Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Toys for Dinner

The Rooster came into kitchen bawling while K and I were preparing dinner tonight.

"I accidentally swallowed it but I didn't mean to," she wailed.

All cooking activity ceased.

"What did you swallow, Roo?"

"A magnet and my tummy hurts!"

Eating magnets buys you an automatic trip to the emergency room.

K watched the small, steel Magz ball move from her stomach to her intestine in the Children's Hospital radiology department.

When the doctor was releasing Roo, he told K,

"Well, I don't think the ball is the part of the toy that is magnetic and it's just the one ball in there so..."

Then, unable to resist, he added,

"This too shall pass."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rhymes With Larry

Our YMCA has a little cafe area with a giant window view of the indoor pool.

The Mayor, The Rooster and I were eating our lunch there today when The Mayor pointed out two boys wading in to swim and said,

"Hey, I know those kids."

"You're right," I said. "Those boys are with Daddy's friend Larry. "The boy with the blonde hair is Larry's son."

"Where's Larry?" my kids demanded.

"Well, he's... you can't see him from where you're sitting."

The Mayor and The Rooster leaped from their chairs and pressed their noses to the glass window.

"Now I see him!" The Mayor yelled over his shoulder.

"Hey Mom! Guess what?" they called back to me.

"What?" I called back.

And then, at an unbelievably high volume, my children shouted excitedly over their shoulders...

"Mom! Larry is super HAIRY.

"Mom!!! He's really HAIRY and his name is LARRY! That RHYMES!"

"Mom!!!!!!!!! He's HAIRY LARRY!!!"

[Oh... The... Mortified!!]

It was at this moment that Larry recognized The Mayor and The Rooster and stood near the window waving and smiling.

Things must have looked fairly festive in the cafe at that moment as all the cafe patrons were enjoying the... rhyming.

Poor Larry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robotic Baby vs. The Evil Doctor Bed

When the Rooster Girl climbed into our bed this morning, she announced that her name was Chicken Noodle Soup.

"Good morning, Chicken Noodle Soup," we said.

"My name wasn't always Chicken Noodle Soup," she told us.

"What was your name before?" we asked.

"It was... um... Robotic Baby."

"Robotic Baby?"

"Yes, but I just changed it to Chicken Noodle Soup."

"Can you change your name any time you want?" I asked.

"Sure," she said. "I'm going to change it again right now."

"Okay, then. What's your name now?"

"Robotic Baby."

"So let me get this straight," K said, "you are Robotic Baby formerly known as Chicken Noodle Soup nee Robotic Baby?"

"Robotic Baby from outer space," she clarified.

She rolled over onto her back, stuck her legs straight up into the air, grabbed her toes, spread her legs out and rocked side to side screaming singing,


[Though this song is short on lyrics, it has many verses and is quite long.]

[And, apparently, best when performed as loudly as possible.]

What part of 7:00 in the morning does Roo not understand and how does she live this way without coffee?

When her singing roused The Mayor and he too climbed into our bed, I had to call upon my alter ego.

The Evil Doctor Bed emerged from his hidden lair and attacked them both with his giant tickle hands.

Then, victorious and triumphant, The Evil Doctor Bed shuffled off to the kitchen for a mug filled with the sacred, black, morning drink.

After several mugs, everyone's names were restored to those they had prior to bedtime yesterday.

God bless the miracles of coffee.

Pssssst --- still time to win $100 from Kisses...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Book of Revelation

She didn't show up for work, but I didn't think anything of it.

I was surprised that she wasn't there when I arrived because she usually beats me to the office, but I assumed she was traveling or working from home.

She was new, hired only a few weeks ago and though our desks were right next to each other's, I didn't know her very well yet.

When I learned she had been killed, one of our few conversations stood out.

She and I were talking about cooking and she said,

"My husband was raised to be a strong, black, southern woman, so you KNOW I eat well."

I remember wondering what she meant.

In my memory of the conversation, I imagine myself tilting my head to the side like a confused cocker spaniel.

That is when she told me that her husband was transgendered.

I remember taking the information in, processing it, understanding.

I remember feeling pleased that she told me this so casually, like she trusted me.

I also remember worrying about her, hoping she would find acceptance in our workplace but not being absolutely sure.

I wondered if people would talk about it when she wasn't around.

In the early afternoon of the day she didn't come in, I learned that she died in a car accident on her way to work.

A beige sedan crossed oncoming, two-way traffic and caused an eastbound Ford Explorer to cross into the westbound lane.

The beige sedan sped away from the scene unharmed, but the Ford Explorer hit my colleague's car head on and she died at the scene.

Her name was Errin.

A group of us went to her funeral service where many of her friends and former colleagues shared stories and memories.

Almost everyone talked about the way Errin loved.

Her love, they said, was wide open, enormous and plentiful.

They said that she defended the weak and fought for social justice and equality, not with violence and anger, but with the mighty power of her humor, compassion and heart.

One storyteller recalled a time when Errin substituted for her as a childcare worker.

When the storyteller returned to the daycare center late in the day, she found Errin talking with the other teachers about her husband and the fact that he was transgendered.

"Aren't you worried about what they might think?" the storyteller later asked Errin.

"Why would I be?" Errin replied with her signature laugh and gigantic smile. "I don't want to be in a relationship with anyone who doesn't accept the people I love."

I left Errin's service with a deep sense of loss.

I mourned not only her untimely death, but also my lost opportunity to know her well.

I also left with the understanding that when she told me about her husband, she wasn't taking me into her confidence.

I admired her all the more for that.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Praying for Rain

Earlier this fall, The Mayor threw a fit about getting dressed in the morning.

[No different that the fits he threw about getting dressed in more recent mornings.]

On this particular day, The Mayor's had been invited to go to the local high school Homecoming football game with one of his friends and the friend's parents.

The Mayor was beyond excited about the opportunity to stay up late and to watch a real football game under the stadium lights.

[He also likes the pom pom girls in their high white go go boots and short white shorts.]

Sadly, his tantrum about getting dressed cost him the privilege of attending the game.

When I picked him up from school that afternoon we talked about the weather on the drive home.

"Looks like it might rain," I said.

"It does," he agreed.

"That would be bad for Homecoming," I said.

"How come?" he asked.

"Well the parade and the game could get cancelled," I told him. "They'd have to reschedule it."

Suddenly, things were really quiet in the back seat of the car.

I looked in the nirror and saw my five year old with his palms pressed together, his eyes closed and his head bowed.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

And he replied,

"Praying for Rain."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bad Boys

She was his shadow almost from the moment she met him.

The Rooster didn't leave his side even once.

At the playground, she sat behind him with her arms wrapped around his waist as if they were driving cross country on a Harley Davidson.

His name is Jeffrey.

Jeffrey is five.

Seven days later, The Rooster was still walking around the house chanting his name in dreamy sighs.

She threw herself into my lap, looked up at me, smiled and said only, "Jeffrey."

"You really liked Jeffrey didn't you, Roo?"

"Oh, YES!!" she said.

"What was it that you liked so much about him?" I asked.

Her eyes took on a devilish shine.

"He was always getting in trouble," she confided, "and it was SO MUCH FUN!"

Oh, here we go.

The Rooster is going to like the bad boys.