Huffman Coding

… with a bunch of Family Stuff too

Sister Bear and the Princesses

My middle daughter brought home a plush Berenstain home from school. The Kindergarten teacher selects a child each weekend to take the bear home. That child’s homework for the weekend is to add an entry, from the bear’s point of view, in its accompianing diary describing what the bear did that weekend. Since it is Kindergarten, in essence, this is Sunday night homework for the parent.

The diary entry should have been: “Boy is it dark in Katie’s backpack. I’ve been stuffed in here all weekend.”

But the girls did have an eventful weekend, so my wife faked a more interesting entry for weekend.

Early Saturday morning, I took the two Kindergarteners to Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice. My girls dressed up in their pinkest sparkly princess outfits. Each wore a half a dozen shiny Mardi Gras necklaces and hard plastic dress-up shoes impossible to walk in.

The girls brought along their wands. Not every princess there had one. Marissa’s was temporarily swiped by another girl who was enamored with it (it makes pretty sounds when you waved it through the air).

There was Princess and the Pea puppet show from a cardboard refrigerator box painted to look like a castle. The princesses sat on carpet squares encircled by doting fathers overlooking from chairs. The princesses played a musical chairs/scavenger hunt mix with four foam “peas” hidden the carpet squares. Rings, sticker earrings, and expired glow necklaces were handed out to everyone once the organizers realized no one knew how to “win” the game.

The girls decorated paper crowns, made wands, and strung bead necklaces. With more than twenty girls at the event, there was an endless game of “Princess, Princess, Pea” (a royal variant of “Duck, Duck, Goose”). With many girls in hard plastic shoes and dresses dragging on the floor, the running was often in slow motion.

The morning finished off with a starchy snackfest: brownies, pretzels, pound cake and lemonade. Balloon decorations were to go.

You’d think that would have made a full weekend, but alas the girls were only getting started.

That evening my girls had their first sleepover with four other Kindergarteners. I had suggested this to my wife, and to my surprise she didn’t object. It was delayed three weeks due to a strep throat. It was an unbearable delay for my daughter.

As required by Ohio revised code, there was pizza, popcorn and a Scooby Doo video. (Princess napkins, of course.) We forgot about the state-mandated pillow fight, but apparently on cue, one of our guests broke into tears minutes after her mother left our house. My wife organized a couple of crafts for girls while I was locked in the toddler’s bedroom with our youngest.

Two queen size air mattresses were laid beside the futon in the basement in front of the T.V. Six sleeping blankets were tangled on top. Most girls donned princess outfits.

Two of their friends did not spend the night. One of ones that did wore torn stockings to church the next morning. The other girl who stayed the night begged her mom not to take her home in the morning.

Marissa stroked my ego over the weekend when she reported that I was the best Dad ever. She might be exaggerating, but it is good to be at the top of her list of dads.

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