“I want you to have a job instead of babysitting us.”
Luke had managed to reduce me to babysitter status as we drove to Aunt M’s house. This was just the beginning of a day when Luke would say and do “interesting” things.
When we arrived, Aunt Lauren had just woken up and came outside to play hide n’ seek with Luke and Madeleine. She was wearing a cat-themed t-shirt. Since she just adopted a kitten, named Simon, she has become obsessed with cats. (I like cats. Simey is the furry nephew I’ve always wanted, but Aunt Lauren is approaching the deep end of the pool of all-out-feline-obsession fast and is taking Aunt M with her.)
A little background about the fam:
Aunt M and Uncle Bruce live nextdoor to my parents, Nonie Denise and Grandpa. The two properties are unfenced, so when we’re over there the kids feel like they have a ton of space to run and play – as opposed to our much smaller yard. Aunt Lauren is my 20-something cousin who sleeps during the day to be functional for her job as an emergency room RN on the night shift. Most days she walks around bleary-eyed but she’s always a good sport when the kids want to play with her. There will be more on Aunt Lauren during the life of this blog. She’s one of the most amusing people I know.
“Where’s Luke?” Aunt Lauren asked, amidst hide n’seek.
“I’m sure he’s around somewhere,” I said. I cupped my hands to my mouth, “Luke! Come out! Where are you?”
I listened for giggling. No answer. I called for him again. Nothing.
“Luke! I’m going to throw out your Transformers if you don’t come out right now!” I shouted, now a bit nervous.
For those of you who think that was harsh to say to a kid, then it’s probable you’ve never temporarily lost yours. It’s frightening to think they may have wandered too far and can’t find their way back, and there comes an immediate feeling of desperation to find the kid by any means necessary. Ridiculous toy-throwing-out threats included.
“Luke! This is not funny! Answer me!”
Aunt Lauren, in her cat shirt that read Bug me at your own risk with an illustration of a cat that looked like it was being electrocuted, went down the block to look for him. I checked the side of my parents’ house, which is dark and shaded by tall trees – a perfect hideout for a mischievous little boy. As I was searching that side, Luke emerged from the other side of the house and I heard Aunt M yell Found’em! He’s here!
Luke had thought the hiding was all in good fun, and I feel bad about it now, but I did get stern with him. I gave him the if-I-can’t-find-you-Mommy-will-cry speech and he seemed more annoyed than sympathetic.
Great, my attempt to guilt-trip him made no impression whatsoever. Can’t wait to relive this ordeal sometime in the future.
At this point I thought how nice it would be to ring my bell (I have to get one of those so people get comfortable with me ringing for things) and have a butler appear with a chilled, mint-scented towel and a fainting sofa. I also like grapes, so a bowl of shiny, red organic grapes would have also been preferable. What, no charcuterie plate?
The rest of the afternoon was lost-kid-free and we played hopscotch (Luke calls it skipscotch), created chalk artwork, and took the kids for icecream.
Later on, my brood and I headed home. We were all laughing because we were making animal sounds. I do a great chimpanzee and chicken. (Too bad I didn’t spring for the site that allows video because then I could entertain and delight all of you with my vocal stylings.) Luke enchanted us with his rooster impression.
“I don’t think that’s what roosters sound like,” I said as I drove.
“Yes they do!” he said, and repeated the sound, which I’m not able to fully describe. I call it “belligerent rooster off his meds”.
Madeleine – in comparison to her brother’s rooster – did her sweet and gentle kitty impression. Fitting, because M is very sweet. Luke was that way at the age of 2, and I’m sure M will follow suit as she grows and morphs into a Luke-like creature.
“Awww, that’s cute, Mad.” I said.
Luke, not loving the attention on his sister, kicked her. He was strapped into his carseat but the kid’s got long legs. He started coughing.
“Serves you right, you’re choking on your own saliva,” I said. “Hey, do you guys know that humans are animals, too?”
“We’re called mammals.”
“Mammals?” Luke repeated.
“Mammas?” Madeleine said.
“Yes, mammals. All mammals give birth to live young.” I listed a bunch of mammals.
“Now, ducks, they lay eggs. So they’re not mammals.”
“And chickens, too!” Luke said.
“Right, like chickens.”
There was silence for a moment. Partly because M was probably bored and was gazing out the window and partly because Luke was processing all of this.
“How do you get babies?”
“You mean, how do they get in the mommy’s belly?” I said.
“Uhhhh…how do you think they get in there?”
“You eat a seed and then it’s in your belly and then a baby comes out.”
“Ok, Buddy, that sounds good. Also, the mommy and daddy make a baby when they love each other very, very much.” It’s never too early to brainwash your kid.
“And then it comes out of your butt!” Luke roared with laughter.
Now this is where it gets sticky. I had already misled him by letting him think you eat a seed to conceive a baby. He’s only 5, after all. At 5, it should just be about how much the parents love eachother and then they made a baby blah,blah,blah. Kindergarten is starting soon and I really don’t want him to go over to his new teacher and utter the word ejaculate or fertilize. So seeds and love,love,love it is. But in our house, we do use the anatomical words for body parts.
“Actually, the baby comes out of the mommy’s va -”
“Vagina!” he shouted, very proudly.
“GI-na!” Madeleine joined the conversation again.
He seemed satisified with the whole story at this point and we changed the subject. Then he took off his shoes and threw one of them at me while I was driving. I don’t expect him to get the concept of what a major distraction it is to do this. Have you ever tried disciplining a kid about the dangers of projectile objects while driving. Not pretty.
On a different topic, my apologies for the randomness of this post (aren’t all my posts somewhat random?) but I threw it together Sunday evening. How do you fellow bloggers do this? You guys deliver great content regularly and maintain your lives doing other things – raising families, working outside the home, running your own farms! If a non-farming, home-mama type like myself finds it a challenge to find quiet time to write, then I’m sure it’s hard for all of you. Thanks for reading. I truly appreciate it.
(Yay! True Blood is on tonight!)