Monday, March 13, 2006


"Tell it again, Mama," says Chago.

"Alright, but this is the last time, and then it's your turn, ok?"


"Last night I dreamed that Saia was a little mouse. [giggles from the backseat] She ran through a field of tall tall grass and climbed right into the palm of my hand. I put her on my shoulder [gasps] and we went for a long long walk."

"Yay!" screams Saia. "Now tell mine, Mama!" yells the boy.

"Two nights ago I dreamed that I was walking in the jungle. [ooohs from the backseat] When all of a sudden ["out of the corner of your eye?" interjects Chago], yes, out of the corner of my eye, I see a little monkey high high up in a tree. ["That's Chago!" yells Chago.] Yes, son, and the little monkey was making all sorts of noises like [we all make monkey noises], and then he says, Becareful, Mama, there comes the big mean tiger! [so we all make louder, more frantic monkey sounds] Then the monkey wraps his tail around my arms and swings back and forth, back and forth, higher and higher, and makes sooooo much noise that he scares the mean tiger away!"

"Yay!" screams Chago.

"Again," they demand simultaneously.

"No, now it's your turn," I insist.

And for the next 20 minutes of our commute, I hear at least 4,000 variations of the above dream sequences with varying protagonists and alternating roles. Saia seems to be getting a little frustrated that she always ends up being a little mouse, and Chago, who keeps removing himself from the monkey role and into a tiger role, is beginning to irritate her because he's just a faster storyteller, and apparently there's an unwritten rule that once the story has started, they have to finish it. There's no stopping in the middle to recast. They just keep going, each taking turns adding on a sentence, mounting the suspense, until it reaches a logical conclusion. At which point, Saia tries yet again (unsuccessfully) to get herself out of the mouse role and into a tiger role before Chago does.

Just before we get to school, though, as amazing as it's been to just listen, I'm compelled to cut it short before there's bloodshed when Chago has apparently turned himself into a giant Saia-eating cat, and has Saia on the run for her little life while she's screaming at the top of her lungs NO, NO, NO SANTIAGO, THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT GOES!!!

Oh, sweetheart, I'm afraid that sometimes it just is.

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