It does not feel like the first day of December, it is 58 degrees out and raining. The wind is blowing with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. I know all this because Snofie is a budding meteorologist. She’s eight and in the second grade; every morning she checks the weather in order to give me a full report.We have this morning routine for school days. It goes something like this: I wake up at 7am. My alarm is set for 7:15am but I always wake up before it goes off. I have no idea why or how I do this but I find it peculiarly fascinating. It’s like my ability to always know what direction I am facing at any given time. When I get up I go into Snofie’s room and wake her up and then go and get in the shower. Following my shower I go back into Snofie's room to watch Baby. Baby is this short 5 minute or so show on the Disney channel in between “The Wiggles” and “Baby Einstein”. Baby is real but must be computer animated. He is in an animated room and the whole thing is narrated by an odd sounding man. Snofie and I hate Baby but have this bizarre attraction to him like a train wreck where you can’t help but gape at the awfulness. Baby sits in this animated room with an inane grin on his face and I envision kicking him across that animated room, yes, he is that irritating. Of course I don’t ever mention these thoughts to Snofie, she already has a twisted little mind and I don’t want to say anything to encourage it. This morning it was Baby’s birthday and Baby’s friend, Sophie had come over to help him celebrate. When I say she had come over what I really mean is that she magically appeared in Baby’s animated room. As they sit on an animated rug with their stupid grins on their stupid faces, a butterfly flutters by. Then the narrator asked us to help them play pin the tail on the donkey and Sophie pined the tail on Baby’s nose. Each morning Snofie and I moan and groan over how strange Baby is yet morning after morning we watch Baby almost as though we look forward to him. After Baby we get dressed. I make lunches and coffee and we meet in Snofie’s room. While we sip our coffee we read or review Snofie’s spelling words. This is one of my favorite times of the day. There is something so reassuring about rituals like these. Often I find myself sitting in the blue fuzzy chair in Snofie’s room my hands encircling my coffee mug with my eyes closed and just savoring the moment. I look around her room and feel utterly content. Snofie’s room is beautiful. It’s painted a gorgeous soft green and the fabric drape across her closet and the valance above her window are a soft lavender color. She has a Tinker Bell poster on one wall and a Crabby Fairy on another. A Crabby Fairy is this delightful hand crafted fairy my mom gave Snofie. It has a crabby old man face and a pink flower petal outfit. We say that he hangs up there on her wall and catches all one’s crabby thoughts so that when you wake up you will be cheerful.Snofie’s room has her bed and vanity against one wall. Both are white and against the opposite wall there is a white bookcase and the blue fuzzy chair. This bookcase has 3 shelves that house Snofie’s Littlest Pet Shop. Littlest Pet Shop toys are a bunch of bobble-headed animals and little houses for them. She has an entire Littlest Pet Shop world set up on these three shelves. On top of the bookcase resides Hally the Hamster. Finally, next to Snofie’s bed is another white bookcase with her books on the shelves and her TV on top.
This morning I seemed to have quite a bit to carry into Snofie’s room so I asked her for help.“I’ll get the coffee if you would please bring these other things into your room” I said.“No.”“But Snofie, I can’t carry everything without spilling the coffee!”“But Mom, I’m not going to my room, I’m going to the bathroom to brush my teeth!”I stomp my foot and make a face. It must have worked because Snofie says she’ll take the things as I asked. We get to her room I say, “thank you honey, I’m so glad you helped me, otherwise I would have had to make two trips and I didn’t want to do that.”“Oh, so you used me then is what you’re really saying” she says with a huff. I try not to laugh.When she gets her outfit on Snofie says, “So, how do I look?” This is a loaded question. I know she is looking for a particular response only I have no idea what the right answer is. She is wearing jeans and her new pink shirt. The shirt has 3 hamsters in their exercise balls on it and says: Rollin’ with tha hommies. One of the hamsters has gold front teeth. Anyway, the shirt is big on her. I say, “It’s kind of big isn’t it?” Immediately she scrunches up her face and looks wounded. Shit, wrong answer. Right away I tell her, “Oh, but big works on you, looks really hot!” And thankfully her face faded back into a smile.We are kind of bummed because it’s raining and really windy. Our town Holiday Festival is this evening and we really want to go. They are going to have Santa, tree lighting, horse drawn carriage rides, an ice sculptor and chestnuts on an open fire. I would love to see