If Hermes were a Genie

Last night I took Lucy to Walmart to get new shoes. She picked out some shiny Minnie Mouse tennis shoes that light up when you step.

When she came home today she told us that she told her friend at school that her new shoes grant wishes. Her friend made a wish and they are waiting till Monday to see if it comes true.

The idea that a mass produced pair of Walmart shoes would grant wishes is, of course, silly as all get out. But if her friend comes back with a positive result I am definitely taking a turn.

Like Sand Through the Hourglass …

Jennifer and I were back cleaning the bedrooms when we heard Kathleen yell from the living room: “Mom, the alarm is going off on your phone!”

Jennifer looked over at me, then loud enough for Kathleen to hear, she said: “That’s strange, I didn’t turn it on.”

Kathleen yelled back: “Well, it’s dinging!”

Jennifer walked out to the living room and turned off the phone. Investigating it further, she said: “Well, it looks like someone set the alarm to go off after six minutes.”

Kathleen looked up: “Oh yea. I did that. I just wanted to see how it worked.”

So, I guess we all learned, it works just like its supposed to. Mystery solved.



Jennifer went back to work today, but I had an online meeting this afternoon, so I discussed it with the girls ahead of time. I told them that I needed an hour without them interrupting. I would put on a new movie upstairs for them to watch, but they needed to stay quiet. No fighting. No rough housing. No screaming. If they succeeded, I told them I would take them out for frozen yogurt later.

Over lunch, they wanted more specifics. What kind of emergency would justify interrupting my meeting? We agreed that fire, poison spiders, or earthquake would be the kinds of things you could interrupt for.

As my meeting got closer, I set up the movie for them, and confirmed that they should not answer the door while I was in the office. Then I headed to the office and started to get myself set up.

Not five minutes later Lucy loudly opened the door to the office announced that she was hungry and asked if she could have a mint ice cream cream popsicle.

To be fair we had not specifically covered that kind of emergency.

What do you like best about …

Last night as I got Kathleen into bed she asked what I liked best about being a dad. I told her I liked our talks and cuddling.

Then I asked her what she liked best about being a daughter. To this she responded: "That's hard. I mean, I didn't plan on it like you did. I wasn't born yet."

She thought for a minute, and eventually said: "I know what I like best … hearing my parents laugh."

Two thoughts.

#1. That is the best answer ever.

#2. She is good at getting what she likes.

Theology according to Kathleen

Kathleen's leader at church camp said she had really good questions today during Bible study, but by the time we talked tonight she mostly had answers. Here are some things I learned from my daughter.

The devil got in a fight with God and God won. Then God made hell as a prison for the devil. However, it was apparently not a very secure prison, because the devil escaped and showed up as a serpent to Adam and Eve. And now you never know when the devil could show up. "He got out once. He could do it again."

In any case, the Devil is really in charge of hell, even though it is his prison. When I asked how this could be, Kathleen responded: "Well you know how all prisons have prison gangs?" I responded that I was now curious about how Kathleen got his information, but we left it aside in service to further theological exploration.

Hell is below the earth (like a thousand feet). We could dig too it, but it's not much larger than our house and it's invisible, so it's really hard to find. In any case, why would you want to dig there, because you would get burned? And hell is guarded by a three headed dog. The dog is like the devil's pet. Kathaleen's side comment : "Remind me never to go to hell!"

When queried further, Kathleen ran to the remote and turned on an episode of My Little Ponies saying that "It could answer all our questions." From that she produced the picture of "Hell" complete with three headed dog, and the devil. (See below). However, she also notes that the devil is a shape-shifter, so don't count on him looking exactly like this.

Heaven is in the air. We went back and forth on how far out it is to heaven. She first claimed that it was also "like a thousand feet high." However, when pushed she explained that God lives above Zeus' house, so it must be higher. When pressed on whether astronauts could get there, she claimed (1) that it was "ABOVE THE ATMOSPHERE!!!" and (2) that since it is on a cloud it is mobile, so we could never find it.

God looks "like he does in all the pictures." Brown beard, long hair, and he is apparently a white guy. He hangs out in heaven, leading people.

To get to heaven you have to believe in God, and it doesn't matter if you are mean or nice. Or maybe you have to be a good person and believe in God. She isn't entirely clear.

You don't have to be a Christian to go to heaven. God shows up in different religions. God has no children, but it would be really cool if God had a daughter who would start a new religion. Kathleen would TOTALLY join that religion.

I continued to prod, but eventually Kathleen decided we should move on. Or, in her words: "Come on Dad, let's talk about something important, like my love life."

When queried about her love life, she reported that she does not have one. That does seem important.

Total Recall

Me: “So what did you learn in your Bible study at day-camp?”

