A Hippo in the Bathtub

A Hippo on the Bathtub

In the past couple of months I have broken a bone (toe); nearly set two fires (one with an iron and a sheet, the other involving incense, candles and a butane lighter); dinged my car; smashed a large piece of plate-glass; walked into the side mirror of a van and bruised my shoulder–a van always in the same spot that I have walked passed a hundred times; banged, nicked, burned or otherwise injured myself in too many other ways, yet here I am plugging away, with gratitude for no serious outcomes.

A few weeks ago I dreamed we had a full-sized hippopotamus in the bathtub. It was as mean as I’ve heard hippos are, and we were absolutely required to keep it and take care of it.

Chloe is far from being a hippo, but we have had our challenges and struggles over the past year. She’s nearly 10, a prepubescent tween with some attitude. But she also cracks me up on a regular basis, she’s doing well in school and her behavior has improved immensely. Last week I sang the Mozart Requiem Undead with Panoramic Voices at the Bass Concert Hall, and took the risk of getting tickets for her and Gary. The concert was longer than I anticipated and he said she did great.

Did I mention attitude?

Did I mention attitude?

I did bribe her a bit: I gave her a little quiz to help her pay attention during the concert. Some questions were silly but required math: “If each member of [the group] Roomful of Teeth has 30 teeth, how many teeth are there in Roomful of Teeth? Some required careful listening, like finding actual names in the Latin text, like “Rex,” “Donna,” “Gloria,” and, stretching, “Christ(y)”and “Kyrie.” I told her I’d pay her a dollar for each correct answer, and she got eight out of 10, taking her loot in Robux rather than cash. As a friend said when I told him: “You have to know their currency.”

I interpret the hippo as being our enormous and daunting responsibility raising this kid. But when I googled “Hippo in a bathtub” I was pleasantly surprised to learn there’s an actual song by Anne Murray, plus lots of cartoon images.

Wish our hippo were cute and bubbly, but I like this image. Image from http://www.thedadproject.com/?p=868

Wish our hippo were this cute and bubbly. Image from The D.A.D. Project.

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