Thursday, April 26, 2007

The world's greatest

A just remembered a funny story from yesterday afternoon. As a bit of backstory, I think that it is important to understand Ella's personality. She has always been a bit of a neat freak, frantically pointing out stains on clothing or crumbs on the floor whenever she spies them (so awesome having shiny black parquet floors and a toddler who loves baguettes.) And also, no one can clean up stuff in our house unless Ella also is allowed to have her own sponge/towel/broom. I wonder sometimes if she doesn't spill stuff just so that I "make her" clean it up... Well, lately she has started to understand the difference between regular messes and disgusting messes- ones that you don't touch. She would see a big pile of dog poo on the street or something equally vile and run over to point it out to me. So naturally I would freak out and launch into my 'Yucky' monologue, complete with dramatically disgusted faces, hand gestures, and cries of "Beuerk!" (Beurk is the french version of yuck, by the way) I guess its made an impression because lately she has been doing her own version of the Yucky Show.

On Sunday, on our way to the park, she nearly burst a vein in her temple with all the shrieking over the bird poop on our windshield. I actually jumped out of the car at a red light, after B sprayed and sprayed windshield wiper fluid to no effect, and wiped it off with a towel. I can only deal with toddler meltdowns after being thorough caffienated and B had rushed me out of the house too early that day. If only that had been the worst of it, but no, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday, we were on our way home from the boulangerie and I noticed one of the neighborhood SDF (sans domicle fixe, or in a word, homeless) camped out on the sidewalk. Ella saw him and just stared as we walked by. As I past the man, Ella whipped her head around to get another look and apparently caught a whiff of him, which admittedly, was pretty potent. She turned to me with a horrified look on her face and cried, "Mama! Mama! Beuerk!" I was so embarrassed and reminded myself that Ella is totally incomprehensible to anyone but me. I pulled down her pointer finger and tried to explain to her that we don't call people Beurk, which I don't think she really understood at all, since she kept looking back at the man with a completely disgusted look on her face. I'm sure every mom has their own story about how they were once horribly embarrassed by their children's honestly/lack of tact. I suppose the worst part was that I started giggling uncontrollably- Ella's shocked face just killed me. You could tell that she just wanted to take a box of her wet wipes and go at him.

I remember the time that I did basically the same thing to my mom. When I was about 4 years old, I spent a weekend playing with some cousins who were older and able to read. We found a copy of the Guiness Book of World Records and spent the entire two days pouring over the book, spending the most time looking at the photos in the middle of the tallest man, the oldest woman, the man with the longest fingernails, the womain with the longest hair, etc. Spellbinding. But it was also the idea that you could be famous all over the world, for your magnificent skill in soemthing as simple as hopping on a pogo stick . Awesome! We tried to beat a few, until we realized that hopping to the end of the drive way, for example, was not exactly far enough to make it in the book. But still, it seemed like just a matter of time before we managed to find a way, any way, to get in this amazing book. So when I climbed into my parent's station wagon for the ride home, it was with stars in my eyes. My parents decided to stop to eat in a small diner on the way home and we walked in to see an enormously fat woman sitting just opposite the door. Well, my mouth dropped open. I grabbed my mom's hand, pointed to the fat woman, and shouted in awe and excitement "Mom, look! I that's the fattest woman in the world! I think I saw her in the Guiness Book of World Records!" I don't remember what the fat woman did, but I am pretty certain that I got the spanking of my life. I seriously can't imagine how mad and embarrassed my parents must have been (and I think it is better if I don't try to imagine what the poor woman was thinking), but honestly, I thought that there could be no greater honor.

Oh- and when I went looking for that link to the Worlds Records site? I wasted like 20 minutes clicking around. I think that it is with a bit less awe and a bit more "Man, people are lunatics" than when I was four, but I've got to admit, I love that stuff.

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