Q: What is a yurt?
A: According to an admittedly brief and non-intensive Google search, a yurt is a “a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey”.
Perhaps you are thinking Great, but the real question is “why does this matter?”. Well, a while back, Madison had a homework assignment which required her to read about yurts and the people that use them. After the reading, she had to answer a few short questions centered on reading comprehension, and that last irritating question where you have to somehow apply an aspect of the reading to your life – which is way more thinking than you wanted to do. Anyway, Madison was very excited to tell us about yurts, their construction, their use, and the nomadic lifestyle of those who call these portable tents home.
By now, you should know that I don’t know why I do many of the things I do. I am positive that 20%-89% of my motivation was to irk Madison. There might have been something in there about the sound of the word yurt, as it is both exotic and kind of dorky-sounding. That’s my best attempt at explaining what has followed since.
Every once in a while, I will call Madison over or interrupt our conversation by saying something along the lines of “Hey, Mad, can I ask you a question?” She will always reply in the affirmative. “What’s a yurt?” I’ll ask. It drives her crazy. It drives her even crazier when I continue with “No, really, I forgot because I didn’t read the story.” And my beautiful daughter will answer me in – and in no uncertain terms, I might add – “IT’S A TENT, DAD.” We also throw it around at each other as an insult. “You’re a yurt,” we say. It means absolutely nothing. Now, if you want to think of me as some kind of monster that’s your prerogative. I only want you to know that Lynnette does it too, so she’s just as big of a monster as I am, and possibly bigger if one accounts for the twins.
I did this exact thing at Chelsea and Shane’s rehearsal dinner last night. Mad and I were mid-conversation and I said “Hey, Mad!” “Yeah?” she said. “What’s a yurt?” She growled and glowered in my direction and things would have been much, much worse had Madison not had the proper sense of decorum.
At some point early this morning, Lynnette and I were awakened by Madison’s shouting. “DAAAAAD!” she yelled. She didn’t say anything more. I was glad. I didn’t want to chase a damn roach at 3 in the morning. I was pretty groggy. So yeah, she was yelling at me in her sleep. Before I left for work this morning, I had to confirm what I thought I heard. “Did Madison shout my name in anger?” “Yeah,” Lynnette said. Later in the morning I got a text from Lynnette. She told Madison about what had happened. I asked what she dreamed about; we do this often as Madison talks in her sleep often. Nothing could have prepared me for Madison’s answer. I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m laughing as I’m typing this. How could a random second grade reading assignment turn into a family in-joke and bring us so much joy? It’s just life and time, you know?