Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is she already a teenager??

Last night Marin (age 5) and I were rolling a basketball around on the floor. She reached over and picked up her toy cell phone and said she was calling me. I opened my cell and pretended to take her call.

Marin was telling about her day when, in mid sentence, she said "Daddy, hold on I have another call." Then she starts yapping away with an imaginary caller and looks at me and says "Daddy, I'm not talking to you now. Someone else." As if to tell me to give her some privacy. Dear God. She's only 5. It gets worse.

To whomever she is speaking, she says "I broke up with him today." (What!!!!! she doesn't even know what that means) Then she says "But it will be OK because we only had one kids." (double heart attack)

I said, "Marin, I think it's time to put the phone down and play ball with Daddy." She smiled and said "OK, Daddy. Let's play some more." (Pheww, she really is still 5)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bleeding Heart

Marin started a summer rec program to which the ice cream truck comes every Friday. No way am I shelling out $4 for a 50 cent treat that will melt before Marin eats even half of it. Parents have to take a stand on crap like this. I asked one of the counselors if there is a freezer and could I bring a treat for Marin every Friday. She said there is and I can. Perfect.

To digress a second - Emmy's school had arranged to have the ice cream truck visit weekly but the parents protested so loudly that the school cancelled the visit.

Back to Marin. I went to the grocery store and bought Marin a box of 8 prefilled cones (drumsticks, I think) for $2.50. I explained to her that all the other kids would be paying a lot of money for a treat from the treat truck tomorrow, but Marin's treat will be in the freezer for her, and we are doing this so she can afford to go to college.

Friday comes. Put a treat in the freezer at school. Remind Marin and teacher it is there. Mission accomplished.

Pick up Marin in the evening. Marin is quiet and sad. I asked her if she enjoyed her treat. She did. Did the other kids enjoy their treats? Yes, they did. Then why are you so sad?

Answer..... "I'm sad because all my friends at school won't be able to go to college because they spend too much money at the ice cream truck." I mean, is this kid too good to be true, or what? She is such a sweetheart.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


About a week ago, Marin started telling us about her bus ride from her village of Shebedino to Horizon House. She said Marin and Emmy were way in the back of the van crying the whole way. Solomon was the driver, and Abaynesh and Lidet were in the front.

I immediately called Meg (mom of Abaynesh and Lidet) and asked if Lidet had ever spoken about this. Meg said oh no no. She knew all about her girls story and it did not involve Marin and Emmy.

A couple of nights ago Meg called back and told me she was mistaken, that she actually asked Lidet whether anyone else was in the van with her and Solomon and Lidet said "Yes, Marin and Emmy rode way in the back and I was in front. Abaynesh was in the middle."

It's amazing how this one little piece of information puts so many memories into context. For example:

- Why did Emmy and Lidet share the same room with Abaynesh and Lidet at HH
- Why, at HH, was Lidet always hugging Emmy
- Why, when we came to America, our kids were always pointing to the photos of Lidet and Abaynesh.

I so wish I had known this information when I was in Ethiopia. I would have grilled Solomon about the pick up in the village and the ride to Addis. I would have asked him to take us to Shebedino instead of (or in addition to) the Aunts house in Awassa. Our kids are true orphans, so much of the family information is lost. People in the village could have helped fill in the pieces.

Emmy Hancock

Hancock is this new movie about a mild mannered guy with super human strength. Before I tell you the story, I want to remind you that Emmy is a petite 3 year old who does not yet weigh 30 pounds.

A couple of nights ago Emmy and I were wrestling around on her bed. Emmy said "Sit up Daddy, I show you something." So I sat on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor. Emmy positioned herself to my left, facing me perpendicular.

She said "Daddy, this might hurt a little bit"
me - "what are you going to do?"
Emmy - "It might hurt. Probably gonna hurt a little."
me - "what are you going to do?"
Emmy - "Daddy, take off your glasses first." (I put them on the floor under the bed)

Emmy gently grasped my Adams Apple with her left hand. Again I asked her what is she going to do, and I have to admit - even thought she is only 3 - I am getting a little nervous now.

Emmy said " Don't worry Daddy, will only hurt for a little."

Then, with the strength and quickness of a karate master, Emmy grabbed my adams apple with her left hand and yanked it toward her. Simultaneously, while grunting, she upper cut the heel of her right hand at the base of my skull just below the left ear. This had the affect of practically ripping my throat out and snapping my neck at the same time.

I could not believe her power. She looked at me with this really proud grin and asked "See? Only hurt a little bit, right?" I asked Emmy where she learned this and she said watching the boys at school play video games. Holy crap.

Don't be surprised if you find Colleen and I duct taped to the rocking chairs gagged and blindfolded.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Poor Emmy. She was strapped into her car seat just singing away having a great time. Old McDonald, Twinkle Little Star, the 12 Days of Christmas - all her favorites just belting out at the top of lungs.

Suddenly, in the middle of an Old McDonald verse, she just burst into tears. Wails and wails of tears. When she finally composed herself, between sobs, she began asking questions.

"In Africa, why nobody take care of me?"
Why nobody feed me?
My belly was hungry.
That hurt my feelings.
It's not fair.
Before Ababa Cakos (that's what she calls the Director of the Orphanage) take me, I was too hungry.
That make me so sad."

In 16 months, this is the first time Emmy has done anything like this. Colleen and I looked at each other like "Where did this come from?" and "God forbid, what is this a harbinger of?"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pee yeeeeeeewwwwwwww

Today we drove past a recently killed skunk. Emmy was in the back seat yelling "Stink! Gross! Plug your ears. Plug your ears."

So Marin plugs hers ears. Emmy looks at Marin, starts laughing hysterically, then says "I mean nose! plug nose!"


Marin is so cute the way she sometimes reverses words.

Today she was given a time out at school for allegedly writing on the tabletop - a crime she says she did not commit.

"I didn't do it, Daddy. I tell you the truth. God to swear. God to swear. "

Girl Genius??

Emmy was in the shoe aisle at WalMart watching two teenage AA boys trying on new sneakers. They were jabbering in another language that we did not understand.

Emmy looked at us and asked "Why they not talk English?"
Colleen asked "How do you know they are not speaking English?"
Emmy "Because I don't know what they say."

At this point, Emmy has drawn the attention of the two boys and they start asking a few questions about her. Then one boy turns to Emmy and asks her a question in whatever language it was he spoke (still don't know what it was). Emmy looks up, smiles, and says "I am three years old."

The boy looked stunned, turned to us and said "You have one really smart little girl here."