"No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs."
Ha ha. Just kidding.
My younger son likes to rest his head on top of mine, driving his remarkably pointy chin into my skull. My older son is more interested in maintaining his own perspective and is presently less interested in denting the maternal cranium.
Today is the first day of Inktober, a yearly "art challenge" where one is supposed to make a drawing in ink every day. I embraced it last year mostly as an opportunity to make a series of drawings that were NOT on napkins. Not that the napkins are not executed in ink, but it's not traditional ink.
The drawing series last year ended up being mostly about my then fairly recent travels in the world of "alternative" health and wellness filtered through my longer term interest in representing fragmentation and discomfort with the body.
I managed to scare away at least 500 followers a week on the Daily Napkins Instagram account during Inktober 2016. The drawings were definitely not popular with those who were expecting to see images of pugs dressed as batman rendered on napkins
I've been having trouble identifying a theme for the year's drawings. I am afraid they will be no more popular than last year.
I think I will spare everyone (and myself) an explanation this evening.
For the moment, I think I will just offer the information that this is a drawing of my younger son and a Jiffy Pop Popcorn foil. The term "Hideous Progeny" comes from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
I do promise not to entirely neglect the napkin enterprise during the month.
Yes, it is true, I was required to escort four 14 year olds to a screening of "IT" over the holiday weekend.
Since the birth of our first son, I have seen a great many movies that I would not have chosen for myself. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. Sometimes not.
My greatest hope for "IT" was that it would freak out our older son enough to keep him from sneaking out to our darkened living room in the middle of the night to check Instagram.
The attitude at our local theater seemed to indicate that the movie was genuinely disturbing: there were signs posted on all the entrance doors stating that absolutely no one under 12 would be allowed in even with parental escort. And the ticket seller informed me that I couldn't just buy the adolescents' tickets. I had to be sure to sit right next to them.
Having survived the screening, I can report that it was not much more scary than say something like the preview for "Lights Out," or "Annabelle." Nor was it effective at curbing the desire for midnight teenage social media updates.
Sadly, unlike many other movies that I have seen with my kids, I did not find it possible to doze during it. Maybe that is a compliment. But I'm afraid it had more to do with the "jump scares" liberally distributed throughout.
I suppose, geriatric that I am, I might prefer horror movies where there is more suggestive build-up and less actual gory mayhem. Once you've gnawed a small child's arm off in the opening scene, where can you go from there?
On this napkin, I am imagining a more civilized visit with evil. Because who is more civilized than Alfred? (I was aiming for the Jeremy Irons "Batman V Superman incarnation of Alfred, if that needs to be said, which it unfortunately does)
And there was that dumb thing about them both having "Penny" in their names.
But did Alfred make the frosted red balloon and batarang sugar cookies? Or maybe Pennywise brought them as a thoughtful hostess gift?
My son has been wishing for a munchkin cat lately...
Why not a munchkin sphynx?...
And a hairless rat
And a crested dog?
Who could be allergic to this crew?
My son was not impressed (to say the least) by the idea of pets without fur.
But I find the idea of a hairless cat perhaps less troubling than a cat with short legs.
Having cohabited with felines for many years before I married an allergic man, my considered opinion is that the average feline is at least as attached to being able to leap on to the kitchen counter as he or she is to being furry.
But who knows. None of these animals will be living in our house anytime soon.