Thursday, March 16, 2006

Monkeys...or not

We were in a hurry this morning to get the car to the Chevy dealership. Ironically, the warantee repair they need to do only presents itself when the temperature is below 30 degrees. Even in the wee hours of the morning, the temperature hasn't dipped below 35.

My daughter is NOT a morning person. She prefers to eat her breakfast undisturbed in her pajamas. The unspoken rule is beyond saying "Good Morning", she wants to start the first conversation.

This morning she wore her scrunched up grumpus face when she saw me come downstairs fully clothed with her clothes. She reluctantly put on her pants, socks and shoes, whined about how she really wanted to watch Go, Diego, Go! and spouted off some facts from yesterday's show that featured the pigmy marmoset. "It's the smallest monkey," she said.

"I know," I replied. "But we have to take the car to the mechanic to be fixed."

"It's my fault the car is broken again," she said, sounding defeated. She dramatically threw her arms up in the air and collapsed them back at her sides.

"No, honey," I said trying to think about how to explain what a factory defect is in terms she could understand. "Sometimes things just get broken."

"Oh," she said.

We went to the back foyer to put on our coats. I realized I left my cell phone and her sweater on the banister, and turned to retrieve them, "Be right back, ok?"


The walk from the back foyer to the front foyer is perhaps 15 steps, even slow pregnant ones, I couldn't have had my back to her for 10 seconds when I heard a loud scream. I snatched up my phone and the sweater and raced back. No tears. "Uh, what's wrong?"

"There's a monkey in the basement."

I sighed. "There aren't any monkeys in New Jersey. Monkeys live in the jungles of Africa."

"Oh," she said, sounding unconvinced. "Then it was Santa Claus."

"In the basement?"


"In March?"


"What's he doing in our basement?"

"Making sure we put our Christmas lights away. It's not Christmas."

And there you have it. Jolly Old Saint Nick, the decoration enforcer. I wonder if he'll leave me a ticket for the tiny village still set up on the mantle?

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