Sunday, January 24, 2010


I've been organizing my junk memorabilia this last week, and I came across this little gem from when I worked with handicapped kids one summer during my undergraduate days.  I retouched it a little (because I didn't go to graduate school for nothing, dang it.)  Hopefully you enjoy it.


Norm is sititng on my lap, his short red hair spoking out messily from his head.  I'm watching someone on the other side of the room.  I notice Norm shifting position, and I look down.

He's leaning closer and closer to me, his tongue poking out of his mouth.  He doesn't seem to mind the close proximity of my face, and it isn't until moments before impact that I register his intent and push him back. 

With his plan to lick my mouth (an ongoing battle) thwarted, I watch as his face twists into a boyish mask of anger.  He throws back his pale arm, balls his hand into a fist and glares at me.  Slowly and deliberately (almost painstakingly) he yells, "YOU STUPID!"  Each letter almost is highlighted with a small pause before the next is articulated.

I calmly look at him and state one simple phrase: "The earthquake is coming." 
His face remains tense, his arm still poised for bonking me.  That is my cue.

Quickly, catching him off guard, I grab him tightly and start rocking him back and forth, bouncing my knees wildly while happily yelling, "Oh no!" (smile) "The EARTHQUAKE! Run Norm!  Save yourself!  Don't worry about me--I'll survive somehow!"  He starts laughing and snorting hysterically.

I stop jostling him.

His laughter slows; one last giggle bubbles out.
And he's back on his old theme.  He manages to say, "STUP--"
But I beat him to it.  "EARTHQUAKE!" I yell as I bounce my knees as violently as I can. 
And then he's laughing again. Loving every minute of the "earthquake."

When I stop this time, his face relaxes--his eyelids lower, he breathes heavily, slowly.  He quietly whispers, "I'm sorry."

1 comment:

Ed Werder said...

Nice story, thanks. I may borrow your technique for my screaming 2 year old.