Yesterday Chinua and I, who have been grounded by the Department of Motor Vehicles (see the last entry), were chauffeured into the nearest Emergency Room with our kids. The fact that we are grounded allows us to travel in style, since anytime we want to go anywhere, we need to find someone to be our driver. If our non-profit organization would only acquire a limo, this would be even more pleasant. (I'm not completely serious here, since because of my raging control issues, I actually prefer to be the one behind the wheel. But it's good to try to think positively about these things.)

We were headed to the ER because after his nap Kid A was complaining of pain near his sternum. This wouldn't have been too alarming, except for the fact that he had experienced a pretty big electric shock from an outlet in our room, earlier in the day.

I watch my kids. Really.

It may sound, from reading a couple of my entries, like I let them run through the woods like Hansel and Gretel while I sit in my cabin painting my toenails, but this is not true. Actually, while I'm painting my toenail, they lurk over me fighting for a better view, Kid A busy trying to touch the wet polish on the toe of one foot, while YaYa tries to step on the wet polish on all the toes on the other foot. It is a cross between a day at the spa and a wrestling match. Not totally relaxing.

Anyways. Kid A climbed behind a dresser that was in our room to retrieve a toy that he had thrown back there. Watching him, I really just thought "better him than me." Bending is not the easiest thing these days, considering my rounded belly. But it just so happens that there is an outlet back there, which had an appliance plugged into in, and it just so happened that the prongs were a little exposed, and it just so happened that there was a long coil of wire (that I only bought to use to try to break into the car when I locked myself out in a parking lot a couple of weeks ago, but that's a long story) and it had fallen off the dresser, ready to bend and touch the slightly exposed prongs when Kid A brushed past them crawling behind the dresser.

There was a huge flash of light and Kid A came barreling out and he was crying, and his thigh was hurt, and YaYa started fake sympathy crying, and I checked for black soot or burns but there were none, except for the burn marks around the outlet. So, I just watched him, and everything was fine. Until he started complaining of chest pain.

We called a nurse and decided to go to the E.R. and about halfway there, Kid A appeared to stop hurting. I felt a little silly as we walked in and registered, and here he was, skipping around like a newly shorn lamb. The hospital in Garberville is about the size of somebody's large house, and the E.R. staff appear to have nothing to do. But they took us, and looked at him, and in the end we all decided that he was okay. Which is really really good. I would rather have a false alarm than a real reason to be in the E.R. any day. There was one tense spot, when the male nurse, who has a grey braid down to his waist, said, "well, I can't find a pulse." And the doctor said, "you can't find a what?" I looked at Kid A hopping in and out of the tiled squares on the floor and shook my head. "No pulse, bud," I said. "That's not good." But the nurse tried again, and wow! There it was.
The doctor and male nurse both ended up pulling out pictures of their kids to show me, since their kids were blended race too. I looked around and said, "So we all have mixed kids, here?" And we all looked at each other and realized, yeah, we did. The doctor put away his pictures of his grown daughters and said, "Maybe we should say a big hoorah for mixed kids."

And I thought: we really should.

Because I am convinced that I have the best kids ever. Although I do have to confess that Kid A has been irritating me like crazy with his repetition lately. He'll say the same thing twenty times, whether or not I answer him; "This giraffe will eat these leaves, Mama?"  "Sure, Kid A." "This giraffe will eat these leaves, Mama?" And on and on. This could never dull their shininess, though. They are absolutely beautiful.

YaYa speaks like she's learning to speak English for the first time. (I guess she is!) There are too many syllables in every word. Actually, there's a story that Chinua tells, about a Korean man that he was teaching to speak English, in Korea. The man picked up a bottle of absorbable vitamins and beamed across the table to Chinua, "Abosababo! okay?" YaYa is like this but worse. When I'm spooning out avocado for our egg tortillas, she says, "avocabadabodado" and looks at me as if to say, "okay?"

She has learned a lot about how sweet attention can be, beaming at everyone who enters the room, playing hide and seek and a whole lot of other flirty games with everyone she meets. If she puts two pieces of lego together, she brings them to me, shrieking "Wow! Wow!" until I say, "Wow, YaYa, did you do that?" and she smiles and ducks her head humbly. What a good thing. Just to bring something to your parent because you feel like you did such a good job and you want them to see it. It's so simple and beautiful that it makes me want to cry.

Kid A is also brilliant, and as his third birthday is approaching, he is getting smarter and more creative in his imagination. Actually I think his view of reality is a little skewed. He says to me quite often these days, usually after I've disciplined him, something like this: "When you will be a little boy and I am a mama, and you eat all the honey and break the rule, then you will be in trouble, and I will say, you have to do the right thing."  What does a mama say to something like that?