There was an hour long gap on Tuesday afternoon where The Monkey wasn’t going to have any adult supervision. And when they couldn’t find that, her mom called me (Monday night) and asked me to hang out with the twerp.
Tuesday morning, around 8ish, my phone rang. It was The Monkey.
In one breath…
“Hi. Can I ask you a question? Peter, you know how I am going to your house when I get off the bus? Right? Wellll when I tell the bus driver that I want to go to your place he tries to make me go on another bus. I don’t know anyone on the other bus. I don’t want to go on the other bus. So can you pick me up at Nanny and Poppy’s house? [Switches to favour-asking voice.] They’ll leave the front door unlocked so you can go right in.”
I replied,” Ye *yawn* ssss”
3 o’clock came and I was standing in her grandparent’s living room watching Much Music. I heard the bus stop out front. A while later, she came strutting out the door. She had a backpack, the size of which I haven’t seen since I watched a documentary about climbing Everest. Her lunch bag thing swung from her arm. And she had her jacket hanging over one shoulder.
In Canada. In early February.
She sauntered up to the front door.
The Monkey: Yo.
Peter: Why aren’t you wearing your jacket, goof?
The Monkey: Oh, Larry gets pissed off.
Peter: What? Who?
The Monkey: The bus driver. He doesn’t like waiting. He closes the door and pretends he is going to leave if I take too long.
And dude has a point. She does not rush. EVER. She is on her own schedule. I can remember putting her on the bus occasionally when she first started grade primary (kindergarten, Yankees) — her parents left very early for work — and she took her time even then. She’d walk on the bus. She’d stop at three or four different seats to say “Hi” to people, before finally choosing a seat. Then she’d slowly take her backpack off and ease her way into the seat — as the bus driver stared in the mirror and wondered why he didn’t become a plumber.
Her getting home from school was even worse. She’d always be sitting at the back of the bus. Her bags and jacket were always on another seat. Sometimes more than one seat. She always dropped something. And she was ALWAYS dancing and singing along to whatever song was currently in her head.
Nothing has changed.
Then I made a rookie mistake.
Peter: Uhm. You have a pretty long bus ride. When you were getting close to home, why didn’t you put on your jacket?
The Monkey: Well…
We were already in my house when she finished the explanation.
It involved differential algebra, global warming stats, and what I can only assume was a little bit of elementary Swahili.
I set her up at the kitchen table to do her homework. I went to my computer. 4 minutes later she walked in carrying her scribbler. (Note book?)
The Monkey: So, I am doing my English homework.
Peter: You don’t say.
The Monkey: I do! Listen to what I have for an answer…
Then she read me the answer to the question. Then the question. Then two more questions and two more answers. Then a one page note that her teacher wrote on her book report.
And then her book report.
Peter: You’re not actually reading me your book report are you?
The Monkey: What?
Peter: You are not reading me your entire book report.
She ignored this and started reading it.
When she finished, I told her that she had done a good job. She smiled and started singing that annoying “Lollipop” song from the 60s.
Including the *pop* parts.
She went back to the kitchen table for another twenty minutes or so.
Her mom called and asked how she was doing. I gave her the update. The Monkey wanted to talk on the phone. Of course. So, she started gabbing with her mom. And then she started squealing.
She hung up the phone and started clapping and jumping.
The Monkey: She got me Hannah Montana: One in a Million!! Yay me!!!!!!! Whoooo! Peter, can you get me something to eat?
Peter: What would you like?
She looked around a bit, then in the fridge.
“OK….” She clasped hands together and broke into a big evil smile. “I have FOUR ideas.”
I am featured on IndieBloggers today. It’s something I wrote ages ago, but is one of my favourites. And it marked the beginning of my love affair with my “enter” key.