Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fire In The Hole

Sometimes Emmalou Neighbor comes over to our house to play with S and I feel guilty. It must appear to this innocent 4-year-old like she’s just stepped off the troop transport and into Baghdad proper what with the The Quartet waging battles, screeching, the parent yelling and threatening, things being thrown and swatted with, and the IEDs (these are very small explosives, don’t get me wrong, we’re still in the middle of a civilized block here). I think this must be running through her head because she is an only child, so in my mind it’s all peace and tranquility at her end of the street. It’s like Switzerland down there with two parents and only one child, and all those bathrooms. She comes down here and just stares wide-eyed at the mayhem, the carnage, the cheese pizza all around her. Poor thing. Sure, Miss M spends a lot of time here and she’s an only child for another month or so, but inviting Miss M into our little war zone is like inviting a lone Shiite guerilla in. She seems harmless enough, but she’s got her own little snotty jihad going on. Not that she overwhelms The Quartet by any stretch of the imagination, these are well-trained arguers and toy-taker-awayers, but she gets into the fray and mixes it up with them, even starting some of her own skirmishes. But Emmalou Neighbor just looks on, amazed, like an embedded journalist who’s not quite sure why she passed on that other offer to host a morning news show in Boise where the most danger she would witness would be a make-over gone bad.