Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gulliver's Travels

I don't use bad language, not that I'm condemning those that do, but because I don't, my kids are very naive about cuss words. Sometimes it's funny to hear a child innocently cuss, but it's even funnier when they use it incorrectly. The most my son, Garon, has cussed happened in the last month, and within a week of each other. The good thing is that he was so unaware of the words that when he said them he didn't even know how bad they were. The bad thing is that two ugly words came out of my babe's mouth. Bear with me if you haven't heard the story--it's worth it.
Incident #1-- My boys go to an elementary school called Freedom. It was a cold December afternoon, and I was racing to the school to get there in time to watch my oldest son wrestle. I've missed them all because I never get to the school in time, but I keep on trying...and this time it was at his school so I had a great chance! Upon reaching the MPR, I saw him approach me with disappointment which means I missed it, again. He told me how he did, losing by a point, and when his dad got home I reminded him to retell his event. My husband asks, "Who did you wrestle?" My son answers-- TK, the kids at Freedom call them Toilet Kissers, you know..TK? My husband nods, "What do they call you guys?" Well, my son explains, the kids at TK call us the Freedom F***ers. The nonchalance in his tone did not brace Greg for his response. It was like wind knocking out of him as his son's mouth even found a way to form such horror. I'm so glad I missed that conversation. A little boy voice and that word? Inconceivable.
Incident #2
I took my children to see Gulliver's Travels during the winter break. My oldest daughter, Bek, did not go, she had to work, but the rest of us went and loved the film. The only bad part was when Jack Black's character was angry at the guard captain for imprisoning him and referred to him as a "lame-a**" when talking to the other prisoner. The captain happened to be standing behind him and said, "Lame-a** better mean something good where you come from!" Jack said, "Oh yeah, yeah, it means AWESOME, the COOLEST...it's the best thing you can be!" Well, said the captain, I'll have you know I'm the biggest lame-ass you'll ever meet....or something like that. Thinking little of the scene, we move on. It's not until the next day that while shopping with my oldest daughter she recounts how when playing video games with Garon she teased him about being terrible. He lashed back...Hey--I'm better than you at this game--in fact, I'm a lame-a**! My daughter sat stunned, wha...? Garon, she says, first--that's a bad word, and second--it's not a compliment to yourself! I went home laughing at that and when I saw him I said, "Hey Lame-a**!" He immediately went searching for Bek to lay into her. That night we went to dinner with our friends and told them the story. I told my friend to call Garon a lame-a**. When we got to his house after dinner, he casually said, "Hey, how's it going Lame-A**?" Garon stormed out of the room in utter embarrassment and annoyed with me for sharing his foible. Later that evening my friend's brother came over and told Garon to go next door where other little boys were playing. "No, I want to stay here," Garon tells him. The brother says, "But that's where all the boys are, aren't you a boy?" Garon thought he could beat him to it--"Well, maybe I am, or maybe I'm a LAME-A**!" My husband caught the exchange and roared in laughter as my friend's brother slowly turned to him with the look of being completely flabbergasted, even a little guilty as though he drove my son to such lengths! After explaining the story, we got a kick out of using that word at each other the rest of the night. Thankfully, it's been laid to rest. Moral of the story--don't assume your kids understand everything they hear, even at a kid's movie. In other words, don't be a Lame-A**.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Code 4

It finally happened.  I know what Code 4 is!  I think.  I'm assuming at least. 
