A Tale of Great Drama

October 14, 2009

My granddaughter had two sisters. They both died before they were born.

When RG was born, her mommies were so grateful they invited the good fairy to provide some blessings.

The bad fairy (who perhaps poisoned RG’s sisters before they were born) came also even though no one invited her, to deliver some curses for the child who succeeded in being born alive.

The good fairy said, “She will be very beautiful.” RG is very tall (taller than all the other boys and girls in her kindergarten class), is very slim, has long, straight blond hair, and pellucid blue eyes.

The bad fairy said about my granddaughter, “She will break many hearts.”

The good fairy said, “She will be a very sensitive princess.”

The bad fairy said, “There will be a pea under every mattress she sleeps on.”

The good fairy said, “She will grow up to care very strongly about everything she encounters.”

The bad fairy said, “She will be a drama queen.”

The good fairy said, “She will be a talented painter and pianist.”

The bad fairy said, “Every day of her life will be a tragic opera and she will die on stage after many wails and tears.”

The good fairy said, “She will be have very discriminating food tastes.”

The bad fairy said, “Every meal will be a combination of performances of Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, and King Lear, with dramatic sets painted by her and great music performed by her.”

The good fairy said, “She will be a great athlete and run marathons.”

The bad fairy said, “She will water every step of the race course with tears.”

At the moment, RG considers hot dogs and pizza as appropriate food for a little princess to eat. On our way to visit Her Little Highness, my wife said, “We will pick up a pizza.”

At the pizza place, Mrs. Random said, “This pizza is for a little princess who does not like pizza toppings. Make half the pizza plain with only cheese.” She listed some the toppings to put on the other half for the adults.

At dinner that night, Her Little Highness took one bite of the plain cheese pizza. She made a face. She said, “There is something hot [meaning “spicy”] on my pizza. It burned my tongue.”

Mommy [RG’s birth mother] said, “You are imagining things. You are eating plain pizza with nothing but cheese. There are no spices on it.”

Tears ran down RG’s face. She sobbed, “May I be excused from the table.” She went to her bedroom. The adults heard the sound of tears. “She’s such a drama queen,” said Mama (my daughter and co-mom, though now playing the role of evil stepmother in RG’s opera).

The next night, the mommies put two candles on the table to create a pleasant, romantic atmosphere, in case a prince or a princess, or both, knocked on the door and wished to dine with Her Little Highness.

The drama princess looked at the candle. “That candle is bothering me,” she said.

Mommy said, “There is no problem with the candle. You have been studying fire safety in kindergarten and now you are obsessing about fire.”

The drama princess said, “We didn’t talk about fire in kindergarten today. I just don’t like a candle on the table.”

Evil co-mom Mama said, “Here, I will put your candle over next to my candle. It will be far away from you. You will be safe.”

Drama princess RG said, “The candle still bothers me. I can’t eat dinner with the candle burning.” Tears ran down her face. She said, “May I be excused from the table?” Soon sobs sounded from her bedroom. The cruel, wicked mommies and grandparents enjoyed their dinner and the drama. Somewhere an evil fairy cackled with malicious glee.

On the last day of our visit, we attended a cross-country race. Hundreds of parents and small children gathered for the race. Mama, however, did not attend; she was at the evil university desperately studying her calculus. [The evil fairy apparently has an evil calculus/statistic cousin evil fairy. Mama’s parents sent mama a thousand dollars to pay for a calculus good wizard tutor helping her with calculus spells.]

All the children wore t-shirts with school names on the front. Most of the shirts had names with “Holy,” and “Cross,” and “Mary,” and “Luke” on them.

I asked, “Are these all private schools in this race?”

Mommy said, “The race is sponsored by an organization of Catholic parochial schools. A few private schools are participating as well.”

I said, “I fear cheating will take place. Angels will fly down and carry the little Catholic school children across the finish line. The children from the School for Very Bright Children (which RG attends as a very bright kindergartener) will move the finish line and nobody will know how they did it.”

All the children received race numbers, which their moms and dads pinned on their t-shirts with safety pins.

