Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In my writing class we were given a challenge where we all wrote the first paragraph of a story and then gave that paragraph to someone else to finish the story. This is what I wrote from the paragraph that my friend Pat gave to me.

                                   Tasmanian Devil

Anne Marie described her 2½-year-old granddaughter, Betsy, as a Tasmanian devil. I started laughing at her on the phone and told her that was quite an interesting description. “Why do you call her that?” I asked.

“For starters,” Anne Marie began, “Whenever Betsy is up to something and sees her mother coming, she automatically starts saying, ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.’

“Last week my daughter-in-law, Angie and Betsy went to the grocery store. When they got home, Angie took Betsy out of her car seat, carried her into the house and started unloading bags from the car. She was bringing in her third load of groceries when she heard ‘sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.’ Looking at where the ‘sorries’ were coming from, she saw Betsy sitting with an empty egg carton and 18 broken eggs splattered all around the kitchen.”

I couldn’t contain my laughter as I pictured this mess. And . . . I was thrilled that the scene wasn’t unfolding in my kitchen.

“That’s not all,” Anne Marie continued, “later, that same day, Angie put Betsy down for a nap. Two hours later when Angie went to check on her, Betsy was sitting in the middle of a massive pile of toys dumped on a blanket in the middle of the room. With a huge grin on her face she declared, ‘I made a boat!’ It took Angie and Betsy over half an hour to return every last Lego and piece of play food back to its proper place.”

“I remember when my kids used to do things like that. The playroom looked like a bomb blew up in Toys R Us,” I teased back.

“Then to top it all off, less than a week later, Angie was reading the kids a bedtime story. Betsy got bored and started wandering. Even though her mother called her back she kept going, ending up in the kitchen where she found a strange yellow object on the counter. It turned out to be a 10-pound kettlebell that Angie uses as part of her exercise routine. Thirty-five-inches of Betsy couldn’t reach it very well, but through sheer determination and persistence she maneuvered it to the edge of the counter where it promptly fell on Betsy’s big toe. Blood and tears infused the peaceful bedtime ritual. The rest of the evening was spent at Urgent Care getting x-rays and bandages.

“We thought maybe the run-in with the kettlebell would teach her a lesson about being obedient, but the very next day when Angie went into Betsy’s room she heard ‘sorry, sorry, sorry.’ Betsy was putting the finishing touches on her latest piece of art – scribbled on the bedroom wall. Angie was fit to be tied.”

By this time I was laughing hysterically. “I like that kind of kid.” I said, “I love to be entertained by them, but I’m always glad when they go home in someone else’s car! Good luck, Grandma!” 

~Anita Wiggins November 2014