Snags watches a lot of Scooby Doo. He’s particularly fond of the movie Scooby Doo in Where’s My Mummy featuring Cleopatra’s Tomb, an army of the dead, and a curse. Cleopatra’s Tomb, in case you didn’t know, is located in “Ancient Egypt”. Snags has decided he wants to go there one day. To Ancient Egypt, that is.
There’s also a necklace featured in the movie; it serves as a key to unlock both the tomb and a curse.
Now I hadn’t given that movie much thought lately, but perhaps I should have paid closer attention. You see, Snags had mentioned something to me about necklaces and jewels, and building a tomb, and unleashing an army of the dead to guard the tomb. Those broader aspects I remember, but the specific details, not so much. Because what you have to understand is that Snags, like most 5 year olds (at least I think that other kids his age are like this), can talk and talk and talk and talk until your ears start to bleed. So sometimes, I’m not proud to admit it, but, uh, I think I’ve more or less confessed to this before… sometimes I’ll nod and agree and hope he tires of the conversation before I’m bled dry. At any rate, whenever this tomb and army of the dead issue came up, I figured he was probably just going on about the movie again.
Snags also likes to write. If he’s not talking about a Scooby Doo movie then he’s asking how to spell something so he can write a letter about it. Or, if he’s thinking really grandly, a book. Sometimes he asks you to spell just a word or two, and you can breathe a sigh of relief that your work is done. Other times he’s got whole sentences, whole catalogs, whole encyclopedias worth of things he wants you to spell out for him. This gets tiring rather quickly, so in those instances, I demand that he tell me the thing he wants to say in its entirety so I can write or type it all out for him at once. And then he can copy it. Occasionally I have fallen over from the sheer exhaustion of this never-ending spelling bee and he’s been left to ask his father to finish spelling things for him.
And here I should mention that I find it disturbing that when Snags asks his father how to spell a word, his father spells it for him. But when I ask him how to spell a word, he tells me to look it up in the dictionary. And this has been a thorn in my side for oh, the past 14 years. Because, I think it’s perfectly clear that if you don’t already know how to spell a word, then it’s a bit hard to find it in the dictionary. By way of example, I have been needing to write the word cupboard a couple of times lately, but the problem was, I didn’t know how to spell it. I typed it as cuppard, and cubbard, and every strange variation thereof, but I was so far off that my computer spellchecker was no help at all, and the dictionary wasn’t either.
Do you want to know how I finally figured out the proper spelling? I read the story Friends Are Sweet to my son and there it was in a sentence:
“Belle turned toward the cupboards and said, ‘Who wants to help make cupcakes for Mrs. Potts?”
And I thought, Oh! So that’s how you spell it. Cup board. Okay then. And now you see, I’ve used the word here, although this wasn’t the place I’d originally intended to use it. But no matter. Now at least I can spell it. So where was I? Oh yes…
Snags also likes to draw pictures of the things he sees. Such as Scooby Doo. Or the monsters from Scooby Doo. Or the Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo. Or… Scooby Doo. Well, you get the picture. He has pads and scads and reams of drawing tablets for this, but goes through them faster than you can say “Goodbye Forests!” He tears unfinished drawings from the tablets while crying, “I need more paper! I messed up this picture!” And he leaves mounds of half drawn pictures lying in his wake as he sneaks down to the basement to snatch a few more sheets of paper from the printer next to the computer.
And so it was that I was listening to Snags go on and on about Scooby Doo while I was cleaning up piles upon piles of drawings and writings that were strewn across the kitchen table. We’d taken to pushing the pile back each night so that we had room to eat dinner, but it had gotten so big that I finally had to dive in and start pitching the creative works that weren’t quite masterpieces. Which I must admit, was most of them.
So imagine my surprise as I was sorting through these papers and came across a page that said, simply “CURSE NECKLACES”. And underneath that were several pages of drawings of necklaces in red and green crayon.
I was slightly taken aback, because surely I hadn’t spelled “Curse Necklaces” out for him, and yet, there is was. I showed the papers to my husband who knew immediately what they were, only he said he couldn’t remember the exact curses that each curse necklace represented!
When I asked Snags about them he said, “Oh! Those were curse necklaces I was making. But don’t worry, they aren’t real because we aren’t going to build a tomb anymore.”
And that’s when I realized that the last conversation about tombs and armies of the dead might have been about more than just the movie. And so I said to Snags, (you know, just to be sure) “I think, if we aren’t going to build a tomb, then we won’t need the army of the dead hanging around here either, right?” To which he confirmed the army of the dead would not be necessary after all. And I’m pretty certain that the neighbors will be relieved over that.