Tuesday, May 24, 2011

kitties, comas and warts

my mother is a worrier...or a "worry wart", a name she dubbed herself when i was a child. she worried about everything while i was growing up. it drove me to the brink of insanity!!!! i swore that when i became a mom, i was NOT going to worry to death about every little thing. and then i had kids....

as a parent, you just can't help but worry. are the kids sleeping enough? are they getting enough vegetables? are we reading enough to them? are they engaged enough? are they going to get hit by a car? are they going to be kidnapped? with every cough or ache i'm thinking leukemia? multiple sclerosis? meningitis? will reese EVER stop meowing at people? good grief, i am driving my family CRAZY!!!!!! needless to say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. thanks for that, mom! just recently, upon hearing that jack and reese would be flying across the country as tornadoes were swirling through the mid~west, my mom slightly panicked and told jack to "be careful". i reminded her that jack wasn't going to be driving the plane, they'd leave that important job to the pilots who, with expertise and advanced instrumentation within the cockpit, would surely get them to florida without calamity.

i'm trying real hard to not pass the worry wart gene to my girls. it sucks to be such a worrier. i feel pretty good that they won't worry like nana and i do, but my girls are weirdos and they've got their issues...

i know reese is only 5, but seriously, when will she stop thinking she's a kitty cat? when i introduce her to people, she responds to their "hello, how are you?" with a timid "meow" as she clings to my leg, hiding her pretty little face under my shirt. it makes me batty sometimes. i say "they don't speak kitty, reese, say hello like a human!" this has been going on for at least a couple of years. maybe i should stop feeding her from a bowl on the kitchen floor. recently in the car, she rolled down the window on a gorgeous, warm day. there we were, rolling down broadway when i pulled up to a stop light next to a car full of what i can only describe as gang members. next thing i know, reese is hanging her head out the window barking and growling like a rabid dog at the thug~filled vehicle. i punched it when the light turned green. i told her i preferred the kitty over the dog, which she gladly obliges except at stop lights on sunny days. then kujo makes an appearance and i'm so screwed because summer is coming. another reason to be grateful to not live in florida. or east los angeles.

jaymes, on the other hand, has a fascination with comas. she wants to know all about comas...what is being in a coma like? who do we know that has been in a coma? how long do comas last? upon meeting her for the first time, one shouldn't be shocked to be presented with the question "have you ever been in a coma?" jaymes is a question gal. always has been. when she first started talking, she'd ask everyone what color their house was. as she got older, she'd ask if they had a cell phone and could she see it. reese has now taken over this line of questioning. do not, i repeat, DO NOT give reese your cell phone because within five minutes she will have reprogrammed your phone and you'll get it back with various new games installed and you might just be switched over to a different carrier. don't say i didn't warn you!

jaymes has been writing monthly book reports in her class. a couple months back, the book report was to be a biography. she was elated because she had just read a biography when she was in the "oregon battle of the books" contest. part of the assignment is to read your report aloud, so we showed her how to make it a little easier by using index cards. for this particular report, jaymes tried to incorporate as many of her weekly spelling words into her oral report as possible, although it was not required. it was her best report EVER. as she practiced reading it out load to us, she shuffled back and forth, nervously reading and trying to have as much eye contact with the audience as possible. her book was called "small steps: the year i got polio". as she read her report, we noticed that when she got to this one particular sentence in her report, she'd look up from her reading and say it with sheer confidence and a sparkle in her eye. the line went something like this..."before the polio vaccine was discovered, an undefined number of people perished." whut????

perish! her new favorite word. and it goes well with coma. many people perish after being in a coma for a long time.

several days after her book report, i came home from work to find my street filled with parked cars. is someone having a party? jack told me that he thought it might be opal, our 85 year old neighbor who lives in a house painted a shade of green that would make a leprechaun proud. he told me that he saw an ambulance out in front of her place that morning, and soon after a bunch of people came to her house. i took it upon myself to investigate. i saw opal's son, richard, on her porch, so i walked over and asked if opal was ok. he told me that she had died in her sleep. i lost it. since my mom's cancer came back, i am pretty much a crybaby with just a push of a button these days. richard looked at me like i was a little crazy. "were you close with opal?" he asked. i told him not especially. we'd been neighbors for 10 years but i'm just very emotional lately. jaymes was riding her scooter across the street when she saw me crying. she immediately ditched the scooter and ran to me asking "whats wrong, mama?" i couldn't form the words fast enough before she looked at richard with grave concern and asked "did opal perish?" leave it to my morbid little girl to make everyone laugh in the face of death!

one day, i hope sooner than later, i won't have to get reese's attention by yelling "here kittah kittah kittah!". and someday jaymes will stop asking people if they've been in a coma. that's all good and well, but mama is already worrying what the next line of questioning will be.

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