Thursday, March 27, 2008

Grand Theft

I took Marin to the library for story time this week. There are about 8 families of children and Moms crammed in a semi circle while a librarian reads childrens books.

I had a zip lock bag of cereal in my jacket pocket for Marin's snack on the ride home. So we're reading, listening, reading, listening. Suddenly I notice a strangeness about Marin's face. I asked her what she was doing. She got this guilty look and held up the empty zip lock bag.

I could not believe it. Marin was able to search my pockets (she did not know I had a snack in there), extract the ziplock bag, and eat the entire bag without me or anyone else in the room noticing.

It's stuff like this that makes me so curious what skills she had to develop to survive in Ethiopia.

Happy Birthday Grammy

My Father's room mate, who the kids call Grammy, had a birthday this week. We asked the kids to phone her and wish her happy birthday.

Marin: How old are you?
Grammy: I am 80.
Marin: What did you say?
Grammy: I am 80.
Marin: (jaw on floor and eyes like saucers) Wow. That's a big one. You are really old. Too old.

And Marin is going on and on about how old Grammy is so we took the phone from her and gave it to Emmy.

Emmy: Grammy, you old?
Grammy: No, I'm 80.
Emmy: You dying?
Grammy: What?
Emmy: You dead Grammy?

Now Colleen and I want to crawl into a hole.

There is some history here. Our kids are fascinated with death. No matter who we are talking about, they ask if the person is dead. Many times the answer is yes, and the kids want to know why. Our standard answer is "He was too old." because we don't want them to be afraid of being sick (sick people die in Ethiopia) and because their English comprehension does not permit a nuanced explanation of death.

So now, whenever Emmy hears that someone is old, she immediately wants to know if that person is dead or dying.

jet fuel

Our home has a center chimney and traffic flows through rooms and hallways surrounding it.

One evening I am in the sitting room reading the paper and the kids are just running circles through the house. I was too absorbed in the newspaper to notice at first, but eventually they started panting and sweating, which got my attention.

I asked them "What are you doing?" and they both said in unison "Running too much. Have to get sleepy. Ate too much sugar."

Apparently they had raided the cookie jar when out backs were turned.