As you may recall from previous posts, I tend to hit my afternoon slump around 3:00 most days. This past Tuesday was no exception. I struggled to keep my eyes open as I drove home from my parents' house, but luckily Allyson was there to help. After I confessed that I was sleepy, she screamed "Ai-yah! Ai-yah! Ai-yah!" over and over. It was quite effective.
Back at the house, I immediately collapsed into a heap on my favorite green chair and ottoman. Allyson snuggled with me for about 30 seconds and then hurried upstairs to seek out some mischief while my eyes were closed. Just as I was sinking into blissful oblivion, I heard Allyson's Dora the Explorer toy singing a familiar tune: "See everyone can dance, dance. Yeah, everyone can dance, dance!" I smiled drowsily, relieved that she had found a tame way to entertain herself.
I'm not sure how much time passed, but it felt like only a moment later when Allyson's plaintive cries penetrated my dreams. "Help me, Mama. I can't get Dora out of my hair!"
I rubbed my eyes and laboriously brought her into focus. Her 18-inch Dora doll dangled from her hair, about six inches from her scalp. I rubbed my eyes again and pulled her onto the chair with me for a closer look. An inch-wide strand was wrapped around one of the plastic wheels on the bottom of the doll.
I rolled the wheel first one way, then the other. Dora ascended and descended the strand. I was able to roll out two or three inches of hair, but then the wheel wouldn't budge.
"Oh, Allyson," I said, breaking into snickers. "How did you... manage to... get Dora stuck in your hair??" Tears rolled down my cheeks. "I'm sorry, honey. I know it's not funny, but..."
Ethan, paused from his daily drum pad practice. He didn't even try to restrain his laughter. "Yes, it is funny!"
"Get it out!" Allyson pleaded.
"I don't know if I can, sweetie. I hope we won't have to cut it; it would be pretty short." I futilely continued to roll the wheel back and forth. I glanced at the clock and realized Bill should be on the way home from work by now. "I know, let's call Daddy. He'll know what to do."
Ethan brought me the phone, and I managed to get the story out without laughing, a challenge with Bill laughing so hard on the other end of the line.
"Maybe you can take Dora apart when you get here."
"No, don't hurt Dora!" Allyson interjected.
Bill said he'd be home in about 15 more minutes. "That's a long time," Allyson whined.
"I really need to start on dinner," I said, and Allyson's mouth drooped. "Why don't you and Dora lie on the couch and wait for Daddy?"
A few minutes later, the front door opened and in came Bill, singing cheerfully, "Doo-d-d-d-d-Dora! Doo-d-d-d-d-Dora!"
"Daddeeee!" Allyson wailed, smiling in spite of herself.
Bill settled onto the couch next to her. "Now let's see what you've done to your hair."
I hovered over him. "Can you take it apart?"
"No. It's all one piece." He rolled Dora up and down the strand, just as I had done.
I watched with a sinking feeling. "Maybe we'll have to cut her hair." I wondered if this was my punishment for vanity over her gorgeous golden tresses.
"Or maybe..." said Bill, as Allyson let out a little shriek like Lola does when you step on her tail, "I'll just reef it out."
Allyson rubbed her temple ruefully. "That hurt, Daddy!"
"Yes, but it's all over now. And we didn't have to break Dora."
That evening Allyson asked if she could watch a little Noggin before bedtime. "Didn't you watch TV this afternoon?" I asked suspiciously. "No, wait a minute. I guess you were lying on the couch with Dora while I was making dinner."
Bill turned the channel for her, and she sighed with contentment as she sprawled out on the couch, covering herself with a fleece blanket. "Just don't do any more cuddling with Dora," Bill warned.
Allyson giggled. "Oh, Daddy! I won't."
One More Allyson Story
Today Allyson told Bill to sit very still while she drew his picture. He obediently held his pose, and his silly smile, for five minutes while she sketched away. She handed the finished portrait over with a flourish.
"It's a great picture!" I said. And it was. She had captured a fair likeness of Bill's black spiky hair and his cute little ears. There was only one problem.
"Why are my teeth green?" Bill asked.
"Because I couldn't find the yellow crayon," Allyson explained.
"But aren't my teeth actually white?"
"Well, sort of."
Must be time to schedule another cleaning!