Rocky, the flying rooster

In 2000, the movie Chicken Run came out: an animation about chickens trying to escape the coop. It is quite funny, (if you are 3 or 4...or 30...), and it is hard not to laugh at the "cockiness" of Rocky, the rooster (the voice of Mel Gibson), whom the chickens mistakenly think can fly because they didn't see the missing corner of a flyer that shows the cannon he blasts out of. He plays it up until he realizes he is going to fail them miserably and he runs away. The funny thing is, if it was so easy for him to get away, how come there was an entire movie based on the chickens trying to escape?

Today is one of those cliche days that just makes you feel sunny. The sun is shining, the air is clear, it's warm but not ridiculously so and well, it's hard for the average human not to feel utter happiness on days like today. I have to give it to CA, we do get a lot of these days here. They are great days for feeding ants with melting popsicles (Madeline) and chasing large black "stinkbug" beetles while singing "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you, Tomorrow" before taking a foot to it (Lily). They are great for sleeping contentedly in front of breezy windows (Liam) and even for setting booby traps and then calling for your innocent sisters to come set them off (Aidan). And they are especially great for hosting a mom's party, just because you feel like it (me).

At the brunch, one of the moms asked me about how I stay calm with so many kids.

"What kids?" I asked realizing I had no idea where any of mine were, outside of Liam being fed by a friend (with a bottle of course!) But seriously, I am like Rocky, the flying rooster. I sometimes look like I can fly; I appear to have flown in; but things aren't always what they seem.

Take yesterday for example. It is apparent to me that the world is coming to an end. First there was Burma and the tragic cyclone. Then there was China and that devastating earthquake. You can find fires in FL and I am certain more will start up right here in CA if you give it a few weeks. But what really made me realize the world was in trouble was when Madeline came screaming in:

"MOMMMMMMMY! Get her, get her, GEEEEEET HER! She spilled them on the floor, she spilled them on the floooooooor AND SHE'S GOING TO EEEEEEEEEEEAT THEM! HELLLLP!"

Like most flying roosters, the rate of my heart actually did go up a notch or two, but I calmly said, "Madeline, what are you talking about? Please tell me in your quiet voice."

I'm surprised she didn't shout: "THIS IS MY QUIET VOICE LADY!" but she did manage a few calm words, "Lily is GOING TO EAT MY GOLDFISH! STOP HER! HURRRY, QUICK...LOOOOOK!" She frantically pointed under the table where Madeline's beloved goldfish were swimming on the ground, just hopping into Lily's mouth by the dozens. It wouldn't have been so funny if this hadn't been the THIRD type of Goldfish they were munching on yesterday. They had decided to enjoy some Whole Wheat Goldfish for breakfast and since it was one of those mornings, (you know the holy-crap-what-was-I-thinking-when-I-decided-to-have-another-kid-who-thinks-sleep-is-for-the-birds mornings) I looked the other way (hey, they have whole wheat somewhere on that ingredients list...). Then, at snack they wanted the Rainbow Colored Goldfish. And of course, a run to Target sent us snacking on Cheddar Blasted Goldfish in order to balance out our diet. I would have thought by this point in the day, Madeline would have been pouring them under the table and begging Lily to finish them off for her. I know I was sick of them and I don't even eat Goldfish.

So, when Madeline came out from quiet time today and said, "Mom, am I hun-gary?"

I said, "I don't know. Are you and what would you like if you are?" I did NOT expect my small central European country to want more Goldfish.

"Goldfish, and granola bars and pancakes," she says. "Get off your bum bum mommy," she continues as she tries to push me off my chair in the direction of the snack cabinets. All I could do was chuckle.


Ms. Montoya has died. (In case you are one of those people who has better things to do than to keep up with this blog on a regular basis, Ms. Montoya was the black widow spider living in our house.) After narrowly escaping the suction of a high powered vacuum, having her home completely destroyed and then, like the people in flood planes, hurricane zones, earthquake and tornado territory, rebuilt the web in the EXACT same spot, she was taken by surprise today by a flying piece of toilet paper. Having survived the initial attack, she made one last ditch effort to escape by jumping toward the arm attached to the paper. The last thing she heard was a man's yelp of surprise and then a loud flush as she was swept away in a downward spiral. 

We're still checking the toilet upon every use just to be sure she didn't somehow find a way out...ok, so maybe that's just me...but seriously, spiders are pretty clever creatures...you just never know...

That puts us at 8, plus two unknown. 

Where was I...oh yes, Madeline. Madeline has become quite the bug person actually. She walks around petting all the "good" spiders. (Thank you Kurt for showing her how you can touch the cellar spiders in the garage because they won't hurt you..one of them in particular got so annoyed recently that when she went looking for it to pet for the dozenth time before going inside, it had left a "Dear John" note telling her she was becoming a little too clingy...and then vacated the premises. Perhaps that's how we ought to get rid of the ravenous rabbits...just leave Madeline out to pet them.)

Actually, we (as a family) have become so spider obsessed that even Lily calls any little creature that moves "spider." Today, we were outside when Lily started squealing: "Spider mommy, spider!" and jumping up and down while pointing in the flowers. Upon inspection, I told her, "No Lily, that is called a lizard."

"Oh, lilard," she repeated. "Liiiiiiilard." But when the 'lilard' ran off, she started chasing it, yelling, "Come ear spider! Come ear!" 

Close enough. 

And when my friends realize that, like Lily's lilard, I have taken off from wherever we are without saying goodbye, (again) they will also realize that just like them, I can't fly. And just like them, I, too, have a breaking point...that point where "calm" just doesn't make sense any longer. I just try to keep that corner of the flyer tucked away as much as possible. 

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