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.
DQ: STOP IT!
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.