Last week our beloved Tax Deduction #2 turned 11, but if you knew her it’d be tough to tell. Why? Because she doesn’t need something as trivial as a birthday to give her reason to wear a party hat.
TD#2 is an entertainer first and foremost. Every activity she takes part in – no matter how mundane – is executed with Bob Mackie-like flair. Whether her audience is family, dog, or Barcalounger, TD#2 executes it as if a talent scout is in the audience.
Instead of walking to the kitchen, TD#2 glides, dances, or gallops. If I’m walking through the room she likes to wrap her arms around my ankle and be dragged through the house as if she were a human Swiffer. When she was 3-years-old this was no sweat for me – it was like dragging a giggling, blonde squirrel up and down the hall. Now that she’s 11 and growing taller by the minute, it’s like dragging a pre-teen giraffe.
Then there’s the time we noticed it was taking her 30-minutes to brush her teeth. At first, I was proud of TD#2 for taking such good care of her choppers, until I realized that was nearly one minute per tooth. At that rate, she would’ve needed dentures before she hit middle school. After a little recon, we discovered she was brushing her teeth for two minutes and spending the other 18 minutes making faces in the mirror.
Later on, TD#2 added gargling to her dental routine – purely for her own entertainment. Her gargling technique falls somewhere between Pavorotti, Tom Waits, and a busted muffler. She eventually heard us laughing so she now gargles show tunes. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard an 11-year-old girl gargle her way through side one of the South Pacific Original Broadway Cast Recording.
Then there’s what we’ll call “dancing”. TD#2 has been known to start dancing in stores and restaurants when the piped-in music agrees with her. You give this kid a peppy tune with a trumpet line à la Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and she jumps around like Fred Sanford about to fight someone in a hurry. This dance has been described by many onlookers as a “combative watusi”. Observe the video evidence below:
The kiddo also has a strong artistic streak. She likes to draw, paint, sculpt, and knit. None of the popular karaoke or reality shows are allowed in our house, but Brother Bob Ross is on constant rotation. Last year she went through an intense origami phase that resulted in our house being infested by paper butterflies, birds, flowers, and in one extremely creative instance, a full-scale size Chevrolet Silverado – complete with toolbox, bed liner and a Calvin & Hobbs sticker of questionable taste.
The bulk of TD#2’s birthday haul revolved around artistic ammunition (clay, markers, beads). Within days another phase of creation yielded all sorts of treasures. With any luck we’ll have the Official Tax Deduction Etsy Store up an running. Watch this space for coupons.
Jon Dawson’s books available at http://www.JonDawson.com.