Picture it--a calm Thursday evening after school.  I'm content after having straightened the house, finished getting dinner ready, and getting the children's homework done, which is most of the time MY homework.  I'm enjoying a relaxing moment in my bedroom checking emails, reading the news, listening to my boys play the PS3, Kindsay is quietly lying in her bed, and Bek is at work.  Greg should be home at any time, and life is good.  errrrrrrrr!  Screeching halt when the doorbell rings.  My boys come barreling down the hall in urgent whispers, "MOM, there's a police at our door!"  It's been nothing but quiet in my house, so this was really weird.  I mean, if Kindsay were in her raging moods and the neighbors heard and called someone to check on us, I would say, "Is everything alright you ask??  Great!  The usual!"  HOWEVER, that wasn't the case, so I felt completely willing to help the officer with whatever he needed.  Perhaps he needed a sponser for a fund raiser (who knows?), maybe he had some questions about my next door neighbor's fire alarm going off for no reason again (though I didn't hear it), maybe he just wanted to tell me what a great citizen I am.  I turn the corner towards the front door, still feeling leery and guilty like they'll drag me away for some song my kid downloaded one time.  Hey, usually I'd say, take me with the siren on, but tonight was a nice night...what's going on?  I begin to open the door to face the cop when I turn behind me to see Kindsay backing up slowly with the look of "UH OHHHHHHH."  I knew right then.  Kindsay, what did you do???  "Sorry, mom, sorry."  I face the officer with a smile like we're all normal, nothing to see here.  "Good evening Ma'am, is there anything wrong here, we got a 9-1-1 call from your house."  I turn back to Kindsay she's still backing up ever so slowly, hands in her mouth chewing what's left of her stubby nails, hair askew as though an animal were building something in it, and her robe was barely closed around her Spring Break outfit.  "Officer, I'm terribly sorry.  Kindsay, come here."  As the officer gave a "Code 4" into the radio on his shoulder, I had her face the cop herself, she had to own this!  He explained to her that when she accidently calls 9-1-1, it's okay, but when the police call back to confirm an emergency and you answer the phone, make some freaked out noises and hang up, they assume there's a problem and send someone out.  Next time, he tells her, just answer the phone and tell the dispatcher there's no problem.  I said, "What do you say to the officer?"  She responds, "ok."  No, Kindsay...you apologize. 
Now, if I had gotten in trouble to where I summoned a CPD to my house, I would probably be on my best behavior the rest of the night after the close call.  NO, oh no, not Kindsay.  The moment I shut the door she empties out my emergency dinner Costco box of Dino Chicken Nuggets onto a plate (there were probably 30-40), and stuck the plate into the microwave and hit start.  The nuggets were all stacked on each other in frozen stuckness which would take more than a few microwave minutes to make even slightly edible.  I come in the kitchen, the annoyance of the recent incident slipping out of my mind, when I see the chicken coop in the microwave.  At that moment Greg walked in.  YES! Tag!  You're it..I can't finish this round!  "Greg," I say, "Kindsay just called 9-1-1, hung up on the police, and we had a cop at our door, now she's got that going..." I point to the massive amount of food cooking.  Greg went from "ah, so happy to be home" to "what's wrong with my genes?"  Needless to say, Greg summarized the last five minutes of Kindsay's life in complete astonishment, aggravation, and outerworldly amazement while she sunk into her robe.  Though I had dinner going, guess what all the kids ate instead?  So glad I spent the time and money.  With resignation, I zombie-walked back to my room, closed my door, and locked it in an attempt to fall back into my blissful evening.  I mean, what else could happen?  Am I so naive?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The TALK, you know what I mean?

So here's the deal I made with my husband, although he did not agree to it.  I will explain to our daughters where babies come from, and he has to explain it to our boys.  Since his mother taught him about sex by never talking about it and hoping I knew it all and could teach him on our wedding night, it was an awkward thought that Greg hoped would never transpire.  I told our girls when they hit age nine and eleven, respectively, because, well, how does one tell Kindsay about babies when she's dying to have one?  I had to be creative and a bit vague about it to her, but she got the female part of it to the point that when she started her period for the first time she cried out, "YAY--I have eggs!  I'm going to have a baby!"...okay, so I did my part, which includes putting her on the pill right away. 
Now, as our youngest son turned eight, I realized Greg hadn't told our oldest son and that the deed needed to be done.  Greg had the look of sheer dread on his face, but he knew that it was only fair.  With great reluctance and going at a speed that doesn't even register, Greg found Garon and took him outside to have the talk.  I was inside with Ty while Greg gave the most humiliating speech of his forty years.  Soon after, Garon came zipping through the front door, "Disgusting!  Gross!"  Greg came in, looking worn out from discomfort, and summoned Ty out for the talk.  Let's face it, there's no way Garon was going to keep that to himself, right?  Ty soon came back in laughing...I thought--did Greg tell them how it happens or do I have some correcting to do?  You know, men have different viewpoints about such acts than women.  Greg came in laughing too, and  my curiousity was whirling.
Greg tells me...Garon's response after hearing about the deed--"Am I asleep while it happens?"  Greg--uh, no. But you do have to be married before you do it.  Garon--"ohhohhoho, don't you worry--I won't be wanting to do that!"  ok now I have it in writing.
