Do you see this thing?
It’s a generator.
And it’s LOUD.
It makes this annoying rumbling sound. It’s especially fun to listen to at night.
We got a note slipped in our door last week talking about the generator. Along with the irritating noise, we have to deal with power outages every day at 530 this week because the base is conducting an Energy Security Test.
I forgot about it the first time. I was in the middle of an e-mail—not a serious e-mail at least—and everything just went dead in the house.
Some choice words escaped my lips.
Then I remembered about the power outages.
Thankfully they are quick power outages but still. Annoying.
And then there’s the rumbling sound from the generator. As I was getting the kids to bed Tommy was all, “It’s a monster growling.”
“A MONSTA!” Natalie’s eyes grew big.
Oh, great. I just wanted the kids to go to bed so I could stretch out and watch Parenthood. I did not want to have to go through a freak out.
“No monster,” I promised and shot Tommy a Look.
“It could be,” Tommy said matter-of-factly.
I wanted to stick some duct tape over his mouth.
“It’s not a monster. It’s a generator,” I explained.
“MONSTA!! I don’t YIKE monstas!” Natalie told me seriously.
“There is no monster!” I insisted. But Natalie was already convinced. She ran into Tommy’s closet and refused to come out.
“Tommy,” I groaned.
“What? It sounds like a monster.” He shrugged. Then he leaned forward. “What if it is?” Now he was starting to look freaked out.
Crap. I didn’t have TIME for this. I just wanted to relax. I wanted to make myself a steaming cup of hot chocolate (with whipped cream) and curl up on the couch. I didn’t want to deal with monsters. Why couldn’t they have had a monster freak out on Monday when nothing is on?
“Look. Let’s....um....let’s all sit on the bed,” I said, tapping Tommy’s mattress.
Natalie peeked out from the closet.
“I’m going to cheer you guys up,” I said firmly. I mean, Julie Andrews always makes it look easy. On The Sound of Music she just sang a song about favorite things and wa-lah, happy children!
“Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens,” I began, off-key. I can’t sing but oh well.
Tommy looked startled. “What are you doing?”
“Singing. Cheering you up. Ahem. Where was I? Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens. Bright coppered kettles and warm woolen mittens.”
“What is this?” Tommy still didn’t get it.
“Favorite things,” I said, a little impatiently. None of the VonTrapp children interrupted Julie Andrews when she was singing. Where was my respect?
“None of those things are my favorite things,” Tommy said primly.
“Me either,” Natalie chimed in, climbing up on the bed.
Rude, ungrateful children. But still, Natalie was out of the closet. That was something, right?
“Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things,” I continued.
“That’s not my favorite thing either. ” Tommy looked downright annoyed.
“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles…”
“What’s a strudel?” Tommy cut in.
“PONY!” Natalie chanted, clapping her hands. “I want a pony.”
For the love of—why wouldn’t they just SIT BACK and listen to the DAMN song?
“When the dog BITES, when the bee STINGS, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feeelllll....sooooo....bad!” I wrapped up the song early and stretched my arms out. I clocked Natalie in the head when I did it. Oops.
“You hurted me, Mommy,” Natalie said, scowling.
“So,” I said, a fake smile on my face. “How do you guys feel? Better? Did you like my song?”
Tommy picked his nail. “I didn’t get it.”
“There’s nothing TO get. It’s a happy song to make you feel better.” I mean, duh.
“It didn’t,” Tommy said bluntly.
Hmph. Kids in the 60s seemed much calmer. They sat and listened to music and APPRECIATED it. And they seemed to magically know the words to the song and would even join in. My kids just stared at me as though a lacy bra had morphed from the top of my head.
All the monster talk ceased so I guess my song was a success.
Although Natalie kept asking for a pony and when I handed over her fake ponies she threw them down and went, “Not DIS one. I wanna REAL pony.”
She went to sleep rather ticked off.
But not talking about monsters. So yay.