RG’s race number was 1905. “That was a very good year,” said Mommy, optimistically. A little boy in RG’s kindergarten class got the number 1929.

“That was not a very good year,” I said, pessimistically.

A large, very solidly built black man who looked like he might have been a football player at one time, if not for the NFL, at least for a college team, gathered all the children from the School for Very Bright Children together. He said, “The kindergarteners and the first graders will run 1/2 mile. The second graders and third graders will run a mile. The older children will have a different race.” A mother said, “I don’t think I can run half a mile.”

He led the children in stretching and warm up exercises, like a coach would. He was very kind and sweet to the little children, unlike any PE teacher I ever had.

I asked Mommy, “Is the the PE teacher for the School for Very Bright Children?”

She said, “No, he is the husband of the preschool teacher.”

I guess a former football player married to a preschool teacher provides the best of all possible worlds.

The children started walking to the starting line. As we walked, I heard sobs. I looked down, Tears were running down Her Little Princess’ face. I am not sure why she was sobbing, but if you are training to be a Drama Queen, you have to keep in shape.

At the starting line, the parents and children were very noisy. A race official began to clap. The children began to clap. RG knew what was coming. Like her introverted grandmother, she is very sensitive to loud noises. She covered her ears. Another official sounded a loud starter’s horn.

The first heat was for kindergarten boys. The boys began to run. One little boy waved his arms in the air and jumped up and down instead of running forward. I thought, That little boy is not very focused. Little boys are like that.

After the kindergarten boys disappeared in the woods, the race official began to clap again. The little girls began to clap. RG covered her ears again. The starting horn blared loudly again.

The little girls began to run. About sixty little girls ran forward very intently. I thought, The little girls are very focused. Little girls are like that. It was easy to see RG disappear into the woods as she was the tallest of the little kindergarten girls.

The husband of preschool teacher and perhaps former football jock said to us, “The track curves around that way, like a horseshoe. You might want to head for the finish line right now so you can beat the crowd to see the girls finish.”

Mommy and Grandma and I shoved our way through the crowd to the finish line. I won’t say elbows were used illegally, but we got to the finish line in time to see little girls emerging from the woods.

One little girl, very red in the face, sprinted to the finish line the first kindergarten girl to cross the finish line, followed by several other little girls, all red in the face as well. Although she was not the first racer, RG finished perhaps number ten out of the sixty starters.

At the end of the race, every little girl, regardless of where she finished, got a blue ribbon.

RG, also very red in the face, clutched her blue ribbon proudly. Grandma and Grandpa kissed Her Little Highness. Perhaps all her fast running had dried all her tears or perhaps the good fairy had blown them away, as she was smiling proudly.

Mrs. Random and I headed through the woods and found the parking lot without getting lost more than once or twice. Weheaded back toward the ferry.

The ferry, perhaps captained by a good fairy, brought us safely back to our island in Puget Sound.


Kindergarten News

September 25, 2009

A few days ago, my daughter called. Mama (my daughter) and Mommy (birth mother of Random Granddaughter) have tickets to a concert or play or something.

“Will you babysit for us?” she asked. “We thought we could save some money as you don’t charge us anything.”

It’s nice to know Mrs. Random and I are loved for our loveable selves and not just because we provide free babysitting.

“How does RG like kindergarten?” I asked.

“She is having a great time. She loves it.”

I thought about how great it is that our little genius of a granddaughter gets to be around other small children almost as smart as she is at the private School for Very Smart Children.

The other little smart-ass children will keep her in her place. Or she will organize them into a conspiracy to take over the world by the time they have reached second grade.

“She has gone out for cross country running,” my daughter continued.

“When kindergarteners run cross country, how far do they run?” I asked in amazement.

“I think they go 1/2 mile.”

I listened in amazement and awe. I keep forgetting to measure the exact distance, but it’s about a quarter of a mile along the private road from our driveway to the mailbox on the country road. It was not very long ago when RG would whine and asked to be picked up and carried if we made her walk all the way to the mailbox with us.

The next time she comes to visit us, I will insist that she run all the way to the mailbox and run all the way back to our little house in the medium sized woods, or no dessert at lunch for her!