This summer we decided to send Gaby to summer day camp, Mondays through Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays Gaby and I usually go to the Y to swim, do some local (and some accidental not-so-local) exploring, and depending on how hot it is, we stay indoors making easy arts and crafts projects, cooking, or some accelerated learning projects that she asked to take part in. We have trips planned for long 4-day weekends to Washington D.C., another trip to Plymouth, MA, Salem, MA, a few trips to Maine, New York City, and a longer trip down to western Virgina in order to meet my older sister from another mother – the one I have never met before. That’s a story for another day.
Because it’s just this side of “hot as hell” today, and will probably be hotter than hell tomorrow, we’ve just been goofing off at home today. We’re heading to the Y a bit later to swim, and then maybe if it cools down enough, a little time outside with sidewalk chalk and possibly, once-and-for-all put up the pool we bought (which I still think we need to buy the actual chemicals for, but who knows), but for the time being, I’m writing, she’s reading, writing, drawing and apparently making great strides developing ways in which she can assure an early dispersal of the proceeds of my last will and testament.
If I’m writing, Gaby is usually either drawing or writing in her notebook or journal, or has taken a few pieces of paper and stapled them together and is writing a short story – she’s still working on that vampire-mermaid story I told you guys about a few months ago! I love how creative she can be. I had no idea just exactly how creative that is. I’m sitting here tap, tap, tapping away, and she had gotten up to go get some markers and her (safety) scissors from a basket that I keep in a closet in the front room. When she came back to where I was working she was sort of whining a little bit, and then she said,
“Mom, I think you need to take a look at this.“
I looked up and she’s standing there with a huge smile on her face, but on her face is a huge, deep, gash that looked like it was bleeding. I stand up immediately, and I’m in a general panic about my daughter’s FACE WITH THE HUGE GASH, (wondering if perhaps one of the cats did it?), and then Gaby starts to laugh. If that weren’t bad enough, she laughs even harder! I’m thinking to myself,
“Oh crap, she’s in shock. She wouldn’t be laughing like a loon otherwise.“
Then I find out exactly why she’s laughing hard enough that she’s risking wetting her own pants. Right before I grab my cell phone in order to call Gareth and let him know I’m rushing Gaby to Urgent Care, Gaby reaches up to her face and before I can swat her hand away from what looks like a nasty gouge, she lifts off the injury. That’s right. She simply peels away what was little more than a piece of scotch tape with red and magenta marker scribbled on it to look like a nasty deep scratch.
You know that there is never a camera farther than arm’s reach away, so I asked her to slap that piece of tape right back up there so that I have evidence of the impetus for the eventual suspected cardiac event. I think it would also be just swell if she were able to have some illustrations of her actual work, when she writes her “What I Did Over the Summer” essay, once school starts in the fall.
Here’s a really crappy photo of Gaby’s handiwork, but you get the general idea . . .
I posted about this on Facebook right after it happened, and several people chimed in that she might just have a future career as a make-up artist. Either that or she can produce and star-in her own one-woman show called, “How I Pranked My Mother and Almost Didn’t Live to Tell the Tale.”
When I sat down to think about it, all sorts of interesting scenarios ran through my mind:
“Oh my God, what if she figures out how to make fake vomit?”
“What if she does this at school to get out of PE?”
“I just know, now that I’m letting her experiment more in the kitchen and let her do more things on her own, she’s going to fake a serious injury. I’m going to walk into the kitchen one of these days and it’s going to look like she’s cut off a finger.”
You see where I’m going with this. I mean, it’s not like she doesn’t have a semi-serious mischievous streak of her own. Remember this?
After I posted on Facebook, someone chimed in wondering if I was like this when I was younger? I most certainly was not. It wasn’t until later that I developed a keen love for pranking people. One year I very nearly had my mom on a flight from Los Angeles to Paris thinking that her youngest daughter (my sister Amanda) was stranded in the “City of Lights.” Of course, my sister was in on that one. We’d conferenced her on on the call, because Gareth and I happened to actually be in Europe at the time and my mom’s caller ID only indicated it was a foreign number calling. Amanda was oh-so-upset because she was stuck at the US Embassy in Paris, having lost her passport and all other forms of ID. Amanda had supposedly decided on a whim to take Gareth up on his offer to fly her over to surprise her big sister, who was a tad homesick after moving over to the other side of the big pond. That was a great prank that will live on in infamy. Come to think of it, I’m overdue for another one.
Oh sure, I’ve masterminded other practical jokes/pranks on others, the most elaborate recent one involved one of Meg’s close friends. Nowadays though I’m out of practice and I certainly didn’t expect my seven-year-old to have picked up the mantel this early in her career, nor did I expect the creative flare she’s shown for the dramatic!
As I type this? Yeah, she’s fashioning a shoe of sorts that anyone can make if they’re stranded on a deserted island but just happen to have a piece of thin rope, a thin cotton belt from a long-discarded dress, and the bottom of a thick piece of cardboard.
Oh wait. I’m wrong. She’s changed her mind. She says it would get wet too easily and if there’s no one else on the island she isn’t sure where you’d get cardboard, but you could use tree bark, but she doesn’t happen to have any tree bark. Instead she now says it’s a “walking foot cast for people who don’t have a doctor but have hurt their foot.” I love this kid! I love her ideas and I love how creative she is . . . despite the fact that due to that “creativity” I’m probably not going to survive her childhood.
P.S. Tomorrow we will be attempting to see if it’s really possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk due to how hot it is. Except in our case, sidewalk means our driveway and instead of literally cracking an egg and dropping it onto the asphalt, I’m going to use aluminum foil and let Gaby crack the egg onto that. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get a little crazy and ad some butter, a few chives, and some Swiss cheese. Hey if this works out, maybe Gaby can pursue a career in Semi-Sidewalk Cuisine if the whole make-up artist thing falls through.