Wednesday, September 14, 2011

sky pee and regional knowledge

I remember as a kid overhearing someone talk about needing to put chains on their tires once. In my infinitely Arizonan wisdom I asked if it was because someone was trying to steal them.

We don't do that in AZ.

I use the words coat and jacket interchangeably more or less. Didn't know that there was apparently a difference between the two until I met Paul Bunyan (that would be my husband).

We don't need "coats" in AZ. Sweatshirts usually do the trick.

But I do know what to do if you get bit by a rattlesnake. And I know the symptoms of heat stroke and what to do if someone has it. And I know that walking an extra fifty feet just so you can park your car under that itty bitty tree in the parking lot so you have some shade is worth it.

Chains on tires? Coats? You mean basements aren't just for extra storage space? Huh?

Now when Thing 1 was a toddler we went out of town. And it rained. Not like torrential down pour pull out the rowboat cuz we are going to float away rain. Just a sprinkle. But being raised in Arizona this was a new thing to him, he couldn't remember ever seeing rain before. We were in a big open area when it started sitting at a patio table surrounded by other tables with other non-kid-toting people at them. It was cool and felt nice, so I took a nice deep breath (love the rain smell and never get it here because we only get dirty rain when it happens) and tipped my face back.

Thing 1 was in my lap and I could feel him tense so I looked down at him. He was holding one chubby little arm out in front of him staring at a drop of rain on it. After contemplating the drop for a moment, he suddenly slapped both hands on top of his head. He suddenly turned an accusing glare on me, but as he was presumably about to ask if I had spit on him -- which no, I had never done before and was a total "boy" thing to think about -- he felt a couple more drops but could see I wasn't the one doing it.

Gasping he pointed up at the overcast sky and said "sky leaking?" in the usual soft tones of any toddler.

A few people hearing he subtle little shriek about the sky glance our way and smile. I smile back and say "Yes, the sky is leaking. Its called rain."

Not to be calmed by my sugary sweet tone Thing 1 looks up at the sky blinking rapidly as a few more sprinkles fall on his face and again yells, "sky leaking, Mommy?"

Its rain, I say. Doesn't it feel nice?

"Its wet."

Ah yes, my child the genius. I have always said he is brilliant.

He tries wiping the offending drops off of his arms but more replace them and I can see he is starting to get agitated. So I move to pack up my stuff and take cover even though I am enjoying the minor sprinkling of cool water that my native-Arizonan self rarely gets.

"Why sky leaking, Mommy?"

Because the clouds are full of rain and can't hold any more.


I love that question. At this phase he only asked it about 12,000 times a day. Little did I know then that this was nothing compared to how often he would ask by three.

I put him on the ground so I can gather up his toy and sippy cup. He is standing there acting like he is just drenched still yelling "Sky leaking!" and trying to wipe himself dry much to the amusement of the people at the table next to us.

Yes, its his first time in the rain. We are from Arizona, not much rain there. A couple jokes about the "dry heat" etc ... but I am trying to get moving because Thing 1's voice is now so high and loud bats and dogs in the neighboring areas are registering that the sky is, in fact, leaking.

I finally get everything packed up and go to pick the spastic Thing 1 up when he suddenly stiffens and stares up at the sky. I could see a revelation just happened and I silently prayed to the PleaseDon'tLetMyKidHumilateMe Gods that he wouldn't say anything too horrible. Keep in mind that Thing 1 is at the age where he loves trucks but can't quite say the word right, so everywhere we go he has to yell (he only comes with one volume, even still) "Mommy look at that big truck" only he isn't saying truck. It sounds a bit more like a word for a part of the male anatomy. And just as my luck would have it, everywhere I go there is a big truck that he has to point out. "Look at the big blue truck Mommy, do you see it?" And boy is he observant, can't hide anything from him. So usually whatever comes out of his mouth is comical fodder, but I didn't always have the ability to laugh at the time back then.

His face contorts in pure disgust and he screams in the shrillest voice yet:

EW, it sky pee!!!

Then he began running in circles screaming that the sky was peeing on him while still trying to wipe the "sky pee" off his arms much to the delight of everyone in a 50 foot radius.

We kept spreading the joy though, because he was still yelling that it was gross for the sky to pee on him all the way to the doors, then chattering about how he wondered if I had seen that the sky peed on him, "did you see Mommy, did you? Did you?" the whole way to the elevator.

I was reminded of this story last night when Paul Bunyan came inside and asked to hold Thing 2 and promptly took him outside. When I walked out there I could see that we were getting one of our 10 annual rains for Arizona.

I looked over at Thing 2 to see his reaction and he was alternating between looking at us and looking at the rain. And the "sky pee" story came flooding back to me.
Um, guys? It looks like the sky is peeing on the house.
Why aren't you bothered by this? I pee on you and you flip!

Can't wait to hear if Thing 2 interprets the world the comical way Thing 1 often did.


Still does and I suspect always will.

Happy 10th birthday to my Thing 1. I love you, even if the sky wants to pee on your head.

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