And with Ty--Greg tells him it's an act that happens between two people when they love each other.  Ty's response -- "Will I ever find someone to love me?"  Awwww...wait a minute, why didn't it gross him out?  I couldn't even wrap my mind around it after my mom explained it to me....even thinking about that conversation thirty years ago makes my eyes wide...oh well, I'll be sure to update this blog when puberty hits them.
Let's put it this way--
Having children = all of the money we make; giving them the sex talk = two limbs, parent's choice; reactions from our boys about the birds and the bees = priceless.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Thin Line

As most of you know, my daughter is special. For those of you just joining us, she is a fourteen-year-old anomaly that no child psychiatrist has been able to diagnose. I know we shouldn't live and die by a diagnosis, but as a parent, having answers is important. Her current label is one with a form of autism and emotionally disturbed with severe anxiety, but she's run the gamet of labels in the nine years since we realized we had a bigger problem than we thought. Sure, at the time she was born she was tested for Down's Syndrome, but chromosomal issues have been deemed irrelevant in her case. Genetics don't play in the picture at all. Even still, for a child to have the peaks and valleys that she does in terms of abilities is rare, and she has turned into quite an adventure.
Lately, as you know, she has gotten into a fictious world. I listen to her talking to herself, having full blown conversations with herself, and I also listen to her talking to her friends on the phone. Remember now, her friends are in her special class at school so they will go around and around about nothing--consider them the Seinfelds of Special Education. Listening in on them makes me dizzy sometimes. So I'm listening to her talk to herself in the bathroom, holding only one side of the conversation but clearly responding to someone as she answers questions (questions that I can't hear, I can only hear her giving answers which come out of nowhere and make no sense. Sometimes she'll just agree "oh yeah, uh-huh"...she gets along so well with herself. Refreshing.) I finally asked if she could hear voices--that's how in depth her self-talk gets. No, she says, she's just talking to her pretend friend. Oookaay. She gets into these fabricated worlds with her friend Allidrama too. I can hear them planning their adult lives--minivans, houses, and all. They get into such delusions that they start talking as though they are in the present with their different issues. I listen in, feeling some concern as I wonder how much of it she realizes is her imagination. I talk to my parents about it and friends and they say, "Oh, you know how kids like to fantasize about their grown-up lives." So true, so true..until she demanded that my husband take her to see her kids the other night. She wasn't talking on the phone, she was quite adamant and certain. I heard her say, "Dad, you have to take me to my kids so I can see them." Greg looks at her questionably...what kids? "My six kids! You need to take me so I can see them." So, what you are telling me is you have kids? "Yes, we need to go." Did you actually give birth to the kids, do you remember having a baby in your stomach? "No, I did not have them, I adopted them and my rich boyfriend has them. Now take me to see them. I'm going to be so mad!" You don't have kids, Kindsay. You don't have kids. "Yes I do! Alli says their at my boyfriend's house!" Her temper is flaring. Mind you, when she talks to Greg she starts out with level tones, but when I so much as ask her how her day was...SNAP! "Why is my mom asking me that? Oh, I just don't know if I should answer her. Just shut your mouth!" Ah, nothing like mother-daughter bonds.
In any case, Greg refused to drive her to see her six children, or should I say, my six grandchildren. But children aren't the only topics of interest to Kindsay and her friends. Oh no, they also like to be sweet and cute and loving to each other. Why just last night Kindsay had Allidrama on the speaker phone and this was their conversation, verbatim:
"You shut your mouth!"
"No, YOU shut your mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR MOUTH!"
"No, you shut your mouth!"
"No, you...
well, I think you can see the pattern. It was only until Greg and I stepped in and directed the stimulating conversation elsewhere that the need to shut each other's mouth soon became old news. Back to the talk about boyfriends, children, and minivans. Perhaps I need to create a make-believe world of my own that I can visit instead of listening to non-stop banter between Kindsay and her friends. A world where chocolate grows on trees, rivers flow of Diet Pepsi, and french fries bloom every spring...oh, and there aren't any children...reproducing is against the law. I suppose that also removes men from the picture since the only legal activities are reading, napping, and taking long hot baths. Back to reality as I hear Kindsay in the next room crying over some terrible news about a boyfriend that she doesn't have and her six children that don't exist. Huh, there's no consoling her so what am I to do? Off to Yvetopia I go...until next time...