flowing down her face. Lynnette was a little misty, too. We watched Wilbur taste a snow flake and Lynnette wonderfully explained to Madison about how Charlotte loved her friend so much that she kept her promise of keeping him alive through the holidays. She had nearly recovered when Charlotte’s kids started floating away on the wind. “Where are they going?” she asked. I told her that they were going away to live their lives and find their own friends. This brought on a second wave of tears. The entire thing was redeemed, however, by the three spiders who decided to stay with Wilbur in the barn. “Now he has new friends,” Lynnette said. Madison nodded. The credits came and Madison pointed out all of the characters in the film, I suspect to distract herself from her emotional duress. “Is this a good movie?” Lynnette asked. Mad nodded. “Would you want to watch it again?” Lynnette asked. Madison nodded. She’s always been this way – nostalgic and averse to change – and if we’re just picking between Lynnette and me, that’s one of my traits. Remember, Madison got angry watching her own baby videos. “She doesn’t want Grandpa to carry her!” she shouted at herself on the television screen during a clip of my father giving her infant self a bath.
But I don’t want to end this entry on such a somber note. A couple of days ago, Lynnette told me to ask Madison what happened to her in the bathroom. Of course, I immediately thought of some kind of catastrophic accident, but Lynnette indicated this was not so. “Just ask her,” she said. Mad was already asleep so I made Lynnette tell me. Apparently, Madison got trapped in a bathroom at school. Better I let her tell it:
Since she has no concept of time, “twenty minutes” could easily be twenty seconds, but still.