Recently, just as I was calling Lunch Helper into the kitchen to help with lunch, I heard yelling, a name called, a thump, and, then, crying coming from the playroom. I called Lunch Helper again.
When she got in the kitchen, I asked her, "Lunch Helper (not her real name), what just happened in the toy room? Any blood, guts, bones sticking out?"
I was expecting/wanting a quick "yes" or "no". Well, I was wanting to hear "no" , of course. But, I'd forgotten that Lunch Helper likes to tell the long version of events, so this is what I got instead.
"Babysitter (not my real name), you bemember dis one time when we had pancakes for breakfast? And we eben had peanut butter on dem? And Lucy and Ethel (names have been changed) were both reaching for the bananas? And they spilled Laverne's milk? And den Shirley said she was done eben though she didn't eben eat anything? And bemember den we pwayed Barbie's? And I hadded the Barbie couch? And we were betending they were at the movie feater? But Marsha and Jan were coloring and they were betending dey were at school? But den Cindy tried to take my Barbie? 'Cause eben she likeded the dress my Barbie was wearing?".......
And all the while this is going on, I'm popping things in the microwave, popping things out of the oven, stirring things, counting out napkins, spoons, forks, getting out plates, cups......)
...."And den I yankeded my Barbie back from Cindy? And den Cindy started crying?"....
And here's where I did the unthinkable... I interrupted Lunch Helper.
I said, "Yeah, sounds bad. So, in the toy room just now... well, 10 minutes ago now.... any blood, guts, broken bones?"
Well, I forgot that when Lunch Helper gets interrupted, she doesn't just continue from where she left off. She starts all over again....
"Well, Babysitter, you bemember dis one time when we had pancakes for breakfast? We eben had peanut butter on dem?...." ...... etc., etc., etc. ...... "And I yankeded my Barbie back from Cindy? And den Cindy started crying? And den you made us pway outside? And bemember dat you woosed to have a yellow hula hoop? And bemember dis one time when I threw it up and it hitted me on the head? And den me and Lucy and Laverne all wanted the same swing? And den we just pwayed on the swipper swide? Only Laverne started pwaying in the pwayhouse with Marsha and Jan? And dey wouldn't let Ethel pway 'cause she wanted to be a dog? And dey said she had to be a kitty? And den when we came in the house later Ethel wouldn't hang up her coat? And bemember I let the cat in the waundry room to eat her food? And eben I letted her out again? And eben Cindy and Shirley wanted to pway house but dey wouldn't let me be the mom? So I watcheded tv? And it was Tom and Jerry? And Jerry hitted Tom's tail with a hammer?"
By now lunch was getting cold and congealed, and I still didn't know if I had a Defcon 1 situation in the play room. So, I had to interrupt Lunch Helper at the risk of hearing it all repeated again.
I said, "Lunch Helper, what does all this have to do with what went on in the play room? Was someone injured? Blood, guts, broken bones??!!"
Lunch Helper said, "Dat is what I is twying to tell you. Dis one time when I was watching Tom and Jerry? And Jerry hitted Tom's tail with a hammer? Dat's the same show I was watching again today when you called me to be the lunch helper. So, I doesn't know. I wasn't eben in the pway room!"
Life went on with no sign of blood, guts, or broken bones.