Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)
TITLE: Hee Hee Hooo
By Joanne Cordaro
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Most of my phone calls were from anxious mothers-to-be or their family members.
I spoke to my clients in a slow, calming voice to try to reassure them. Overhearing similar conversations many times, my kids became familiar with my profession’s lingo.
Their vocabularies startled unsuspecting folks. They routinely asked pregnant women, “how many weeks along are you?” They reported to more than one woman whether, in their opinion, her baby had dropped into the birth canal.
Once, they didn’t realize a woman was pregnant with twins. They studied her intently. After their examination, they conferred. Regina, then six, elected to ask their urgent question. In complete seriousness, Regina asked, “You look really big, have you discussed with your doctor the possibility of inducing?” The mom-to-be and I, initially rendered speechless, ultimately dissolved in laughter.
The same year as the question about induction, my husband and I planned a large party at our home. I had just put the final decorating touches in our living room. I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed my handiwork. Each flower arranged perfectly and each pillow fluffed to perfection. I congratulated myself on completing such an outstanding job. Elated that I had two whole hours left until guests were to arrive, I twirled myself gleefully around the room.
I continued my dance to the kitchen to get myself a much-deserved glass of ice-cold lemonade. I turned the corner, stopped short and stared in horror. Oh, I knew it had been too quiet!
My children had quietly searched the cupboards for the cookies I had hidden. In their quest to reach the cookies’ top-shelf hiding place, my little climbers bumped into a full bag of flour. The flour bag’s thin paper was no match for the sharp edge of the counter. The bag split wide open. Flour filled every nook and cranny of the room! This morning my kitchen had been spotless. In an instant, it had turned into a dusty, white disaster area. Adding to the scene were my children, covered in fine white powder from their blond eyelashes to their black patent leather shoes. They stood frozen in place awaiting my response. The only movement among the three of us, was the flour itself as it fluttered off their faces as they silently blinked at me.
I waved my arms, for no other purpose than I couldn’t hold them still. I twirled again, but this time in disbelief. Not one intelligent word escaped my lips. I could only manage a stutter of, “Wha...wha...wha.” Four-year-old Michael thought of the obvious solution and began to coach me, “Breathe Mommy, like this: Hee Hee Hooo. Hee. Hee Hooo.”
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