Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eliza Robbins--A Name That Will Live in Infamy

Something that is true about me is that I love definitions. Throughout elementary school and middle school, I prided myself on my ability to memorize large quantities of information. It came easily for me and involved no real thought. Memorize fifteen definitions? Easy and fun! Understanding fractions? Boring and anxiety inducing!!

I had favorite words (most normal people do, right?) like litany, rhapsodic, vestige, peripheral, and fortuitousness. I also had a list of words whose definitions were firmly emblazoned (yes, a word I like) in my mind. For instance, in 5th grade, we learned the definition of wan (a pale, sickly color) when my friend Lauren was out sick with mono. Our teacher explained, "Lauren has mono. She probably looks wan because she has been ill for so long." Fifteen years later, that definition pops into my mind anytime I see someone who is sick.

But to the subject of this post: Eliza. She is now forever associated with another one that continually bounces around in my mind--infamy, meaning ill-fame or honor (according to my 5th grade Wordly Wise book).

Eliza is now infamous in these parts after a stunt she pulled earlier this week.

Cheryl, my kind and amazing mother-in-law, tries to take Eliza out on errands as often as possible. Eliza loves leaving the house, and it is great to know she is out doing something rather than staying indoors with the twins and me (it is still too cold to go outside here during the day, which is another post entirely).  One of Eliza's favorite places to go is the local nursing home. Her great-grandmother Robbins lives there and spoils Eliza with cookies and other treats.

On Wednesday, Cheryl left the house with Eliza and the two set off to visit Grandma Robbins. About an hour later, Cheryl called. Eliza had pulled the fire alarm at the nursing home and had sent the entire facility into a state of chaos and panic.

I know you are thinking, "How did she reach the alarm in the first place?" Well, because so many people are in wheelchairs in a nursing home, the alarms are lower to the ground and right at eye level for a two year old. A red lever right at your fingers? Definitely too tempting to pass up.

Eliza pulled the alarm and immediately fell to the ground, covering her ears as the loud siren began going off. All of the doors in the building automatically shut (in order to prevent a draft from fanning a potential flame) and the elderly residents began scrambling to get out of their rooms. Cheryl said old men and women in wheelchairs and walkers were moving as fast as they could. One man stood outside of his room repeatedly yelling, "IT'S TOO LOUD!", with his hands covering his ears, while others screamed in panic. It was pure pandemonium (yes, another word).

Cheryl ran to alert the workers that it was a false alarm, but the fire chief had already arrived by the time she reached the front desk. It was quite the drama for the usually tranquil environment. After all, another name for a nursing home is a rest home.

Word spread that a two year old was to blame and everyone couldn't help but smile because Eliza is just so darn cute. As you can imagine, it was the topic of conversation for the residents of the nursing home for the rest of the day (Grandma Robbins said people were still talking about it today, too!). Random people know the story by now, and when I go to Walmart with Eliza, I expect someone to say, "Oh! You're the mother of the little girl who nearly gave every senior citizen in Othello a heart attack!"

I'm so proud.

And in case you are interested, here is Eliza's version of events:

(Let me just add that she found this random binkie (one the boys refused) and decided it was hers. Glad that only lasted a day!)

It's a good thing Grandma Robbins appreciates a good laugh. Eliza most likely inherited her inner jokester from this funny lady.
Two peas in a pod.


  1. That is too funny and she is way too cute!

  2. You should get those two the same kinda shirts you got the boys.

  3. She was probably providing a decoy for a burglary. Check her pockets and the lining of her coat!

  4. That is an awesome story. Noah watched these and said, "Oh no! She's sad!" She is the cutest!!


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