My son’s been in rare form today. Before I tell you what’s happened I need to give you a little background information. A while back my son made a birdfeeder by smearing peanut butter all over an extremely large pinecone and sprinkling birdseed all over it. We used a very long piece of yarn to hang it from a tree in our yard. The day after we did this we discovered that some animal (definitely not a bird) had wrapped the yarn around the branch over and over again until the pinecone was actually touching the branch. That apparently allowed the animal to eat all the peanut butter and birdseed on the pinecone.
I’m fairly sure the animal in question was a highly industrious squirrel. My son however is not so sure. He has taken to calling the mystery animal “it” and has set several traps for it over the last few weeks. So far the traps have not worked but the bait he’s used frequently gets eaten.
I don’t think I understood how important this issue was to my son until this morning. See, I was in the shower and my phone rang. I ignored it but then after it went to VM it rang again. After the third consecutive call within a three minute period I got out of the shower to find out what was up. It was a 911 emergency dispatcher.
“Is this Kyra Davis?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” I said carefully.
“I believe your son just called us. He said he was very worried about a mysterious nocturnal creature that lives in your backyard and has been eating peanut butter off your pinecones. He asked us to come by your house at night so we could catch it in the act.”
I hesitated a moment, sure that this had to be a radio talk-show host pulling my leg. But one glance at the caller ID told me otherwise. “Umm…I’m sorry?”
“So everything’s all right? You don’t need the police?”
“No, I don’t think the creature is a threat.”
The dispatcher laughed. “You’re kid sounds really cute but this might be a good time to teach him exactly what 911 is and isn’t for.”
“Absolutely, I’ll do that.”
So that’s how our day started.
Later we had a disagreement about dessert after lunch. Our rule is that if he isn’t hungry enough to eat his vegetables he’s not hungry enough for a piece of chocolate. Today was one of those “anti-vegetable” days and although he knows the rule he was very upset about not getting a chocolate square. “I’m so angry at you!” he yelled. “You’ve made me really, really upset and sad!”
“Hon, I don’t want to hear it. You know the rules.”
“You’re supposed to listen to me when I tell you how I feel!”
“I know how you feel and it doesn’t change anything. You’re still not getting the chocolate.” A few minutes later I went into the other room to check my email. It was while doing this that I heard music coming out of the living room. My son had turned on the CD player and was playing Madonna’s Like A Prayer CD. I went out to investigate and found him in the middle of the room, hands clenched up in fists, glaring at me. “It’s the Express Yourself song, mom! You see! Madonna understands me!”
“Madonna is on a macrobiotic diet!” I retorted. “She would not understand you’re need for dessert!” At that point I stopped myself. Was I really having this conversation? Was I really talking to the police department about peanut butter eating creatures and debating Madonna’s ability to empathize with a 6 year old?
People want to know where I get my ideas for my books, well this is it. This is the bizarre reality of my life. It’s all about furry handcuffs, peanut butter obsessed creatures and Madonna. How could I not be a writer?
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