Yesterday our morning breakfast was interrupted by hovering helicopters. As we ate our waffles with Nutella, sirens screamed by. Then they were closer and louder. Soon, SWAT teams descended into our neighborhood. It should have been alarming. Instead, it was the lack of alarm that was alarming. Sissy and Piper went about their day, packing snacks, zipping up back packs, brushing teeth.
I checked the news and didn’t find any so I went to the real news source: Facebook. A neighbor reported that it was a domestic situation. We chatted about whether the school would open on time. My phone rang and it was the principal on an auto call letting us know that the school was open and in shelter in place. No big deal. Typical urban neighborhood stuff. Sigh.
We drove the kids the three blocks to school rather than walk. The hovering helicopters and search lights were a little much. Dad walked them inside and was greeted by our principal who assured the kids that the day would be a normal school day. Sissy and Piper weren’t even phased. “Gosh,” Piper said, “I hope those SWAT teams are gone by recess!” And they were.
Piper wants to know what I do all day. It seems boring to her. Maybe even a waste of time.
“So, you just sit there?” Piper asked me this morning, indicating my desk.
“Well, I guess,” I admitted, “but I answer emails, Skype with students, grade essays, and write, too.”
“Teaching isn’t boring. I happen to love it, P, but I can see how sitting in a chair all day looks boring. Sometimes it is. Want to know what I do when I go to campus for my classes? Want to hear about my teaching?”
“Not really,” Piper said. “I’m off to do important things today. Good luck with your boring day.”
Then, Piper’s daddy and I sat down and wrote this:
Piper did her first 5K this morning. She was a champ.
It was our annual MS Walk and we raised over $1000 for Team Forever Young because we have the best friends and family EVER. You know who you are. We’re grateful!
First, there were donuts.
You can tell from our winter coats that it was a balmy 37 degrees. The sun was bright, though, and the donuts and hot chocolate helped. We pinned on our numbers:
We signed the MS Wall of Fame.
Then we walked. And because there was a Piper we also skipped and jumped and watched fish and visited with ducks. They gave out Oreos at the halfway mark. Typical 5 K stuff. Maybe our time wasn’t stellar but our fun was.
Just as the finish line came into view, Piper asked “If we finish the walk, does that mean it’s over?”
“The walk?” I said. “Yep. We’re almost done.”
“No. I mean MS. Is it over?”
“Nope,” I said, “but we’ll keep walking until there is a cure, okay?”
“Okay,” Piper agreed, “especially if there are Oreos.”
When you send a Piper upstairs to get dressed in the morning, you have to be specific. “Go get dressed!” could mean anything. Piper gets distracted along the way. Pirates coerce her to join their marauding ways. Visiting aliens might attack. There may be kittens involved, even though we don’t have pets. But she will put on actual clothes. The task will be done. Just probably not to your expectation. Again, we may have a management problem.
Here is Piper’s idea of “getting dressed” yesterday morning.
“I’m ready to go, Mom! Today, I’m a cowgirl. And I’m saucy!”
Piper currently sounds a little like a duck. Her tonsils are swollen in the back of her throat. It’s her seventh case of strep throat.
She’s in good spirits, though, and ibuprofen relieved her enough to get a decent night of sleep (praise be the medicine gods). Antibiotics are doing their magic, too, but still, it’s hard to take her seriously when she sounds like Donald Duck.
As I peered down her poor throat with my flashlight for the hundredth time looking for signs of progress, Piper quacked “Don’t worry, Mom. I’m living the high life!”
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to stop blogging about poop. But this blog is about Piper and poop happens to be one of her favorite topics. It’s February, so it’s time to break all resolutions anyway. Here goes.
We see many interesting things on our walk home from school every day. Last week Piper and Dad watched local firefighters practice ice rescues in the pond at our park. They cut a hole in the ice, put out some orange cones, crawled on their bellies, and pretended to rescue a dummy from the icy depths.
Our walk home always includes geese. They waddle about on the path honking and pooping. I’m not sure geese do anything else but waddle, honk, and poop. They poop a lot. Piper thinks they should learn to control themselves a little.
“Gosh,” Piper said, observing their excrement, “if gooses had their own house, it would be very messy.”
“I wouldn’t want to live there,” Dad agreed. “It would smell awful.”
Piper pretended to waddle and poop behind the geese until she came to a splat. Then she leapt over and resumed waddling and imitation pooping.
“If gooses ruled the world,” she said, “there would be poop EVERYWHERE!”
Piper will do about anything to avoid the inevitable surrender to bed time. It begins with a shower, which is always too hot and too cold. If her teeth need brushed and I’m holding the toothpaste, she runs to her dad. If Dad has the hairbrush, Piper runs to me and begs me to wrestle her tangles. Until she decides I’m doing it wrong and runs back to Dad. And so it goes. Her stall tactics are epic.
Tonight she ran from the post bath lotioning ritual. “I need a hug, Mom. Dad’s putting on too much lotion. I’m all slick!” Piper slid into my lap.
“Ah,” she exhaled, wrapping my arms around her. “That’s the sugar!”
Part 1: There was a crime spree at Piper’s school last week. At least, according to Piper.
“Mom! A little boy stole my giraffe magnet!”
“How do you know?” I asked.
“I saw it in his locker. I was walking by in the hallway and I saw MY giraffe magnet in HIS locker.”
Piper told her teacher. The teacher gathered information and investigated the crime scene. Then she helped Piper retrieve the evidence. And they decided that maybe Piper shouldn’t bling out her locker with such cool stuff. Piper agreed and packed up her locker mirror, pictures of Sissy, magnetic notepads, and giraffe magnets. No reason to leave the good stuff in plain view when there are elementary school thugs roaming the halls.
“Who was the boy?” I asked.
“Some first grader,” Piper said. “Those first graders are all evil.”