Thursday, February 03, 2005

Funny kids

The kids do not have school tomorrow, so Ab's friend McKenzie is spending the night tonight. This poor child is an Only and very adamant about staying an Only, so to throw her into my rather loud and rambunctious house o' children... Well, let's just say that she'll get her money's worth out of that therapy session. She's a good kid, I gotta say and we all love her to pieces. Tonight the four children and I loaded up and headed to the Wal-Mart for paper plates, ice cream and a loaf of bread. Then it was off to the video store to get Mulan 2 for the flumber party and Karate Kid for the boys' sleepover. My three children were obviously listening to the voices in their heads that tell them to act as horrible as humanly possible, thus embarrassing their mother and their houseguest, making people all over the store stare at them and then shake their heads in utter disdain and making their mother have a strange recurring tic on the left side of her face. Poor McKenzie stuck close to me the entire time we were in there. I wouldn't have wanted to be associated with them either. Little shits. Mulan 2 was all checked out and Ab cried. Man. Wasn't fair to her that Bubby's movie was in and hers wasn't. Man. She wanted to go to the other video store, but I told her no, we only rent from this one. On and on she kept badgering me. I was tired. So here's the testament to my inept mothering skills: She kept on and on and finally I said, "Abby! Dadgummit! We don't rent from the other video store because I owe them money and have for a year and I'm sure they have red-flagged me and if I walk through the doors I'm liable to be arrested! Now! Do you really want me to go check over there for Mulan 2???" She'll probably get her money's worth out of that therapy session as well, because it seems that lately I'm doing everything I can to assure my kids a life-long Christmas-card-sending relationship with their therapist.


McKenzie was telling us this over dinner: "One time I looked up in the sky and there was these three helicopters flyin' and guys was droppin down out of `em. Or almost. And I got kinda scared. I watched `em. And then I thought 'Well, the war's come to town.' Later I told my Granny that the war was comin' to town - look at those helicopters - and she said, '`Kenzie, those are birds.' I felt kinda silly."


Sam, not to be one-upped, started telling a story about a huge buck walking out of the brush here on our property. He was describing in vivid detail how it sounded when the beast emerged from the thicket. The girls were riveted. Then suddenly Abby came to a realization. "Hey! That wasn't even you that happened to! It was me!"

"Oh. Yeah."


McKenzie asked, "You wanna see a picture of my boyfriend? Cuz I got one." She unsnapped the oh so convenient pocket on the leg of her jeans and pulls out a picture of the magnificent Tristen. It's a picture of the boy with a clipboard holding his artwork, artwork is tacked up on the backdrop behind him. It's really a neat picture. I said, "Oh, does he draw? Is he an artist?" McKenzie said, "Oh yes, he's a great draw-er. He draws some purty neat stuff." Abby concurred, "Yeah, he draws this football skull thing that is awesome, dude. Yeah...that Tristen, he's one cool man." I said, "Abby, he's 8. He is not a man." She shrugged, took a bite of her grilled cheese sandwich and said, "Well, he likes it when we call him a man. So we do."


When we got home from town everyone was tired and I sent them all back to get their pj's on. All three girls went to the girls' room and shut the door. Sam changed in the living room then felt compelled to run at top speed down the hall and fling open the door to the girls' room. Of course, you know that screams and squeals came forth. He giggled and ran away, then ran back. I said, "Sam Hoover! What in the world are you doing!? It is not appropriate for a boy to go into a room when young ladies are changing clothes! They don't have shirts on!" He said, "So? I don't have a shirt on either." I said, "True, but you don't have boobies." He shrugged and said, "Neither do they."

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Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...