The doghouse

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: One of the biggest highlights of every weekday is taking Phoebe to preschool.

I don't say that because just getting her ready to go to school each morning tends to be an emotional roller coaster, and you might think that by the end of it I’m glad to be getting a break from the drama of toddlerhood.

Actually, once I get her into the car and buckled, and I begin our morning drive, we have some of the sweetest, most valuable father-daughter time of the day.

Today I was driving her to preschool when she spotted a doghouse.

“Daddy, I just saw a doghouse!”

"Oh yeah? Was there a doggy in the doghouse?"

"Uh, no, I don know where da doggie is. He’s not there wight now, but I fink hill be back waiter."

"Oh, ok."


"Yes, Phoebe?"

"I fink Woody needs a doghouse."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah he needs a doghouse so he not go outside because it's cold out dere and it's berry wainy and he not get wet ..." She said this, as she always does when she's giving an explanation or telling one of her infamous stories, in one breath.

"Well, then we'll have to build a doghouse for Woody tonight," I said.

A few minutes later, we'd arrived at Phoebe's school, and I led her inside. As I sent her off to play and started to close the door, she looked back at me and said with a smile, "Bye, Daddy! I'll see you tonight and we build my doghouse for Woody."
The whole exchange brought back a lasting childhood memory of a time when my brother and I wanted doghouses for our new Pound Puppies. My parents, who never ceased to come up with creative ways to keep us occupied and letting our imaginations flow, retrieved a couple cardboard boxes. They helped my brother and I decorate them, and in one afternoon we had doghouses for our pound puppies. ... I have no idea where those doghouses ended up and I'm not even sure they lasted more than a couple days. But the experience meant enough that I still have that memory.

And so it was on. Before Phoebe and Kates arrived home tonight, I had a cardboard box picked out. I laid out Phoebe's crayons and markers, and we went to it shortly after they walked in the door.

And the finished product ...

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