Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fruit of My Loins

You know those days when you watch your children, and you're in awe of the kind of people they are? You can see the compassion and thoughtfulness that fuel them? You get a brief glimpse of the kind of thoughtful, compassionate adults they will be? Of all the things they will accomplish? The positive Changes In Society they will make? And it makes you smile?

Well, today was not one of those days. Today I saw the other side of my kids. The bickering, argumentative "HEY, MOOOOOVE!!! No - YOU MOVE!!!" kind of kids. In order to paint a crystal clear picture for you, let me share with you our dinner conversation this evening.

Harry (H): You know, we haven't had Sloppy Joes in a long time. These are good.

The Boy (TB): These should be called Sloppy Katies, because she's a slob! (follow with incessant giggling)

Katie - aka Pre-Teen Drama Queen (DQ): Be quiet, Christopher. Just because I don't have OCD like you doesn't make me a slob.

(TB stops laughing, opting instead to burn holes through DQ with his eyes)

Me (Me): So we had a conference call at work today.

H: Really? What was it about? (said with mock interest)

DQ: Stop staring at me, Christopher!

TB: Make me!

DQ: Oooh, look at me, I'm Christopher, and I think I'm soooo smart. I'm so smart the only thing I can do is stare at my sister and say 'make me!'

TB: That's right - I'm so smart I get straight As - what kind of grades do you get, Katie? Not straight As!

H: Is this ground turkey? Because the meat looks funny.

DQ: You get straight As because you're in THIRD grade. Like that's hard...

Me: Yeah, it's turkey. We've eaten it like this a million times.

TB: Did you get straight As in third grade? NO. So I guess that means you're STILL dumb.

H: Well, I didn't say it was bad, I just happened to notice it didn't look like ground beef.

DQ: Whatever. Jerk. (directed toward her brother, not her dad)

TB: I know you are but what am I?

Me: Well, no, you didn't say it like you didn't like it, I just thought it was weird you were surprised by it, because we hardly eat ground beef anymore.

DQ: Right, Chris. SO mature (followed with exaggerated eye rolling)

H: Well, yeah, but I just never really noticed it before, I guess.

TB: (laughing)


TB: Stop what?

DQ: Laughing! You're all " HUH HUH HUH" (makes crazy facial expressions while simultaneously leaving mouth open and snorting)

H: (viewing his pride and joy): Boy, I sure wish we were out in a restaurant so that everyone could see our kids like this.

Me: Yes, because they're AWESOME. I'm so proud.

Fast forward to bed time. Harry and I are on the couch, watching the last few minutes of Dodgeball, when we hear this:

DQ: Christopher, give me the toothpaste!

TB: Get YOUR toothpaste! This is mine!

DQ: Mine's gross. Just GIVE IT TO ME (this is squealed at an impossibly high pitch - so high the dog has actually hidden his head under a blanket in an attempt to keep his little doggie eardrums from bursting)

TB: No! I'm not giving you my toothpaste so you can make it all nasty by getting your HAIR in it!

Harry and I look at each other. And at the same time ask ourselves the 64 thousand dollar question: "How does she get her hair in the toothpaste?!"

DQ: I'm not going to get my hair in it, just let me have some so I can BRUSH MY TEETH (this time the dog whines and actually puts his little doggie paws over his head)

TB: You want some? HERE!!!

Then a blood curdling scream followed by maniacal laughter.

I walk into the bathroom to see my dear daughter with toothpaste covering her ENTIRE toothbrush and her wrist and The Boy laughing like a loon.

The dog has run away. Harry has suddenly become deaf. And, after banishing the children to their rooms, I closed my eyes and tried to find my happy place.

I'm off to watch Lost, where at least the people on that island only have to deal with murder and possibly mass destruction.


  1. Children are a joy. And a good thing, because otherwise I'd be tempted to do mine in.

  2. I'm going to get all mushy-sweet on you because that's just what I do. SS, I know I don't need to tell you that you are one lucky lady. I didn't have nearly enough kids (just one) and this tableau of yours is absolutely priceless. What I wouldn't give! "I know you are but what am I?" Classic! And the way Katie nailed him on only being in the 3rd grade? Genius! And every time they rolled their eyes theatrically, I'd hear "Ch-ching" because that is just MONEY, baby.

    Thanks, SS. You put delight in Mermaid's day.

  3. Awww, thanks, MM! That was a few years' back when that particular exchange took place. Now they're older, so they aggrivate each other in different ways. :)

  4. This sounds exactly like The Boy and his brother. Now.

  5. Just remember, someday you will be a gramma.
    God gave us grandkids as rewards for not killing our kids.

  6. I know that grandchildren are a great joy, but why exactly vs. your own kids when they were little? You still have to discipline them sometimes, don't you? Is it b/c like friends, etc, you can just enjoy the kids & as soon as they start getting cranky pass them off to mom & dad? Watching the child who vexed you being vexed by their own child in the same way they vexed you?

  7. It's easier being a grandparent, though. You can spoil the kids rotten, stuff them full of candy, indulge their every whim, and then when they misbehave, you can hand them back to their parents and not have to deal with the tantrums and other nonsense.

    I'm told it's a good deal (Note: I have no children.). Tonto is an expert child-spoiler, so he'd be the best one to ask about that.

  8. You know why, Jennifer? I think it's because by the time your kids are grown up, you realize they were going to turn out exactly like they have no matter what you would have done. People don't "mold" their kids as much as they'd like to think they do, you really just feed, water, and watch them grow, maybe turn them once in a while so they sprout evenly, and in the right direction. So, when you have grandkids, you aren't so concerned about every tiny move you make. You know you can let them get away with some little thing and it won't necessarily cause them to turn into a career criminal. You can be more relaxed with grandkids because you are aware now that not everything is "front burner" worthy of your attention and/or discipline.

  9. Push ups. It works surprisingly well. Plus, they get buff arms.