What did you say?

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 3: My Favorite Quote

This is a tough one. I don’t really have a favorite quote. I’ve spent all day thinking about it and I haven’t been able to settle on a single one. Do I get all deep and philosophical or do I go for the funny bone? Do I source a movie, a book, or maybe a comedian? And how do I get it done soon since I’ve already wasted the day thinking about it?  Throwing in the towel on the third day is not an option.

Then it hits me. My absolute favorite people to quote are my kids. Here are ten conversations and observations The Boy (age 12) and The Girl (age 7) have had in the past six months:

(While walking home from school)
The Girl: I want to go to Mexico. They have the Day of the Dead, and tacos, and quesadillas, and a big party.

(While watching a Monster High movie for the first time)
The Girl: Monsters are hard core.

Me: So, what do you want to be for Halloween?
The Girl: I know! A piece of candy! Or pie! Or a PEEP!!
The Boy: You don’t even like peeps, hypocrite.

The Girl: Your hair looks nice. Where did you get that eye shadow?
Me: Why?
The Girl: Because I think it’s mine.

(Working on unit conversion equations)
Me: Do you know how many centimeters in a meter?
The Boy: No.
Me: Okay. Do you know what “centi” stands for?
The Boy: (Looking at me like I’m an idiot) Of course. Chocolate.
Me: …wha…?
The Boy: King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk. Kilo, hecto, deca, deci, centi, and milli.
Me: (Silently cursed myself for thinking I could get through a homework session without wine)

The Girl: Girls are better than boys. Know why?
Me: Um, why?
The Girl: Because me and my friends were chasing boys today and I caught one.
Me: What did you do when you caught him?
The Girl: I told him he’s too slow, of course.

Me: Hey, check out this fundraiser Dairy Queen is doing.
The Girl: Finally! Now I can get ice cream and help kids!
The Boy: Wait… we get ice cream?

The Girl: I must have a cold because my nose is running.
Me: Your nose is running because you’re crying. Again.
The Girl: (crying) I am not!

The Boy: This ice cream scoop doesn’t work!
Me: That’s because it’s a soup ladle.

The Boy: Truth or dare?
The Girl: Dare.
The Boy: Sing a song about how much of a butt you are.
The Girl: I’m not a butt!

And finally, a bonus:

Me: Why don’t you rub my feet?
The Girl: Well, okay, but I’m gonna need some gloves.

Tune in tomorrow when I write about my dream job. I’m fairly certain it will involve explosives, marshmallow fluff, and a spy plane.

Trapped!

Please help me.  All I want is my freedom, if only for one measly hour.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.  I imagine even convicted felons currently residing in Stateville Penitentiary get an hour out in the yard to lift weights and plot their grand escape during a staged prison riot.  In comparison, my transgressions barely register.  I’ll confess that I do know, and frequently use, a plethora of exotically glorious foul language, but what girl doesn’t?  Surely an occasional f-bomb doesn’t warrant such extreme chastisement.

Not only have I been cruelly ensnared in a dragnet of stupefaction, but an insidious and terrible campaign of psychological warfare has been instigated and is even now slowly and unequivocally smothering my sanity.  My mind is being assaulted by horrific domestic propaganda in the same way climate change is eroding the Maldives but without the glimmer of hope provided by the Mulee Aage solar panels.  Sleep deprivation, emotional blackmail, noise and social solitary confinement have taken their toll.

I don’t know how much longer I can resist.  You must hurry.

Do not attempt to appeal to my captors for clemency.  They are callous, unappeasable and absolutely reasonless.  They are cunning and powerful, using their formidable ninja skills to utilize terrain, weather and even my own intrinsic sense of responsibility and morality against me.  They are relentless, unstoppable.  They are my children and they are ruthless.

As the sand slips gracefully through the hourglass ushering in my inevitable downfall, I beg you, please release me from this torment, if only for an hour.  Please, before I am lost to the mists of parental oblivion.  Please.

I have to go now.  They want a snack.  Save me.  Hurry.

Lost in Translation

As the mother of a soon to be 3-year-old daughter, I have a bone to pick with Dora the Explorer.

I let it slide as Dora brainwashed my daughter (a.k.a. “the girl”) into believing that there is nothing wrong with having a boy as a best friend (how does Dora avoid boy cooties?), and said best friend doesn’t even have to be human.  Hence the girl’s best friend, Bob the Bear, is perfectly acceptable.  And just as Dora and Boots the monkey are joined at the hip, the girl is never without Bob.  Fine, I can live with that.

However, Dora has gone too far this time.  I can no longer communicate with my daughter and it’s all because Dora has been teaching her Spanish.

When I wake the girl up in the morning, she says, “Hola, mamá!”  When the girl goes down the stairs, she says, “abajo!” Going up the stairs, she says, “sube!”  When opening the door to her dollhouse, she says, “abre!”  When running around the house like a maniac with her brother, she says, “ayúdeme!”  When it’s time to take her brother to the school bus, she says, “vámonos!”  I’m waiting for the day when she says, “¿Está realmente tan estúpido?” and all I’ll be able to do is just nod my head and pour myself a glass of wine.

What have I ever done to you, Dora?  Am I going to have to shell out the bones to get “Rosetta Stone” just to have a simple conversation with my own daughter?  Is this some kind of evil plan designed to erect a language barrier between English speaking mothers and their children so that Dora can achieve world domination?  Does your cousin, Diego, have a secret room at the Animal Rescue Center from which you and your kin implement your insidious plots?

I’m on to you, Dora.  Don’t think I’m just going to let you get away with this.  Tus días están contados!

And the same goes for your little friend, Kai-lan, too.

 

W is for Words

It has been said that a cargo pilot is akin to a truck driver in the sky.  And as a former cargo pilot with an extensive vocabulary of expletives capable of bringing a rosy blush to the cheeks of even the most grizzled of ancient mariners, I am wholly resigned to the undeniable fact that there will be a day one of my children is sent home from school for using a “bad” word.  I will then be, in turn, forced to defend my personal philosophy on “bad” words to school officials.   That should be about as much fun as a root canal.

While I do believe words are powerful and can be used with the precision of a skilled surgeon’s scalpel or the blunt force of a neanderthal’s cudgel, the real power comes from the intent behind the words.  Calling me a “bitch” after I steal the parking spot you’ve been circling like a vulture for the last half hour is completely different from calling me a “bitch” after I point out that, as your flight instructor, I’m going to need a little more flare in the next landing to ensure the continued and uninterrupted operation of the nose gear.  Neither example makes “bitch” a bad word.  It’s just a word.

Language is a living thing.  Constantly growing, evolving and becoming more than it was, it is a never-ending symphony of communication used in some form by every living thing everywhere, from the smallest blade of grass straining to express it’s love for the golden warmth of the sun to the ethereal and alien beauty of whale song.  And a single word can  evoke an almost visceral reaction from us, not only due to the history and emotion steeped  into it, but because of the intent behind it’s use.  But in the end, it’s just a word.  How we choose to receive it is up to us.

The next time the boy calls me “stupid,” which I’m sure will be sometime in the very near future on a fairly regular, almost habitual basis, I could be reduced to a blubbering fountain of tears or I could recognize the anger and frustration behind his outburst and address the intent behind the word.  Hopefully, I will someday successfully convince both of my children that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…unless I let them.”