Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank you, William

William got me this T-shirt:

which has caused awesomeness over the last two days.

1. At Trader Joe's yesterday, a woman almost did a spit take when she saw it. I was delighted, as no one has ever done a spit take on account of my hilarious clothing. And as she had just gotten a steaming hot sample of coffee, an almost spit take was probably best for all concerned.

(There may be something about TJ for great Ts. About a month ago there, I complemented a guy on his 100% tremendous echo base T-shirt.)

2. Yesterday, Owen asked me about the scene on the shirt. I described it as, "This is a Conestoga wagon. These are oxen pulling the wagon. And these ninjas are making them stop and go another way."

He asked for clarification on oxen - "They are like big, strong cows", if you were wondering - but after that it was all about the ninjas. We still try to avoid assassins and the like in conversations with Owen, so conflating a white lie with outlandish historical falsehood, I characterized them as "naughty, mischievous people" who interfered with pioneers on the frontier. For whatever reason, this captivated his imagination, and when I further mentioned that there was a Conestoga wagon at the B&O Railroad Museum, well... now ninjas and Conestoga wagons were cemented together in his mind, bound by his favorite place on earth. Further adding to the excitement, he specifically associated the wagons and the ninjas with the turning of the Thacher Perkins, a one-time event from March. We talked about the wagon and the ninjas multiple times yesterday and today. At one point, there was a minute-plus speech about "going to the museum, to open the manhole, to go down in the cave [the space under the roundtable], to see the wagon". Further discussion clarified a few points:

a. How could a Conestoga wagon fit in the "cave" under the turntable? (As you can infer from the video, it's less than six feet from the top of the turntable to the earthen floor below.) Owen thought that the picture of the wagon on my t-shirt was essentially life-sized.

b. When Owen says "ninja", it sounds an awful lot like "engine", of which there are many at the B&O. So perhaps he thought the ninjas were engines, and that's why they were at the museum? Or maybe engines are mischievous (for which I blame Thomas; there's a potentially massively tedious post coming on this), like ninjas? Anyway, I think there was some intriguing cross-talk between phonology and semantics going on in Owen's head.

The excitement reached a fever pitch this afternoon, when I told Owen that we could go to the museum to see the wagon. He immediately said that he also wanted to see the engines/ninjas stopping the wagon. I explained that there would be no ninjas at the museum, but I think he thought I was just trying to set him up for a surprise. Arriving at the museum, we went straight to the wagon, and Owen asked to see the ninjas. I reminded him that there were none at the museum, wary of the letdown after 24+ hours of buildup for this moment. He paused, then went to the rest of the museum without a word.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thank you, Oma

This evening, Owen he announced that he had a present for Katherine in his (empty) hand. "It's a marble. A pink marble. A package came for Katherine and Owen opened it for her."

"Oh? Who sent her the package?"

"Mmmm... Grandma Oma*."

So, Oma, on behalf of your granddaughter, thank you for the phantom pink marble.

* She was only "Oma" until her last visit, when Owen added the "Grandma" in front of it. It's only there occasionally, so I think it's more of a title than a name, used whenever extra respect is due.