Friday, September 03, 2010

She's dead of course

You know that song about the old lady who swallowed a fly? It starts with the fly, and then she progressively swallows bigger and bigger animals to catch the fly, or the next animal she's swallowed, until she works her way up to a horse, at which point the song ends with "She's dead of course!"
Well, this song was one of my stand bys for entertaining the little angels this summer at various points. We must have sung it a hundred times and the kids absolutely loved it... The real fun, would begin when the kids made up their own versions, deciding what else the old lady swallowed.
Some highlights:
  • There was an old lady who swallowed a mouse
  • There was an old lady who swallowed a car
  • There was an old lady who swallowed a shirt
  • The was an old lady who swallowed a house
  • There was an old lady who swallowed a frog

Of course, when kids make something up to an existing pattern, that's when you realize how much of the pattern they truly understood. Dubai Angela seemed to get that the object had to be big to result in the final "she's dead of course"... What she didn't understand, was the phrase "of course". Apparently, Dubai Angela had been mishearing me all this time and heard "she's dead of horse", in reference to the horse that the old lady swallowed. As in 'the old lady had died of horse-related causes'...

So, in her version the song often ended "there was an old lady who swallowed a car - she's dead of car!", or "she's dead of house!" spoken with a very serious, dramatic voice, to demonstrate the tragedy. Needless to say, I had a hard time keeping a straight face, but am now looking for excuses to incorporate this new phrasing into all my conversations.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

About this summer...

The post I'm writing right now was meant for July. That's the kind of summer it's been. My internationally-residing sisters and their munchkins were here for the summer, and by here I mean Ottawa, and my younger sister and I took every opportunity to get down there and see them. It was glorious - the joys of extended family - because, let's face it, our nuclear family, with all the kids and the husbands and the in-laws, really has become an extended family - were so so so apparent. I don't know how to describe how I felt, the complete and total enjoyment of being together, the first night my sisters and I were all in the same room again and within 5 minutes of all arriving were acting like teenage girls (but only in the "we're so inhibited and we have so much fun" way, NOT in the "we can be super annoying" way). It helped, of course, that the kids were sleeping that first night, that we were able to regress to our silliness unobserved by curious 5 year-old eyes and get it all out of our systems before they had a chance to see us in the morning.
Ah, the kids... they are growing: My Cali Angela is 7. 7! Her little brothers are 6 and 3. Dubai Angela (who will need to be renamed since her family is relocating to Abu Dhabi) will be 5 in a couple of months. Her little brother is 3 and then there's the Baby Angel, who's been on the seen for less than two months... Remember him? The quiet one? His voice is still very soft :)
And of course, there is Montreal Angela - she who will soon be 1... Montreal Angela is no longer the baby of the family. Of course, don't try to tell her that... And this summer, she was old enough to play and be played with. The other kids, particularly Dubai Angel, adore her. And she adores being adored...
Cali Angela and Dubai Angela do everything together. They even draw pictures for each other and send them in the mail. They remind me of my relationship growing up with my cousins in Egypt, how we missed each other all year but for a few weeks each summer, were bound together, given endless days to play and run and talk and get covered in dust and grime... how those precious weeks sustained our entire relationship, how our sense of family grew defined by that time... The kids are still little but they're growing. They ask new questions every day. Harder questions, ones I have to think about before answering.
And this summer is officially over now in our family... The last "crazy/busy" trip to Ottawa was last week... Now we start the countdown to next summer, sustain ourselves with the phone and the internet for a year, and that's ok, because we're good at it, because if you're close enough, distance is hard, but ultimately, irrelevant...