Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Darnedest Things

There's that phrase that's said when we hear those mistakenly witty, innocently truthful statements from our kids. Like yesterday, por ejemplo, Mazzy was discussing facial hair and its relation to gender with her dad and said, "NO, girls don't have beards! But I saw a lady at the Nutcracker who had a mustache!"

Then there was that major test of willfullness to not fall down laughing, and instead show the dignified compassion you'd like them to show. So I ducked behind the counter for a minute and when I composed myself, I stood up and calmly explained that there are exceptions to every rule, and that everyone's beautiful in their own way. No help from Daddy, of course, who was doubled over for about ten minutes.

I digress.

Just as often, though, I hear myself say some pretty ridiculous things in response to my kids. Sometimes grossly oversimplifying and sometimes trying in vain to explain things much too complicated for them to understand.

My two-year-old is chin deep into her "Why?" phase. All parents know what I'm talking about. Well, it only takes about three or four "Why?s" before you get into complex physics or existentialism.

"Eden, you have to put a jacket on before you go outside."
"Because it's cold."
"Because it's Winter."
"Well, because at this point in our planet's orbit around the sun, the part of the Earth we live on is tilted away from the.... oh wait, you're two. Just put your jacket on."

I blurt out some good ones when I'm frustrated, too. Like last night I was just about finished with my homemade lentil soup, with a loaf of homemade bread in the oven when Eden came into the kitchen covered in a mysterious clear gelatinous substance. I followed her into the bathroom and saw that she had been busy spreading an entire bottle's worth of Corn Husker's Lotion all over the floor, and I said, "Oh nice. Way to ruin this golden Martha Stewart moment!" as I stomped off to get some towels.

Even better, though, if you can remember that long ago, are those things we used to say before the kids arrived. Things like: "I'm never going to say 'no' to my kids unless I have a really good reason"; or, "I'm not going to be one of those moms that cuts the crust off her kids' sandwiches"; or how about "my kid will eat what I eat. None of that short order cook crap." Ha!

Well, there's something very humbling and comforting in knowing that we're all in this together. We'll all get smarter and communicate more effectively, but hopefully we'll stay innocently truthful.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I never heard a peep about crust on sandwiches until my kid spent the night at your house! Now she orders them " without crust or a plate". It used to drive me crazy until I baked my own bread and realized that the inside is just the same as the outside. The crust isn't so important.