Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad, Bad Words

“Shu up, Mama!”

I am changing Ethan’s dirty diaper, singing “What is Friend” by Cookie Monster (lyrics below), so I’m only half listening, I admit it.

“Shu up, Mama!”

Did he just say what I think he said? Did my 2 year old just tell me to shut up? Where did he learn that expression? How does he know how to use it correctly? In our house we have talked about ALL the bad words: stupid, dumb, “duh”, jerk, “I hate you” and SHUT UP!

An aside: I realize this list is not exhaustive. But for now, if my 6 year old thinks that stupid is the worst bad word, I’m good.

It seems like with each child, the “bad words” get learned just a little bit earlier. I remember one afternoon when Molly was just 4. I walked into the room only to see and hear two of Mason’s friends teaching Molly bad words. It was a lovely, lovely moment. I went into a short homily about how they, as young men, are called to love and protect little sisters (and even the little sisters of friends!!). They ran away pretty fast.

My favorite part of To Kill a Mockingbird is when Scout sits at the table and asks if someone will pass the damn ham. It makes me laugh, out loud, every single time I read it. Last night, Mason (9 years) sat down at the table, and in his recount of his day, out pops a word that in a million years I would have never have been prepared for. No, I’m not going to tell you the word, but let’s just say it was offensive to me, and it was not used…”correctly.” I didn’t laugh.

I don’t know where he heard it (well, I have an idea, but no proof for sure!!), and really, it doesn’t matter. The whole scenario with Ethan saying “shu up, Mama” was another reminder of how tough parenting is; how utterly exhausting. I was talking with a friend the other day on the phone, talking about some fears I have for my children, not wanting them to experience certain things that hurt, or whatever, and my friend lovingly said, “Amy, don’t worry about screwing up your kids…you’re gonna.” It actually was quite freeing. I’m not a believer in “kids have to experience the world to be able to function in it”, nor am I a believer in “shelter your kids from everything harmful”. Frankly, I’m somewhere in the middle.

Ethan was lying there waiting for me to finish his diaper. I was sitting with my shod feet on the bed while I talked him through why we don’t say “shu up” to Mom. It’s not loving, it’s not respectful, etc., etc. Ethan looked at me with those big blue eyes and said…

“No shoes on the bed, Mama!”

At least he’s listening to me.

Bless ya!

What Is Friend?
sung by Cookie Monster (Frank Oz)

Sometime me think,
What is friend?
And me think,
Friend something very special.

A friend somebody to share your toys,
To stay with and to play with and to make a lot of noise,
To spin around until friend get dizzy,
And jump up and down until stomach get queasy,
And to sometimes tell stories to.
A friend somebody like you.

Sometimes me think,
What is friend?
And me think,
Friend something better than chocolate ice cream!

A friend somebody to take to park,
A buddy to get muddy with 'til it start getting dark
To laugh and joke and hippity-hop it,
Or tickle and poke 'til friend tell you to stop it,
And me no think of any more.
Well maybe friend somebody
You give up last cookie for.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To Do...and Hair Do

Why am I such a slave to my to-do list? What is it about crossing things off of it that just fills my heart with unadulterated joy?

One of the things on my list for today was "blog."

So, there ya go. Mission accomplished.

Ok, so my friend Julie over at "A Fond Affection" found this great website and I had to go do it. You upload your picture onto the site and you can see yourself at different "decades" in a yearbook photo. My favorite one is the afro. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed...that is, unless you have dial-up, like me.

Bless ya!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fun in the Dark

Several nights ago our entire family had been out for the evening. In fact, If I'm not mistaken, we had been at the aforementioned PTO meeting. Regardless, when we returned home our power was out.

Know this: if I go outside and blow really hard on our power lines, the power goes out. Also, our house is the only one in our neighborhood that is tied to a power system from another city. So, when our power goes out, everyone else in the neighborhood around us still has power. It's crazy. I have put Alabama Power on speed dial, though, since I call them at least twice a month. I know the recorded message so well that I can just punch in the numbers without even listening to the prompts.

Having the power off really irritates me. I will walk around and turn switches on, just to make sure it's really off. I also forget it's off and turn switches on expecting light to come on, or microwave to start nuking...but, no. It makes me feel foolish, really.

After returning to our darkened house, I quickly lit some candles and our oil lamp so I could do the dishes and get ready for tomorrow. I was busy in the kitchen and I heard everyone else talking from the rear of the house. Michael had all the kids on our bed, battery operated radio on, and they were all talking..."Dad, tell us stories from when you were little!".

I left the dishes and joined the fun. We rehashed the Twinkie story (of course), the story of when Michael broke his arm, about how I beat up Lee Harrety when he was mean to my little brother. They've heard these stories over and over, but they still ask for them. We laid there in a pile - arms over legs, and legs over middles until well past 9pm.

I think it was the first time I was ever sad to see the lights come back on.

Bless ya!