Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Narrative flow

On this weirdo grant I work on, we spent 3 months trying to appease "those who know best" by creating a document with sufficient "narrative flow." I should say this document was a request for application--an RFA. This was not a short story, epic poem, memoir or oral history project. Again & again our handlers responded that we needed more narrative flow.

I should have simply asked my daughter.

Khubz and I were driving back from iowa last Sunday. We'd gotten a late start because the sister coffee didn't end until 2 a.m. so I wasn't going to sleep for two hours and hit the road. Instead, we left at 6 am. The girlchild slept for 2 hours (good girl) and was awake the last two hours of the drive. She was pretty agreeable. . . I kept her supplied with snacks from grandma's house--snacks that she doesn't usually get.

While she was taking in the buttery goodness of a ritz cracker, I was eyeing a reststop. If the girl is asleep, I'll make the whole drive and be fine. But if she's awake & I'm pregnant, I'm going to stop at a bathroom.

So we found one and went in. There was a woman washing up at the sink. She was clearly not happy that someone else entered the bathroom where she was trying to shower. I get it. She'd been on the road a long time & didn't seem to be having a good day. Still, there's the bathroom & that's where I'm heading.

Khubz has her shoes on so I stand her up in the stall with me. She begins her narrative.

"El agua?"

"Yes, honey, there's water in the potty, isn't there?"

"Yeah. Pants?" (this one identification for diapers or, in my case currently, panties)


"Mommy pee!!"

I chuckle, then attempt to distract her. "Oh, do you see that spider in the corner. Yuck."

"'pider? Mommy poop?! Poopie?!"

"Yes, honey. Yes, you're right." I actually thought it was funny at this point. Then Khubz brings it home.


The woman was still at the sink as I was washing my hands. She was not smiling. At. All.

"Yallah, Khubz. Let's go change your pants in the car."


Veronica said...

I love toddlers.

Amy was in the supermarket with me the other day and I bent over to grab something off a shelf, she patted me on the bum and announced 'Mummeee Bum!' and then cracked up laughing. The old couple next to me weren't impressed, but the other mother thought it was hilarious.

belledame222 said...


Anonymous said...

Out of the mouths of babes

scully said...

when i take her to the bathroom she always says bye bye when i flush.