Kathleen: “There is one path that will lead you to God, and one path that will lead you away from God.”

Me: “Really? So what is the path that will lead you to God.”

Kathleen, without thinking hard about it: “I don’t know. … I guess it is a mystery.”

Somehow, I suspect that there was a different answer at day-camp. But I’m fine with that one.

Dire Conditions

It was about 7:40PM when Kathleen hopped off the couch and told her mom that the skin over her Achilles tendon hurt. Jennifer took one look and yelled to me: “Kevin, come here and look at this.” On the back of Kathleen’s leg was a translucent blister about a little less than a centimeter wide with a red skin all around it. Kathleen started to cry. We got a flashlight to see the area better, and further inspection revealed another blister on the side of her leg about half way between the foot and the knee. By this time, Kathleen was screaming about the pain.

Kathleen had been sitting on the love seat covered with a blanket watching TV just before this all started. Jennifer has a friend who recently suffered a Brown Recluse Spider bite that produced a very similar blister.  I asked Kathleen if she had felt anything bite her. If she had felt a prick or anything. She said “No.”

Despite this, I moved over to the couch and started dismantling it, looking to see if I could find a spider or any other insect that could have bitten her. I found nothing. But now Kathleen was writhing on the ground in pain, so I grabbed my keys and my wallet and told her we were going to take a drive. Lucy came out and gave Kathleen her fuzziest stuffed elephant to take.

There is an urgent care facility just a few blocks from our house, I rushed us out to try to get there before 8:00 in case they were open till then. But when we arrived, the lights were off. I took a quick U-turn and headed for the University of Missouri Hospital ER.

This was not comforting to Kathleen, who now was weeping openly into the stuffed elephant’s fluffy ears.

Kathleen: “I’ve never been to a hospital.”

Me: “That’s not true. You were born at a hospital.”

Kathleen, through her tears: “Not helpful dad. Hospitals are scary.”

Me: “There is nothing scary about a hospital.”

Kathleen: “A hospital is where you go if your arm is falling off.”

Me: “True, but you are confusing the order. You go to the hospital because your arm is falling off. Your arm does not fall off because you went to the hospital. Really, the ER is just like Urgent Care. You’ll see.”

To fill time, I started to ask Kathleen questions that I figured the Doctor would eventually ask:

Me: “Is the pain sharp or dull?”

Kathleen: “Sharp. I wouldn’t be screaming if it were a dull pain.”

Me: “On a scale of 1-10, how much pain do you have?”

Kathleen: “10”

Me: “Really? The worst pain you have ever had or could imagine?

Kathleen: “No. Ok, 8. It’s not as bad as when I cut both of my knees.” (Kathleen once skinned her knees when she fell off her scooter in front of our house. It was apparently REALLY traumatic.)

We pulled up in front of the ER and I rushed her inside. We checked her in and got our seats in the waiting room. Kathleen’s crying now subsided as she looked around and realized that the ER was not in fact a torture chamber, but looked very much like any other doctor’s office we have been in.

“Kathleen” the nurse called. We went back, got vitals checked and got situated in our room. I let Kathleen field the nurse’s questions. She seemed quite relaxed now, almost as if she were not in pain at all. But she still reported to the nurse that she was around a 6 for pain. It was going down, she said.

The nurse left us for a while, during which time Kathleen borrowed my phone to play a game on it. She was acting remarkably chipper.

The doctor knocked and entered the room. I explained the situation as best I could, trying to convey the urgency that my daughter’s current affect no longer indicated. The doctor looked at me and said: “Mmm hmmm.”

Turning to my daughter, the doctor looked at the two blisters. Then she asked Kathleen about the one up on her leg. “Oh,” Kathleen replied, “I noticed that about two weeks ago. I didn’t think it was important. I figured it was a bug bite.”

I swear I could hear the doctor judging me in her head at this point.

“And what about the one on the back of your foot?” the doctor asked?

Kathleen: “I wore my high-tops today to day camp. I could feel them rubbing there all day. That is what caused the blister.”

I joke you not. That is exactly what she said. No doubt in her mind. No thought that it could have been a spider or anything else. Just nonchalant: “Oh yea, that was because of my shoes.”

The doctor asked me if I wanted the hospital to administer aspirin. Defeated, I said no. We left with a two hundred dollar set of instructions for caring for a blister.

On the way home, Kathleen suggested that her foot probably hurt too bad to go back to day-camp the next day. I told her that I would never be in a better position to know that she was in no danger. We had paid a great deal to find out (from her) that she just had a blister and removing her high-tops would solve the problem.

Postscript: I texted the conclusion of our night adventure to my wife, letting her know that our daughter was safe. Jennifer texted back: “Can we kill her?”