Saturday, March 15, 2008

God Has a Sense of Humor

Prior to the birth of my children, no one ever mentioned the fact that kids were created to embarrass their parents. All I recall hearing were words about children blessing their parents and being a gift from God. I failed to remember that God has a sense of humor, and children are proof of that.

I have shared stories about my son pretending to be a dog, my daughter squatting behind a tree in the city because she really had to go, and my oldest child announcing to my in-laws that their visit must be very special since Mommy vacuumed before they came.

Those examples all occurred before the children were in school, which has vastly increased the opportunities for them to share too much information, embellish a bit, and share their misinterpretations of the happenings of our household. While I am somewhat relieved that I never hear about most of what they divulge at school, I am also slightly concerned.

When my son was in second grade, his teacher required him to write a journal entry each day. The parents were not privy to the information shared in that journal until it came home the last week of school. Only then did I realize that he had told the class interesting tidbits like the fact that he drove himself to the bus stop. He failed to mention that he was “driving” a half a mile up our driveway while sitting on his dad’s lap.

He had also shared facts of relative importance alongside details that I would never have guessed that he was interested in. For example, one entry announces the birth of his new baby sister (one sentence). It also discusses the fact that our neighbors have remodeled their bathroom but have yet to hang the shower curtain.

Other announcements included a description of his dad melting the wiring on the pickup while he was welding, I fed him pheasant hearts for supper, and that “I got to play at my friend’s for 45 minutes, but right in the middle of all my fun, the Mean Mom strikes.”

My first-grade daughter is not so forthcoming with what she says at school. I have it on good authority, however, that she recently announced to her class that her mom refuses to take her to the dentist. She also informed her grandma that her mom never makes her brush her teeth on weekends. Apparently I’m not much of a stickler about oral hygiene.

While the school-aged kids are busy making us out to be neglectful and abusive parents, the younger two just rely on blatantly embarrassing behavior. A couple of months ago, the vet was visiting here to vaccinate our heifers. He arrived shortly before noon, so we invited him in for lunch.

Since we don’t often have company out here in the middle of nowhere, the kids were rather excited. As a result, our four-year-old began to talk incessantly. By incessantly, I mean he barely stopped chattering to breathe. The vet was kind enough to pay attention to him for the first few minutes, but soon we changed the topic to more adult-centered conversation and let the four-year-old happily babble away.

Meanwhile, my two-year-old began vying for her position in the spotlight. She began by dragging toy after toy into the kitchen. Crawling on my lap, she began rocking her baby doll. It was such a very cute scene, and everyone smiled at the sweet innocence. Then my daughter began wailing like a newborn who had just been jabbed with a needle. “Baby is sad, Mama!” she said, and then she began wailing again.

I encouraged her to play with something else, so she brought out her stuffed cat, which began licking my face and jumping up and down on top of my head.

I managed to divert her attention for a moment and hide the toys under the table. Without the toys to distract her, she turned to other methods to garner attention.

“What’s that, Mama? What’s that?” she asked, increasing her volume until I finally answered her. Soon she was pointing up to the fluorescent lights in the ceiling. “Mama, I see the light!” she exclaimed. Her eyes narrowed, and her face grew concerned. “Mama, I see bugs! Look, Mama, BUGS!” she shouted.

Everyone seated at the table could no longer ignore her, and our eyes all drifted upward to see the shadows of two moths lodged in the light covers.

I met my husband’s gaze over the tops of the heads of our beautiful children, and I could tell he was just as embarrassed as I was. In fact, his look was begging me to take them out of the kitchen to prevent any further embarrassment. I obliged.

Unfortunately, as they grow, they will continue to speak up at inopportune moments. That’s why it always makes me chuckle when a first-time mom is encouraging her new baby to speak.

Oh, just wait. They’ll speak, and sometimes you’ll wish you had never taught them that skill.

My kids and their cousins: they act like their parents.


BoufMom9 said...

LOL! Love the picture and the story is spot on. I have SO been there! :)

Mom of 4 said...

When my oldest was in 2nd grade we went to the open house. On the desk for everyone to read were their journals. I picked up his & randomly opened it up. The page I picked said: "I saw my Dad naked today"

I can't even imagine what the teacher thought when she read that!

Love your blog!

Stacie said...

Hilarious! :)

As an oldest sibling myself, you can look forward to the days in which your older children are embarrassed by the younger (it never works the other way around, of course, as oldest is never embarrassing!)

Brother in Christ said...

This reminds me of something I heard once: "Children seldom fact, they usual repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said!"

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