Monday, January 16, 2023

Tornadoes and Scrap Paper

We're just entering our second week of classes, which means last week was our first week of classes. Already I can see my pledge to blog more slipping in favour of writing more for my classes (as it always seems to do). In theory, I should finish this semester...if I can finish writing my thesis. But I'm also taking a poetry course again could I not?

Andrew was supposed to be home late, late, late on Thursday, but he surprised me by coming home much earlier than expected.

I shouldn't have been surprised because he texted me several times to update me on his plans, but I had placed my phone on the charger so that it could be fully charged in case there was an emergency (we were on a tornado watch all day and my battery was running low), so I didn't see any of his texts until after he walked in through the door and was like, "What are you doing home?"

We were watching Matilda the Musical to keep our minds off the storm (you know how Alexander gets) and we didn't lose power or anything. 

Other places in the storm's path were not so lucky. Here's Andrew telling me that a tornado hit Selma...and that they issued a tornado warning for his area so he had to find shelter:

This story about a preschool being hit in Selma is just wild—70 children to 14 adults and only one minor injury! With the extent of the damages to the building, that's just incredible!

Here's where Andrew telling me he's going to be heading home:

After chatting for a bit about the storm and the news and about what we had for dinner and what he could possibly have, Andrew said, "Oh, and I brought home like 100 pages of scrap paper for the kids! I had to print out this paper to review and it ended up being a lot longer than I expected."

Scrap paper is always welcome at our house and I was looking forward to our scrap paper basket being replenished. My kids are always drawing or writing something.

And then we all got sick and stopped caring so much about paper. I mean, we still cared about paper—for example, here's a drawing of a sea horse that Zoë made while she stayed home when it was her turn with a fever (and Andrew) while I took the rest of the somewhat-healthy kids out for a walk:

So you can see we still cared about paper. We just didn't care so much. 

Zoë was such a funny sick person. She was miserable, but not anything like when she had COVID (this is a not-COVID cold-thing), which meant that she was lucid enough to do a lot of whining. One evening when I put her to bed I sang her a lullaby, kissed her forehead, and said, "Good night. I love you. Feel better."

All pretty innocuous stuff, right? You might even say it was kind and loving of me. 

In the morning she got up and went downstairs to play LEGO with her brothers (a sure sign that she wasn't feeling that ill). When I pulled my own sick body out of bed (which was about when my sick little co-sleeping baby woke up) and made my way downstairs to go "check on the kids" (a favourite activity of Phoebe's), Zoë looked up at me from where she had heretofore been having a seemingly fine time playing, and spat out, "Last night you told me 'feel better!' Well, I feel worse!"

I was like, "Whoa. Okay. Like...that's not my fault...? I'm sorry you feel worse but...I don't really get where all that venom is coming from?"

"I dunno," she shrugged. "But it's true. I feel worse."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

And I'm sure you're all happy to know that she's feeling much better. We all are (except, perhaps, for Andrew, who was the last to fall victim to this latest virus), and thus we began to be concerned about paper once again.

"Hey, Andj," I said. "Whatever happened to all that paper you said you brought home last week?"

"The kids must have used it," he said. 

"100 pages?" I asked.

"They draw a lot."

"True. They do. But...100 pages? I just..."

"I put it in the scrap paper basket. If it's not there, they must have used it up."

"Okay, but the thing is...I think I would have noticed if you put 100 papers in the basket. And I haven't seen anything come through my hands with, like, public policy stuff on the back. It's all been Weather Channel stationary still."

(We scored a box of Weather Channel stationary not too long ago. You can bet Alexander has had a blast with that! Also, the kids show me 100% of their drawings.)

"I'll check my bag, but I don't think it's in there. Yup. See? Not in there. The kids must have used it without you realizing it."

"I really don't think so," I said. "100 pages...I just..."

"Then I must have left it on campus. I'll check tomorrow (not that it will be there)."

"Sounds good," I said. "You check for the paper tomorrow and 'when this is over we will see who is right...and who is dead.'”

(That wasn't me being threatening, by the way, that was me quoting The Princess Bride.)

So we went about our evening. I started running a bath for Phoebe and while I was still getting the temperature right (and begging Phoebe to stop trying to eat the soap...), Andrew came and stood in the doorway, clearing his throat.

"What's up?" I asked, turning to look at him.

He waved a thick stack of paper at me and started to laugh.

"It was in my bag!" he said. "I just didn't look carefully because I thought for sure I had put it out already! Look at this—100 pages of scrap paper!"

It feels good to be right sometimes.

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