it all in this high wind we are experiencing and have visions of the tree blowing over, the ice sculptor being blown into his ice sculpture where he gets stuck and the chestnuts blowing into the open fire. PoPo Pop called me at work and said that our trash can had blown down the street. When he went out to pick it up he noticed that some siding had blown off the Odd Couple’s house down the street. The Odd Couple are these two men. I’m not sure what their real names are but we call them Shim and Co-Cheese. Shim is a man with long nicely coiffed red hair who dresses as a woman and Co-Cheese is his part Native American friend. (He actually introduces himself as Co-Cheese but somehow I don’t believe that’s the name his mother gave him.)So, PoPo Pop said he was outside corralling our trash can when out comes Co-Cheese to fetch the siding from the middle of the street and oh my, he was in only his bath robe. This horrified PoPo Pop. I on the other hand have seen Co-Cheese out wandering the neighborhood in his bathrobe rather frequently. Often when Snofie and I are out in the yard playing we’ll see him in that maroon velour robe. I’ve never stuck around long enough to find out if there’s anything underneath that robe though. If I ever had the chance to look I totally would. It would be like that train wreck and I know I just couldn’t help but look.I forgot to ask PoPo Pop if Co-Cheese was limping or not. The rumor ‘round the neighborhood is that he shot himself in the foot while cleaning his gun. Co-Cheese with a gun, now that’s a scary thought! After work, on my way to pick Snofie up from school, I drove through the center of town. I wanted to see if they were setting up for the festival or not. I called from work and was told that they were planning on going ahead with it rain or shine. Still, I had to see for myself if they really were or not; I was having a hard time believing it was a good idea with the high wind and all. Despite the wind everything looked really festive with twinkle lights and fresh wreaths with red bows.Along with the wind the temperature has dropped to 34 degrees. As I sit in the pick-up zone at school my car rocks back and forth in the wind. There are these giant dark grey clouds overhead that are moving rather rapidly and look like hippopotamuses. I start to sing, “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas… Only a hippopotamus will do… No crocodiles… No rhinoceroses… I only like hippopotamuses… And hippopotamuses like me too…”Ring, Ring(Actually, it’s more of a jazzy tune.) It’s Kelly. Kelly is my best friend and the mother of Tara, Snofie’s best friend. Poor Kelly, she’s having a really bad day. She and Sean fought all morning. Sean is four and has very strong opinions about almost everything. This morning it was socks. He had a clean pair of socks on. Then he took a shower and wanted a new pair of clean socks. Kelly told him the socks he had on before were clean socks. That wasn’t what he wanted though; he wanted another pair. He demanded that Kelly get him some. Kelly was so mad at him that she got the sock basket and dumped it on his head. The whole ordeal made Tara almost late for school. Tara and Snofie are alike in that they crave routine ness and order. If something changes their routine it causes them to freak out. Thus, almost being late is a big deal; it pretty much throws off the whole day. When Snofie came out of school she said she had had the worst day ever. She is a huge drama queen. She told me that during lunch the leg on one of her Teddy Grahams had broken free from its body and became lodged in her throat causing her to have to go to the nurse’s office because she was choking.When we got home the drama continued. I asked Snofie to take her book bag and lunch box in the house and I would get everything else. I asked her this as she was getting out of the car upon which she collapses on the garage floor screaming that her knee was broken. Oh my God! “I highly doubt your knee is broken and I do not think carrying in your own things is too much to ask!” Now breathe; don’t loose your temper.“But Mommy, I can’t even walk!” She wails.I gather up my things, go in the house and leave her there on the garage floor writhing in her imagined pain. By the time she makes it into the house I am mad and start yelling. “I don’t ask much of you! You want me to do things for you but you can’t do anything for me! Well fine!” I reach down and grab her up off the floor. “If you’re knee is broken and you can’t walk then we are going to the doctor!” I shout at her as I drag her down the hallway. “NNNNNNNOOOOOOOO!” Oh my God, this day has come full circle! I am overcome with this feeling of déjà vu. Tonight, since we are not going to the festival, I will search the internet for an exercise routine to build up my daughter’s strength so she will be physically able to help carry things. And, I will attempt a conversation with her about how being helpful is a desirable quality. If there’s time I will see about a new Crabby Fairy since Snofie’s seems to be defective.