Thursday, October 23, 2014

Zoe vs. Earth, Wind, and Fire

Not the R&B, funk, disco band---that I remember most from the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where, following a real-life tragedy at a concert, Venus Flytrap played their 1979 hit "After the Love Has Gone"---but the actual elements. (If anything, I'd say by her reaction when I played "Boogie Wonderland" the other day---"Watch my moves, Mommy," said as she performed some slow-motion break dance on the floor---she's a fan.)

Former name was Earth, Wind & Subtlety
but then they decided that was redunculous.

I'm leaving water out of this discussion of elements since Zoe's enmity toward water has been previously expounded upon. Also because Earth, Wind & Fire left it out, possibly because they thought it would damage their sequins.
I've got two stories, one, the longer one, is about fire. I'll tackle that one first, then earth and wind together, because their power is patient and less visible, respectively. Neither are the attention whore that fire is.

A few weeks ago it was Fire Safety Day at Zoe's daycare. A local fireman came in to give a talk, bringing coloring books and plastic fire hats. He was a hit. When I picked Zoe up at the end of the day, the first thing she said was: "I can't play with matches." (Good, I thought. And also said.) "You can play with them, Mommy." (Um, all right.)
Other things she learned not to touch: candles, lighters, and pots of boiling water. According to Zoe, these were all things only Mommy and Daddy could play with. Perhaps if we were pyromaniacs who didn't mind the occasional second-degree burn.
Zoe was told to "stay low and go," which sounds like advice that might apply to some non-fire situations as well. And that she should tell Mommy and Daddy to (something unintelligible) the beeper.
Eventually I figured out she was referring to our smoke alarm. And that she was supposed to remind Mommy and Daddy to replace the batteries seasonally (and presumably not to wait till it wouldn't stop beeping in the middle of the night).

His kung-fu is wronger than your kung-fu.

She also said we should have an evacuation plan. I started to reassure her and was about to make some suggestions, but she was way ahead of me. At the first sign of fire, she informed me, we were to leave the apartment. "That's good," I began, but she wasn't done.
"Then we'll go to the cookie fair," she said.
"The cookie fair? I've never heard---"
"And the chocolate fair. And then the chocolate milk fair." She scratched her head, stirring more thoughts. "I like rides. I like to go to the ice cream store. And also the chocolate milk store." 
From her recitation I gathered that she believes fires are a good excuse to party and consume vast quantities of sugar.
However, I'm certainly glad she won't be playing with matches. After all, that's Mommy's job.

Mit science!

Earth and Wind
I'm combining these because of what happened when we went to the park this past weekend. She was playing in the dirt, her medium, picking it up in fistfuls and throwing it in the air. It was a windy day and I warned her that if she kept at it eventually the wind would be against her and she'd get dirt in her face.
She ignored me and soon Mommy's prediction proved all too true. And it proved true right in her eyes.
She stopped, blinking away the grit. I waited for the tears, but they didn't come. I realized this was because she didn't want to let on to me that I'd been right.
After one final furtive wipe at her eyes, she walked toward me and announced, "Let's go, Mommy. The sand is closed."
So the love was gone, but unlike Earth, Wind & Fire, Zoe wasn't going to sing about it.
Zoe: 66 (ish; really more of a draw); Universe: 0


  1. The sand is closed - the BEST toddler-saving-face manoeuvre to date.

  2. Yeah, she likes to play it cool. Haha.

  3. I always feel so incomplete without water.

  4. But what about the sequins, Paul? Don't you care about your sequins?

  5. Best interpretation of a fire safety talk EVER. When there's a fire, leave the house and go for treats! I love it. Your daughter is a genius.

  6. And getting smarter every day! Thanks, Cassandra.

  7. She didn't want to let on that you were right - um, yes. That's my girl too. Come to think of it, that was me as a kid. Payback from the universe, since it can't win against Zoe.

  8. Haha. So maybe when she's a mom someday it'll come back to her. One can hope ;).

  9. Ugh. The dirt in the face. This happened at the beach not too long ago and it was exactly the same phenomenon. We told my son..."you're going to get sand in your eye" "you're going to get sand in your eye" "you're going to get...yep. see what happened? oh quit crying."

  10. Right? I'm turning into my mother... Don't come crying to me when etc etc.