Last month, Kari and I were shopping when I saw a book set I absolutely had to give Josh for Christmas. I am a big Sandra Boynton fan and loved her work when she was just making greeting cards. Now that she’s branched out into children’s books, I feel that it is very important that Josh experience her work. We’ll be moving on to Tomie DePaola when he’s a little older.

Next to the book set was a book that I was seized by the urge to buy for Beth, forgetting in my insanity that she had put the kibosh on receiving penguins. The books is called “Your Personal Penguin” and there is a penguin and he is friends with a hippo and they travel AND you get a free audio download of Davy Jones (of the Monkees!) singing the song! Davy Jones! Of the Monkees! I love Davy Jones!

A few days later, not being one who can keep a secret well, I start telling Beth about this book. She looks at me. I recognize this look. This is the “Oh dear God, why? Why would you think I would like this?” look. I’ve received this look before, the most prominent time would be when I decided to buy her a monkey. Sitting in a chair. In my defense, it amused me. And I bought Keem a lion sitting in a chair. And I bought myself a frog. Who is (in case you’re not sure where I’m headed with this) sitting in a chair. So of course I’d have to buy Beth the monkey. A picture of the monkey is here.

Beth: I saw that book at Target with Steve.
DM: So you see how cool it is?!
Beth (in her tactful, not trying to be mean voice): Dana, I mocked the book.
DM: But there’s a penguin!
Beth: Remember I said I didn’t need anymore penguins?
DM: But he’s friends with a hippo. And you get the audio download of the song! Sung by Davy Jones!
Beth: So?
DM: Fine. I will keep it for myself and enjoy the song. So there.
Beth: Okay. You’re really bad at this gift giving thing.

Sheesh. A monkey in a chair and a pop-up map and I’m bad at gift-giving.*

*Note: I am not upset about this at all. She wasn’t being mean and I keep forgetting that we don’t have the exact same taste about everything. For example, she likes to do math for fun. I should have bought her an algebra text book. Hmm…

Friday I called my sister to confirm that we were going to Ruby Tuesday’s on Saturday.

Kari: Did you give Beth the pig?
DM: What? What pig? Why would I give Beth a pig?
Kari: You know, that book.
DM: You mean the penguin book?
Kari: It was a penguin? Dang it.
DM: Why?
Kari: I was at Kohl’s and they have that charity that they sell things for five dollars and they had the Sandra Boynton stuffed pig and I bought it.
DM: I love that pig! I want it.
Kari: You can have it if you pay 5 bucks for it.
DM: Okay!

We meet her, Eric and Josh at Ruby Tuesday’s and have a lovely meal, only made more spectacular by the presence of my beloved nephew’s fascination with the salad bar. At one point, he gets off his chair and heads away from the table.

Kari: Where do you think you’re going?
Josh: Garbanzo beans, Mommy!

Garbanzo beans are disgusting but the kid loves them, apparently. He even calls jelly beans garbanzo beans. I love just about every vegetable there is but I draw the line at the garbanzo beans.

Later Kari reaches into her bag and hands me the most perfect stuffed pig ever! I am quite excited by this and show said excitement by making the pig dance. And greet Keem with kisses. Which irritates her for some reason. Josh liked it.

On our way home, the pig firmly grasped in my arms, I continued to make the pig dance to songs on the radio.

Keem: Stop it!
DM: What?
Keem: Stop making the pig dance!
DM: Why?
Keem: Give me the pig. Give him to me!
DM: Are you going to hurt him?
Keem: Give!

The pig ends up in the back seat, out of my reach. Sigh.

The next day, Keem tries to talk me into going to Kohl’s.

DM: Why?
Keem: I want that pig.
DM: But he annoyed you.
Keem: No, you annoyed me. The pig is cute.
DM: Oh. Okay.
Keem: I also want the chicken.
DM: There’s a chicken?

Yes, there is a chicken. And he is adorable as well (there is also a rhino and a dog but, while they are cute, they are not as cute as the pig or the chicken).

Keem and I stopped at Kohl’s on Monday. When we found the display, I was sent over to collect the pigs (decided I had to buy one for Co-worker Michelle because she likes pigs (and hey, good cause and everything)) and the chickens (I had to have a chicken as well).

DM: Keem! Keeeeeem!
Keem: Yes?
DM: We need to buy this book.

I hold up a book entitled “Philadelphia Chickens” by Sandra Boynton that also comes with a CD of 18 1/2 songs (one is even sung by Scott Bakula).

Keem: For Beth?
DM: No. Why would I buy this for Beth? It’s for us.
Keem: Okay. I guess.

Later that night, I am sitting with my chicken, making him dance. Occasionally, he will start pecking at Keem.

Keem: Dana. Stop that.
DM: What?
Keem: I can see the chicken dancing out of the corner of my eye. Stop it!
DM: He is my chicken buddy and will watch TV with me.

The chicken sneaks up on Keem and pecks at her.

Keem: ARGH! Stop it!
DM: Hee hee hee.

The other night we were watching Heroes and a new character was revealed. He is played by the gorgeous guy who played Raymond Calitri in “Gone in 60 Seconds” and is the new Doctor on “Doctor Who.”

Keem: Oh!
DM: I know. Mr. Calitri, you are so very pretty.

Pause.

DM: I know what I am naming the chicken! His name is Mr. Calitri!
Keem: Okay. You’re weird.

This was proven to her later when she glanced over.

Keem: What are you doing?
DM: Mr. Calitri is the perfect shape to sit on my head.
Keem: Freak.

She did take a picture of this and once she has figured out how to download it (I would show her but she refuses to admit I might know more about the internet than her), I will post the picture. She has also taken to hiding Mr. Calitri at night after I’ve gone to bed so I have to play Find the Chicken in the morning.

But the most annoying thing is this. She used to sneak up on me when I was playing on the computer and shout “Dana!” which freaks me out. Now she’s replaced Dana with “Chicken!”

Keem: Chicken!
DM: Stop that!
Keem: No. It’s fun to say. I can see why Beth likes doing it.

Oh, great. There’s another convert to the Chicken Cult.

I have managed to get her back because, unfortunately, the title of the Boynton book has triggered the memory of a song. And I have begun singing the song in my head continuously, sometimes bursting into song in front of Keem. And she has not been pleased because it is close to sticking in her head. The song is “Philadelphia Freedom” but I have changed the name of it to “Philadelphia Chickens.”

With apologies to Elton John, I bring you Philadelphia Chickens, sung to the tune of Philadelphia Freedom. I’ll have to check to see if they have this at karaoke so I can sing this song the next time Beth answers my question “What should I sing?” with “CHICKEN!”

I used to be a rolling stone
You know if the cause was right
I’d leave to find the answer on the road
I used to be a heart beating for someone
But the times have changed
The less I say the more my work gets done

`Cause I live and breathe this Philadelphia Chickens
From the day that I was born I’ve waved the flag
Philadelphia Chickens took me knee-high to a man
Yeah gave me peace of mind my daddy never had

Oh Philadelphia Chickens shine on me, I love you
Shine a light through the eyes of the ones left behind
Shine a light shine a light
Shine a light won’t you shine a light
Philadelphia Chickens I love you, yes I do

If you choose to you can live your life alone
Some people choose the city
Some others choose the good old family home
I like living easy without family ties
Till the whippoorwill of Chickens zapped me*
Right between the eyes

*What? Even when it is Freedom, it’s still weird.

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