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Posted by Allison on January 19, 2011

The other day Mr. Magoo and I were walking to school and we got onto the topic of the preface ‘octa-‘.  I explain to the delightful little monkey the meaning of ‘octa’ and he then started testing me.  It was an interesting conversation and how many legs an octopus has and how many sides an octagon has and on and on for the entire mile to school.  For some reason Mr. Magoo takes great pleasure in teasing and testing me.  It’s like his own little  game.  Sadly, I usually don’t realize he’s doing it until I’ve fallen so far down the rabbit hole that I can’t get out with my dignity intact.   This time he waited until I’d gone through all his octo/octa words, I was getting rather sick of the game as it just went on and on and finally said “Buddy, if it starts with OCTA it mean EIGHT” and I gave him the look to indicate the game was over.  He then stopped looked at me and said, ‘Mom, is October the eighth month?’ and then just grinned.  Pure evil that one.

Speaking of octo’s today is my Dad’s 80th birthday.  Funny how you go from that empty dull ache to acceptance isn’t it.  I suppose that’s where the phrase ‘time heals’ comes from eh?  Significant dates now bring a chance to remember and celebrate instead of dread and sadness.  When I was a little girl my parents divorced.  So every summer my brother and I would go to see my Dad in the big city.  It was a nice holiday and we looked forward to it every year.  My Dad would pick us up in his car and we would drive the 6.5 hours to Alberta.  I don’t remember those trips because I used to get in the back of the car, put my pillow against the door and sleep until they woke me up in Lloyd for McDonalds and then at Vegerville for the big egg.  That’s what I remember from over 10 years of that trip…two things.  Mcd’s and the World’s Largest Pysanka.   Every trip I’m sure that my Dad’s biggest struggle came not from having 4 kids under one roof screaming, playing, fighting and eating him out of house and home. No,  my Dad’s greatest struggle was with what can only been described  as the nappiest hair EVER.  The thought of that poor man and his stubby little fingers trying to comb and tame my hair is, only in hindsight, hilarious.    I can only imagine how lost he must have been looking down at more hair per square inch than any other human being on the planet.  I have without question the thickest, coarsest hair ever which I clearly didn’t get from either of my parents.  This was the 70’s and so my mom would lightly press my hair  to make it more manageable but pressing only lasts until the next bath, or light rain so it was a temporary thing.  And as I was YEARS away from relaxers and was even more years away from braids….my hair in all it’s natural beauty was at the mercy of my Dad and his stubby fingers.  But bless him, he tried.   Now that I rock the natural look with my dreads I often think about how much of my life I’ve spent getting my hair “did”.  Not the money, just the time. Cause the money would make a sister weep.   But adding up all the time sitting in a chair for 8 hours getting braids, or burning my ears with relaxer or the hours getting a jheri curl.  How much of my life wasted trying to make my hair be something, anything than what it is….I’d like those hours back please.  Well, all of them except the few hours I spent sitting on the floor as my Dad tried to plait it into 6 fat, uneven braids so I could look fancy when we went out.

Happy Birthday Dad.

6 Responses to “Octastyle….”

  1. Kma said

    Damn you Allie, brining on the water works. Aww hell, I miss you Dad now. And I know I’ve
    said it before but I will say it again, he rocks that mustache!

  2. Awwww, that’s a sweet story about your dad. And your son is hilarious. Those kids, they take everything so literally. 🙂

    Have an Extraordinary Day!

  3. anji said

    WOOT, my history degree will FINALLY pay off!!

    There actually USED to be only ten months of the year…

    January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December.

    Julius Ceasar wanted his own month during his empire and thus, added an extra month. Then, Augustus wanted his own month too, because he was also an egotistic and said if Julius got one, he wanted one too. That’s why our months are so messed up with regards to #s. That is why we refer to the Julian calendar and the Roman date of 2011… (after the death of christ, etc… these changes occured around the time, etc.)

    SO… go back to Magoo and say that actually, YES, it was the eighth month once-upon-a-time but that two guys with big heads wanted their glory for ‘all-time’ by having months named after them 😛


    • Allison said

      Yeah, I knew the answer, I just couldn’t believe the kid and his smart ass-ness.

      • anji said

        haha – it’s hard being taken down by such a youngin’, eh??? He really seems like a brilliant kiddo!

        Has he been tested for any ‘gifts’?? like, when we were kids we had those gifted programs in schools… do they have that there???

        If I ever have kids, I hope they are cool as yours 😛

        Also, that IS an awesome story about your dad. I’m trying to picture my dad doing that but I think the most time he ever spent on my hair was putting a single barette in and that was probably only because I begged him to 🙂

        Happy birthday to your dad!

      • Allison said

        if by brilliant you mean weird as hell, then yes, he’s definitely that….

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