Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do You Know the MUFFIS Man?

That's a loaded question, actually. There are no Muffis men. Only Muffis women. Even though I'd never heard of a Muffis before, I spent the morning explaining Muffises (Muffii??) to Sydney.

We were watching TV the other day and she paused it while I was out of the room so I could see something unusual. The screen shot was of an audience watching a play produced on the new Nick Jr show "Victorious." Syd had the giggles.

"Look. It's a Muffis," she said between chuckles.


I saw old people, young people and the guy who plays Spencer on iCarly, and a nun.

"Right there," she pointed out on the screen. The nun.

"That's a nun, not a Muffis."

"What is a Muffis?"

"I don't know. You're the one who said it."

"When did they start calling Muffises nuns?"

By this time, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. She's laughing at me.

"Nuns have never been muffises. They've always been nuns. Or sisters. Never a muffis."

We giggled until it hurt. About 10 minutes later, we calmed down.

"So what is a Muffis?" Syd asked. I started laughing all over again.

I couldn't wait to tell Jim. He's Catholic and proudly owns a pair of boxing nun puppets. Or boxing Muffis puppets. Whatever.

He chucked. "Muffis? Where did that come from?"

A couple of days went by with no Muffis discussion which is great because she's been going to vacation Bible school at a local Baptist Church. I didn't want her to ask if they have Muffises.

But this morning it started again.

Roman was snuggled by Sydney in bed. I went in to wake her up and all we could see of him was his front paws sticking out of the cover. When he heard us talking, he stuck his head partway out of the blanket.

"He looks like a Muffis," Sydney said.

"You mean a nun?"

"No, a Muffis, like on TV that night."

So I thought it would be a good time to talk about religions.

"Nuns..." I began.

"You mean Muffises."

Okay. "Muffises are very special women who are members of the Catholic Church. Daddy is Catholic. The Muffises are very special to his church. They are teachers and in many small churches do many of the duties a preacher would do. They devote their lives to God and to helping the church."

I wasn't sure what else to say. I'm not Catholic. I always thought I should be. I had a series of dreams when I was 19 that made me think the Catholic Church would have a huge role in my life. So, I went to the library and checked out a bunch of books about the Catholic Church. I always thought you could become anything if you could read enough about it. That's why I never read any of those Hobbit or vampire books. I've never had any desire to be either of those. Maybe a bad decision since vampires are very trendy right now. Anyway....

When Jim invited me to Mass for the first time, I was excited. The first time we went to his old church in Pine Bluff, the priest said, "Now, greet your neighbor with the sign of peace." There was only one peace sign I knew, and just as I was about to flash the Richard Nixon one when my mother in law quickly took my hand and shook it. "Peace be with you," she said, holding back a laugh. That wasn't in any of the books I'd read.

I think it's time to take Syd to Mass again. She went as a baby, but was too little to remember it. Poor Jim. He'll have his work cut out for him. Keeping me from doing the wrong gesture or drinking out of the Holy water fountain was always challenging enough. Now he'll have Muffis patrol, too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Pokemon at Vacation Bible School...So Far

Sydney attended her second night of Vacation Bible School last night. She was reluctant to go until learning it would not require waking up early. But, 5:30, she said works for her.

It's been a solid week of "Pokemon, Pokemon, Pokemon." It's the first thing out of her mouth in the mornings and the last thing she talks about before falling asleep.

So, when I picked her up from VBS Sunday night I felt my stomach flip flop when the director asked the whole group: "So, what did we learn about tonight?"

Sydney likes to answer questions. Her hand was the first to be raised. Since we're not members of the church, I figured the director didn't know her and would probably call on an older child.

"Sydney, tell me what we learned tonight."

Oh, no.

Sydney said they learned that Joseph was in jail and that they learned that God has a promise and we all have hope.

Whew. No Pokemon.

So last night, the same thing happened. Again, Sydney raised her hand. Again, the lady called on her. Sydney said that Joseph told the Pharaoh what his two dreams meant. She talked about the healthy cows and the sick ones and the healthy plants and the sick plants and gave Josephs' interpretation.

No mention of Darkrai.

I think he's the Pokemon that enters people's dreams.

Another whew.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Playing in the rain

I know we're not quite a month into summer vacation, but this has been a really great one. We are so blessed to have a little girl with a big imagination who loves to read (but often would rather write her own books), draw, bird watch, etc. She's never bored.

I've been working hard to complete a lesson plan by my monthly deadline, so she's been an extra good trooper. All she asked is that when I finished, we could play water games outside one afternoon.

I got my lesson plan submitted yesterday morning before she woke up. I'm lousy at nonfiction, but this one was about Stoicism which I like...which must mean I'm not a Stoic because sounds to me like they did not care much for "liking" anything. Then I got the word from my editor -- no revisions!

The water games were on!

So we decide that I will blow bubbles for her to pop by shooting them with her water gun. This translates into "Mom gets wet but I don't." LOL

We head to the door and notice it's sprinkling outside. She thought all plans were off. But it wasn't lightening or thundering, and we were playing water games, right? So, we went outside after all.

Sprinkles turned into a steady rain, still light but heavier than sprinkles. I clicked pictures with my camera phone to send to Jim. It's important that he knows we're having fun while he's working. The joke's really on me I guess -- he was dry.

Pretty soon, the bottom fell out of the clouds and I'd call it a monsoon, only without any damaging winds.

We stayed outside.

I knew we were safe because my mom hadn't called to tell me her NOAA weather radar was warning of a storm here. She always calls when that thing sounds its alarm.

One more picture snapped and sent to Jim: Syd playing in the deluge of water. His text message back was "God won that water game."

We played in the rain until the winds started and we could hear thunder in the distance. As I coaxed her inside, Syd said, "We've really got to play in the rain more often."

I think she's right.