The Tomato Drill goes like this: One of the kids shouts, "Tomato Drill!" That outburst spawns another, "Tomato Drill!" Then all the kids jump around chanting, "Tomato Drill. Tomato Drill."
Which prompts me to say, "OK, maybe later."
But they protest, "NO! NOW!"
Until I give in and we have yet ANOTHER tomato drill. By law I am supposed to have them once a month, but I obviously make them too much fun.
You probably figured out by now that I'm not talking about vegetable tools; I'm talking about tornado drills.
We sit in the hallway between the back three bedrooms and the bathroom. We close all the doors and tell scary stores. Or maybe we tell funny stories. Sometimes I tell all the stories and sometimes the kids take turns telling stories.
Until today, nobody really knew how to pronounce tornado drills. Audrey, in her attempt to say it correctly, asked today if we could have a t-o-r-m-a-d-o drill, at which time Ben corrected her, speaking slowly while enunciating each syllable to make his point. "Audrey, you said a letter wrong. It's t-o-r-n-a-t-o drill."
It reminds me of the story my mom told my sisters and me about my pompous attitude. My little sister Cindy ran into the house, ecstatically exclaiming, "I found a pillicater! I found a pillicater."
I, the oldest sister, was mortified that my little sister would embarrass herself, not to mention me, in front of all my mom's friends. Eyes rolling – to show my mother and her friends that I knew my sister had stupidly mispronounced the word – I corrected her by proclaiming, "Tsk, Cindy, it's NOT a pillicater. It's a patakiller!"
That was over 50 years ago. It's nice to know that some things never change.