Thursday, May 31, 2007

A murder of crows

I don't know if this is an unusual behavior, but I happen to enjoy my kids' quirks. Perhaps because I have such a staid personality, that I can live vicariously through their antics ... yeah, that's it; that's the ticket! *ahem*

Até had taken a fancy to inquiry, of the challenging variety. Whenever I make an assertation, she has the need to check its veracity. I admit, she has good reason to do so: I'm a bit of a storyteller, but the upshot is that now even "real" facts come under scrutiny.

Me: "Elena, did you know that a group of crows is called 'a murder of crows'?"

EM: "Really?"

Me: "It's true! Ask your mother." (It appears that the authority on truth for Elena Marie is her mother).

Diane, up-turns her head away, and snorts: "Hmph!"

... I may have lost good graces with the Lady of the House, after having told her one too many stories. That, in itself, would not have earned her ire, but after she repeated these stories to friends as fact, and having been corrected, certainly caused the kettle to whistle away. But any fan of Sting knows this to be fact:

... Fussing and flapping in priestly black
Like a murder of crows ...

Here's another one:

Me: "Elena, when I was doing survival training in the wilderness, did you know I deep fried cactus for food?"
EM: "Really?" (See, look!, there she goes again, my little truth-seeker.)
Me: "Yes, it's true. Do you know what it tastes like?"
Diane: "French fries."
Me, looking dumbfounded: "..." 0
Diane: "Oh, come on! Yuca is a common side dish in the Philippines." 1
Me: "Oooo! That reminds me," as if I needed the prompting, "did you know, Elena, that tequila is made out of agave; which is like a cactus, but it's not." Pause. "Dear, is agave pronounced 'ah-gave' or 'ah-gah-vay'?"
Diane, up-turning her chin: "Hmph!"

I also have a story to tell above Isabel, Princess Bluebells or Princess Daisy or Princess "Me, too!" -- she's one of those three, or perhaps many others, but, normalment, usually not the one I call her.

She's an eater, that one, but in an odd way: she picks at her food, sometimes losing interest, and sometimes, after "finishing", is coaxed into eating quite a bit more.

One of the coaxing games we play, which I learnt from my dad, is the airplane game. Isabel stops eating, so I grab a spoonful of kanin at ulam [rice and viand [colloquially "meat"]], and "fly" it around the table setting:

Me: "The airplane's flying around the mountain."
EM, waving her hands, making sounds of thunder: "*pa-tchu* *pa-tchu*!"
Me: "Oh, no! A thunderstorm's come up, the airplane's running out of fuel and needs to come in for a landing in a cave!" as I make the doppler roaring sound of a WWI bomber in its descent (preceding a crash) that's taken too many rounds from a Fokker (where's Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel when you need him?)

Here, Isabel smiles and opens her mouth wide, to receive the airplanespoon that I pilot (expertly, I might add) to safety.

... that is, unless she's feeling haughty and unmerciful, in which case she up-turns her chin and snorts: "Hmph!

I wonder where she learnt that?


0Mike, when I mentioned a plethora of ellipses in Japanime, went on a 15-minute tirade about his dislike of that convention. We figured "..." translates into something of the form "I am overflowing with one of heartbreak, surprise or longing that my natural reticence prevents me from expressing verbally" ... Yeah ... so Mike's tirade may be justified after all
1A note to my dear readers -- you may look up Yuca yourself. I'm not going to link to it, and I'm not going to caution you to distinguish it from Yucca -- you can tease that information out of Google yourself.

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