Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tornado Story

If you grow up in the Midwest, sooner or later you earn your own "tornado story." Here's my tornado story: When I was exactly one month old, a tornado hit Omaha. My parents lived in a trailer park at the time, so my mom threw me into the car (probably literally, because nobody knew about car seats in the Olden Times) and we raced to my great-grandmother's house and hid in her basement.

Here's Jay's tornado story: He and his dad went to see "Return of the Jedi" at the movie theater. The tornado sirens went off, so the theater owners stopped the movie, and everyone had to walk across the street to a bar and go down to the basement. I don't know if any of the adults took advantage of being in a bar. I would've.

And now, here's WCK's very own tornado story, recorded here for endless re-tellings: Today was the kindergarten field trip to the Kansas City Zoo. It started raining a little bit, so our group went into the lion building to eat our sack lunches. By the time we were done, it was raining a little more. And thundering. And then the tornado sirens went off. A zoo official came by and told us we couldn't stay in the lion building, because it wasn't safe. I guess that makes sense, because one wall was made entirely of glass, and there were, well, two lions on the other side. He told us we needed to get to the "boathouse", and he made it sound like it was just around the corner. It was not. Like everything in the Kansas City Zoo, it was far, far away. (Official Kansas City Zoo Motto: "You'll walk five miles between each animal, or your money back!") So we went out into the rain, and we ran. I'm glad I'm in halfway decent shape, because we ran and ran and ran, through the rain and the thunder and the lightning, with kindergartners screaming the entire way. Finally we made it to the shelter, which was crammed with people, and we waited out the storm for about 45 minutes. When we got the all-clear, we emerged into the sunshine, and everything was fine.

There is is. WCK's own tornado story. I'm glad she has one now, but I hope she never gets another one.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grownup games

Jay and I have a stack of old board games that I keep on the top shelf in WCK's closet because I don't know where else to put them. WCK has been fascinated with these games, but she doesn't want to play them or even look at them close up, because she can see that they're only for "grownups." Most of them have labels on the side that clearly say "Ages 9 and up" or "Ages 7 and up." Grownups.

A few of them, however, are labeled "Ages 6 and up", and in the days leading up to her sixth birthday, WCK could not stop talking about how she was finally going to be old enough to play some of the "grownup games." She proclaimed that this would happen on her sixth birthday, and not one day before.

WCK turned six on Tuesday. Sure enough, the second she opened her eyes in the morning, she asked me to get the grownup games down from the shelf. I got down "Aggravation" and another game called "Ghost" that Jay had as a kid. A good time was had by all.

Only two more years until she'll allow herself to play Monopoly. I can't wait!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sam is risen!

Our poor betta fish, Sam, passed away unexpectedly on Friday evening. He was fine all day, but when we got home from WCK's drama club play he was swimming funny. Not "Ha Ha" funny -- more like, "Oh, crap" funny. It was pretty obvious that a host of fish angels were beckoning him toward The Light. When the end came, we wrapped him in a paper-towel shroud and buried him in the back yard next to our first ill-fated betta fish, Jimmy John. WCK found a rock to mark the grave.

I do appreciate Sam choosing such a convenient time to die, as I won't have to find fish sitters all summer, but I will miss the little guy. He was the crankiest fish I've ever seen. Whenever you looked at him, he'd puff up his gills and try to attack you. He was like a grumpy old man fish. He was awesome.

Sunday morning, I stepped outside onto our deck for a second to check on our bird feeder, and I saw a horrible/miraculous sight in the yard. Sam's grave was empty. The paper towel shroud lay on the grass. The rock had been pushed away.

Was this the work of a neighborhood cat or some kind of a fish miracle? I would like to point out that he did die on a Friday night.

Whatever the cause of the open grave, I knew I had to run out there and fix it before WCK found out, not necessarily because I didn't think she could handle the truth, but more because I didn't want to spend the next day/weeks/months re-explaining and re-explaining and re-explaining what had probably happened to Sam. (Those of you with five-year-olds know exactly what I mean.)

I ran across the yard in my church clothes, snatched up the paper-towel shroud, and fixed the grave as well as I could. I threw the shroud in the garbage, and I'm not 100 percent sure that his little carcass was gone from the inside of the shroud. I didn't check, because I was a little creeped out. WCK was none the wiser. Now we can officially add "Covering up defiled graves" to my long list of Mom Duties.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nice pants.

Woo hoo! My M-spike is down just another teeny smidge to 2.4. All of my other numbers are good. This really isn't that much of a change from last month's 2.5, but I felt like posting a different photo of Bon Jovi in a short-sleeved t-shirt this time. I decided to go with something fun from the '80s:




And while I can't stop laughing at his pants, I know that, had I seen this photo in a magazine in the 1980s, I would have cut it out and hung it on my wall. And I would have called friends and told them to come over and look at it. And they would have been jealous.