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On the Thanksgiving parade, Hostess and gyros

November 26, 2012 - Betsy Bethel
Emma and I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade together this year. About a half-hour into it, she asked if she could call her friend Matthias who is her age (6) and lives across the street. I was amused at this first-ever request. So I punched in the number and handed her the phone. She politely asked to speak to Matthias when his mother answered. The lifelong friends then proceeded to talk for 10 minutes or so about the different balloons and floats. "Did you SEE that gigantic turkey?" ... "Oh yeah, I saw Spiderman. He was AWESOME!" ... etc. At one point, she told Matthias to look out his living room window, and she looked out ours. They waved to each other across the street.

As my mother observed when I told her later, it won't be long before the crazy kids are stringing two cans across the street to play "telephone." Or, as a family friend pointed out, enjoying "face time" with each other using the video cameras on their cell phones. Ugh. They grow up too fast!

Speaking of the parade, do you ever catch yourself calling it the Macy's Day parade? I've done it for years without really thinking about it until last year. I now notice it all the time. Two people said it during our Thanksgiving dinner, and a co-worker said it this morning, both oblivious to the gaffe. What a coup for the marketing industry! — — —

Here's a cautionary tale for grandparents as we head into the holiday season. You might want to rethink your excuses for giving your grandkids too much candy or letting them watch too much TV when they're in your charge. "That's just what Grandmas do" or "That how Grandpas are" might not cut it anymore, if my daughter is any indication. In a discussion about wise people and people whom Emma should admire, I began listing them: "Mommy, Daddy, Grandma ..." "Not Grandma!" Emma interrupted. "Why not? She's very wise." "No she's not." "Why do you say that?" "Because she gives me lots of treats when you're not around." Now who's the wise one?

— — —

And not just wise but always thinking ... One night I was attempting to explain the parable of the good servant and evil servant. I gave her the analogy of me asking her to clean her room while I go downstairs and vacuum. If she cleaned it, she was like the good servant, but if she delayed her work and instead continued to play — because she knew I wouldn't be back to check on her for awhile — she was like the evil servant. "BUT," she reasoned, "if I were playing a game" (and yes, she actually used the correct grammar! God love her!) "If I were playing a game WHILE cleaning ... you know, like 'Oh, we're playing the let's-find-a-home-for-the-toys'-game,' that would be OK, right?"

Yes, yes it would.

— — —

Hearing the news about the Hostess bankruptcy, my co-worker Linda said I'd better not tell Emma the bad news, because Linda knows how much Emma loves to get the chocolate cupcakes out of the vending machine here at work when she visits. Emma starts begging me for the cupcakes on the elevator and does ... not ... stop ... until she gets them. She's like a puppy with a rope toy, unrelenting in her quest. As I thought about the company going out of business, I remembered my own relationship with those luscious little cakes. I specifically remember a day when I was 7 or 8 months pregnant with Emma, and a rare craving hit me. I had to have cake. No, I needed to bite into a Hostess chocolate cupcake ... NOW. I grabbed my wallet and waddled as fast as I my duck feet could go to the lunch room, only to discover there were fried pies in the cupcake slot! I was outraged, and on a mission. It was the middle of winter, but nothing could have stopped me from tromping out in the bad weather to the nearby 7-Eleven to get those stupid cupcakes! I think they were gone before I made it out of the store. So Emma's fierce desire for Hostess cupcakes comes by her honestly — she's been craving them since conception!

— — —

And now for some Emma-isms to round out the post.

— During a "Little Einsteins" episode, a character is teaching the viewers hand motions to the music. She gives the instruction: "Now clap your hands in a circle, like this." Emma quips: "That's easy. It's called a round of applause!"

— Emma, incredulously: "Alaina fell down and had three scrapes — but for five Tic Tacs!" Me: "You mean, when she went to the office for a Band-Aid, she got five Tic Tacs?" Emma: "Yeah. And, oh man, I was soooo jealous — they were the orange ones, my favorite!"

— A friend overheard a conversation between Emma and her classmates who were talking about a smashed pumpkin. A classmate said the pumpkin went to heaven. Emma said, "Pumpkins don't go to heaven, they just go to the garbage."

— Me: "Do you know the capital of West Virginia?" Emma: "Ummm, New York?" Me: "No. It's Charleston." Emma: "That was my next guess!"

— The Loch Ness Monster's real name, according to Emma, is "Nestle."

— Emma gave her first dollar to a Salvation Army bell ringer over Thanksgiving weekend. Coming back to me she proudly said: "That goes to help the Civil War Army, right Mom?"

— Out-of-the-blue statement: "I know why they call it a bonk bed ... because you bonk your head when you get up!"

— My husband Dave made gyros for dinner on Friday night. He and I have a longstanding argument about how to pronounce the word, and so we commenced our friendly argument. Dave: "I say 'JI-ros,' but if you're pretentious like your mother, you say 'YEE-ros'." Me: "It's 'HYEE-ros,'" rolling my "r" a little. Emma: "Daddy says 'ji-ros', you say 'yee-ros,' I say GUH-ros." (as in "gross"!) I know, groan, right? But when it comes from a 6-year-old, you gotta laugh!


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