Friday, April 10, 2009

Again With Spring Break

Well, the tropical weather is gone. We're in like a lion again, rainy and windy. It's Friday morning and I'm still in my leopard-print jammies and muk-luks, and would probably stay this way except we're anticipating a call from Jane, who is making an impromptu visit from New York.

Yesterday, Jarrah attended Critter Camp at a local animal shelter, which is not really that local but my dear friend Stephanie was willing to drive my kid and hers AND pick them up, which makes her really nice and me really lucky. Afterwards, we went to the park and met up with Amy and her twins Maya and Zoe, so maybe it's no surprise that Jarrah wept all the way home (at nearly 5:00 p.m.) wailing "I'm not talking to you! You don't understand me!" (Is that starting already?)

I only got one sentence, initially, when I asked about Critter Camp: "We met a corn snake." Later, Nathan said they met a carrot snake, and a radish snake, so I guess all the vegetables were represented. Other information was leaked on a need-to-know basis. For instance, Jarrah's favorite part of the day, apparently, was when she and Nathan came upon a rattlesnake "on the path" and went to tell the teacher about it. Wow, that's quite the nature experience for a morning advertised as "Cuddly Animal Day." Jarrah also told me about "rescuing" a baby chick that she found "all alone" (was the kid having walkabout with nothing but a stick and her own profound musings the whole time?) and "rescued" it "very gently, because it was delicate." I also learned that "walking sticks" do not fall off when you turn your hand upside down because, "they hold on!" I'm guessing that is some kind of bug, so....ewwww. Jarrah explained that she was scared when she first got to camp, but there were cubbies with their names on, and then suddenly "Nathan's mom picked us up!" So I guess it was a success.

In other news, I am profoundly regretting having taken Jarrah to see Monsters Vs. Aliens last weekend. She is an ace movie-goer, as I've been mentioning since she was 14-months-old, which is good because that's necessary for membership in our family. However, movies have now become instant oral histories, available for retelling around the fire on a frequent basis.

The fact is, I don't remember that much about what Jarrah calls "Monsters Verse of Aliens" ("And Lo! The Aliens are Green, and Sleek/As a Monster, They Are What I Seek") except that there were an alarming number of laser guns, being shot almost constantly. It's bizarre to me that kids movies are filled with cartoon characters gunning each other down, but none of them smooch and roll around in satin sheets--no, we wouldn't want their delicate sensibilities being imprinted with...monsters loving each other.

But I've learned very quickly what happened in the movie, or at least in my version, because I am called upon to re-live it five or six times a day--in the car, at bedtime, when nature calls. I start off uncertainly with "Once upon a time there was a girl named Susan, who was standing in a gazebo on her wedding day when a giant, green meteorite fell out of the sky and almost hit her. BOOM! After that, she was green and glowing, and grew very tall during her wedding ceremony, frightening the guests."

Moving through "secret government facility" and "evil alien robot," my confidence builds until I am fibbing gleefully through the murky middle section: "Luckily, the army of clones was not very bright, and Susan and her friends were able to...penetrate the inner sanctum to initiate the self-destruct sequence." If Jarrah perceives that I've skipped something, she starts yelling, "No! NO! What about when Insectosaurus helps them on the bridge? You left that out! Start over!" so it behooves me to glide rapidly over the plot holes.

Much as I struggle with these mythic retellings, it beats the hell out of the times when she asks me to tell the story of Coraline instead, because that one I really have blocked. "When she climbs through the secret passage, she sees her mommy and daddy, but they have buttons for eyes, and want to suck out her human essence. Then a bunch of other stuff happens, and then, um...the end."


erin said...

I read Coraline to my oldest daughter Rose when she was 6 and just the reading of it left us both kind of freaked out and contemplating the existence of alternate universes.

Aunt LoLo said...

hahaha...I really want to see Monsters Vs Aliens, but I don't think I'm ready to let BBJ watch it. Maybe when Siu Jeun is old enough to watch movies...

Myrnie said...

And my family says I'm too cloistered, by not having TV in the house and limiting Ernie to happy movies...we'll wait, thanks :) (And yes, Coraline gave me NIGHTMARES.)

Mary said...

You are so funny!

My favorite part is about the snakes. I know about corn snakes, but had no idea about the other veggie snakes.

Thanks for the heads-up about Monsters Vs. Aliens. I don't need Joy pretending to pick up anymore peaceful Montessori toys and turning them into guns, thereby landing in the principal's office!



The Wades said...

We also saw Monsters Verse of Aliens last week. Being a gun owning American, I was totally fine with the slaughter. ;) (KIDDING!) However, I took offense that it was necessary for one character to get clearance into a building by putting his naked rear on the security scanner. ??? Our friends thought it was great, and my kids were fans, but I left not as impressed.

At least I have a new character that I can finally relate to (excuse the prep.)--Ginormica! Being 5' 10 1/2" I needed something out there! Too bad she was terribly thin, but I can work past that.

I think it's so cute Jarrah makes you retell it. It's your fault, ya know. That gift of story telling has to come with some degree of misery to it. My kids never have me retell movies we've all seen. I'm pretty sure my version would not be poetic or fascinating in the slightest, and I purge plots of children's movies as soon as they end.

Loved the walkabout reference. It's a good thing those carrot snakes weren't on the loose. They are wild and deadly from what I've heard.

Anonymous said...

That is the scariest camp ever -- it's like snake survival camp! If you survive the radish snake, out comes the wierd insect as a reward! What ever happened to bunnies???? :) Lix

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

There is such a thing as a corn snake? I like the corn fritter snake better. They're from the south.

Laural Out Loud said...

I think this is the age of learning they can keep secrets. My husband took Gabi to see the same movie on Sat night, and I still don't know if she liked it or not. It's become my mission to find sneaky ways to get info out of her.

DrSpouse said...

Another very funny one is a child retelling the story of a movie that was played in a language they don't understand. Only works with quite small ones who don't yet expect to understand most of the language around them but might still work with J, you never know. Perhaps some nice Eastern European communist-era animations?