Thursday, July 30, 2020

Fire, Fire, Fire

The kids and I have been playing Monopoly a lot lately. Well, actually we've been playing Chicago-opoly which, as the name suggests, is a Chicago version of the classic game. As a kid I LOVED Monopoly, but I could never get anyone to play with me. That may be part of the reason I had kids - to have willing players at my disposal. Although my own kids haven't especially liked playing with me either. It may have something to do with me jumping up and shouting, "Yes! Ha! In your face! That's $950, now pay up!"

Lately though, Clay and Brooklyn have really gotten into Chicago-opoly so we've been playing most nights after dinner.

There's a card in this game that reads - Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicks over another lantern.

I told the kids, "You know we learned a song about Mrs. O'Leary's cow in grade school."

Of course they were super-excited. They gushed about what an interesting childhood I'd had and how they were jealous of the myriad things I've learned. Then they begged me to sing it for them. At least I'm pretty sure that's what they meant as they sat there rolling their eyes while saying, "Oh yay, Mom's searching for the song on Youtube. Lucky us.

"Hey now! Do other kids your age know this? I teach you stuff so you'll be smarter than the average bear!"

I was met with more blank stares, motivating me to skip over the Yogi Bear lesson which was formulating in my brain.

I found a video of the Mrs. O'Leary song and started singing along.

Five nights ago when we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said,
"There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight."

"Mom, roll the dice!" my kids complained that I wasn't focused on the game.

I threw the dice across the board then continued my lesson. "So there was a huge fire in Chicago in 1871 that started in Mrs. O'Leary's barn. There was much speculation about how the fire actually started. The newspaper stated it was Mrs. O'Leary's cow that had kicked over the lantern, igniting the fire that went on to burn 3 square miles of the city, but in 1893 the reporter of that article admitted he'd made it up. Finally, in 1997 Mrs. O'Leary was exonerated. Do you know what exonerated means?"

"Wait! So the cow didn't even start the fire?" Brooklyn asked, appalled.

"Well no, probably not."

"Then that whole song is pointless!" she insisted.

"I'm going to forget that story in 2 minutes," Clay stated. "Oh wait, nope! It's already gone."

I try to impart important knowledge to my kids. Like when, after Clay and I watched the movie John Wick the other night, I told him that I knew Keanu Reeves when he was much younger. I went on to play Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for him. In related news, I'm not allowed to pick out the movie anymore.

But I try to teach my kids, and expose them to a variety of information that will undoubtedly come in handy one day. You know, like maybe when they're doing a trivia night at a local bar. And this is the abuse I get. Guess what we'll be singing on our 3 hour drive tomorrow. Oh yes. FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!


mary ann said...

We sang it as a round. the first singer/group yells Fire, the second, Smoke and the third Water. (Start the second person after “bed”.)

Barny said...

Now I'm totally waiting for the Yogi Bear episode. And the "I used to know Keanu you know" episode.
Dont type episode more than once, it starts to look weird.

Cindy said...

Your kids just don't understand how important it is to know things like that. :)

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