My daughter’s eyes grew wide and she held her hand to her face.
“Cuh’mere, Dad!” she gestured. “Come read what this says!”
I raised an eyebrow.
My husband ducked under the park’s play toy and followed our daughter to the scrawl written on the wooden boards. He shook his head, then sat down again beside me.
“What?” I asked.
My husband shrugged and laughed. “You’ll just have to read it yourself.”
I stumbled through the wood chips to the place my daughter pointed. In silver pen it read, ”touch the penis.”
I followed the silver arrow to the anatomical sketch.
And then I laughed.
I laughed for the absurdity of the “p” word on the play toy… and for the fact that I still can’t say the “p” word without hiding my face. I laughed for my daughter who needed to know she wasn’t in trouble. And I laughed for the future–so she’d know she was safe in telling mommy and daddy when something’s not right.
it seemed the only healthy thing to do.
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If you enjoyed the movie Avatar, that’s wonderful. It simply wasn’t the movie for me. At least in 3D.
I spent our theater experience looking down at the floor and praying I wouldn’t suddenly upchuck on the person in front of me.
Motion sickness. It was lovely.
As a result…I don’t remember the movie much. Only the blue faces.
The ones that looked like these. The ones that interpreted, “go out and play with sidewalk chalk” to mean, “let’s see mommy gasp for air.”
Um…here’s the purple one whose idea it was.
and here’s the blue one…whom I’m sure did not have his arm twisted to participate…
and who ran inside minutes later to wipe off with a white bath towel…
only to return looking gray.
Let’s see here…
Love my kids. Endorse creativity. Just gonna have to be more specific, heh.
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard my daughter explain to her brother something she’d read to herself.
“Listen to this, buddy…”
But it was the first time I’d heard the name Butch pronounced ‘buh…tch.’
At which time the two of them snickered, then sampled the name some more.
Buh…tch. But…ch. Buttch.
I wiped my own eyes from the other room. “His name is Butch,” I yelled into the mayhem. But nobody listened.
All I heard was poor Buttch become a common noun.
“Please move your buttch,” my son hee-hawed, “so I can sit down.”
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It was over egg salad that our son told us the news.
“I won’t be Silas much longer,” he said.
My husband and I exchanged a collective, “oh?”
“Yep,” our son nodded.
“Well, who will you be?” my husband asked.
And our son held his palms upward to explain what seemed so obvious– “I’ll be called ‘Daddy.’”
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The disagreement didn’t matter so much as the words.
Which were harmless, only in that each kid threatened twice to tell on the other.
At which time my son walked toward me still glancing sideways at his sister and asked benignly, “Do you want to play UNO with me, mommy?”
I’d hardly accepted when he was gone again, giddily reporting to his sister, “I didn’t even tell you on you!”
My son sat in his swim trunks on the top of the slide. Behind him two older boys waited on the ladder.
My son looked down the slide again. Then back at the boys. He gulped before speaking. ”Uh, guys…I think I’m gonna have to sit this one out.”
At which time he slithered past them down the ladder until…
until a braver moment.
A man in his seventies shared the waiting room with my kids.
Between them on a coffee table sat a tub of black licorice with a post-it note that read, ”help yourself.”
My daughter read the note, and my son understood the invitation.
At which time he fingered the tub of licorice and looked back at his sister. He knew better.
The gentleman spoke up over his folded hands. “I think you should ask your mommy first.”
And my son slunk back to an empty seat.
A moment later the gentleman twisted the lid to the licorice to “help himself.” Only my son interjected. “Don’t you think you should ask your mommy first?”
It seemed simple.
I brought grapes along for the ride, so no one would starve.
Only ten inches into the ride, my son claimed that he needed the grapes. All of them.
At which time, still mostly in our driveway, I deferred to doling out grapes. I even handed my son the near-empty container.
Which was when my son scooted closer to his sister…
who then suspected he’d gotten more grapes and wasn’t sharing.
He responded to her open palm with a smirk and a line he’d heard before, “you can’t have these. They have sugar in ‘em.”
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In the lane beside us, the elderly driver of the two-door ’55 chevy revved his engine. We stepped on the gas pedal in the van to sidle closer. Somebody had done a sweet restoration on the thing. Talk about shiny.
“Look kids!” we purred. And the four of us ogled out the windows.
With the help of our fingers, we breathed reverently over the age of that car. Fifty-six years old. A real gem.
We did the same math for the van. Oohh…five years old. Think how cool our car’ll be in fifty years.
At which time our daughter spoke. “Maybe when you guys die, I can have the van.”
The clouds parted this morning almost paralyzing us as at the sight of the sun.
I sat warily on the back step still wearing yesterday’s sweats and watching my kids crouch in their underwear, sidewalk chalk in both hands.
All was mellow.
Until my son–the one who fell asleep minutes before eleven and rose pseudo-perky before six a.m.–sniffed with real tears that he needed some ‘bu-ttention’ and crowded my lap.
I rolled my sweats to my knees–clearly the sixty-two degrees talking.
At which time my son asked, as he touched my leg with a brave finger, “what are those poke out things?” And then continued with concern…”do they hurt?”
I simply concluded that it wasn’t that warm and re-covered my dangerous leg hair.