I got a really early start today; I foolishly squandered it. I should have been halfway through with today’s blog before I picked my son up from school, but decided I’d rather putter around drinking coffee and watching TV. I should know better, it’s hard to concentrate with a tiny dictator demanding my attention every two minutes. “Mom, it’s a bemergency! I need you to open this juice box, wight away”. “Mommy, I have a lobsterbation. That guy has a weally big butt” are just two of the things he’s said to me since I sat down to type. “Lobsterbation” for those of you not fluent in quadra-grammar, is how a four year old says “observation”. He always murders the English language, multi-syllabically, when he really wants my attention. It’s a surefire way to get me to stop whatever it is I’m doing and compliment him for being smart.
He’s been claiming to have an emergent situation that requires my assistance or have observed something fascinating more than usual today. To his credit, the juice box was difficult to puncture and the guy he saw walking down the street did have an abnormally large posterior. I always come running when he starts pointing out the physical differences of others, loudly. It’s not that I think people who have big asses aren’t already aware of their situation, but I don’t think they want to hear my son point this out.
He frequently says things that make me laugh and have to apologize. I used to get really embarrassed, but not anymore. I’ve given up trying to control the things that spring from between his lips and now, just deal with the aftermath. Going out into public with him is a lot like hanging out with a drunk, bi-polar, dwarf, who has been home schooled. Much like the inebriated, he has no regard for the volume of his voice. He goes from happy to sad at the drop of a hat, and well…he hasn’t hit his stride in the social graces department. I know it’s my responsibility to correct this behavior, which I do pretty poorly…because I admire his honestly. It’s not that I’m trying to raise an ill-mannered, little creep that goes out of his way to be hurtful; I just think he should say what he thinks. There’s nothing worse than having to censor yourself for the comfort of others, although, sometimes it’s necessary. It’s hard to achieve a healthy balance, but I’m working on it.
A few months ago, I took him to the beach. It was a weekday; there was no one on the sand but tourists and the unemployed. After spending the day playing in the surf, we rewarded ourselves with ice cream. Well, he had ice cream; I sat next to him holding a stack of napkins and a beer. While we enjoyed our respective treats and people watched, he got that look in his eye that alerts me to when something priceless is about to be said. “Hey buddy!” he called out to a passerby in a Speedo bathing suit. In addition to the small swim wear, this guy was sporting the hairiest back and chest I have ever seen on a mammal outside of watching Animal Planet. When my boy got the attention of the passerby he inquired, “So, uh…tell me something. Why you got on a shirt and no pants?”. I nearly spit out my Budweiser product after I registered what he’d said. As luck would have it, the furry fella was Canadian and in addition to culturally dictated friendliness, his main mode of communication was French. I tried to think of the phrase for “I’m sorry” in French, but all I could come up with was “Vous les vous couchez avec moi” and that was far more apologetic than I was willing to be, so I shrugged, pointed at my son and smiled. He laughed at my mouthy offspring and kept strolling down the beach, letting the wind whip through his curly back locks. No harm, no foul.
Shortly after that, my boyfriend had a friend in from out of town, named Brad. Children, much like the American public, are enthralled with anything new. My son found Brad to be an interesting playmate and it didn’t seem to matter that Brad wasn’t actively involved in playtime. It started innocently enough, the boy jumped over Brad, as he sprawled out on the floor, watching TV, with a pillow propping his head up. When that got old, my son stole Brad’s pillow and began beating him about the head with it. Admittedly, this was entertaining for everyone…the exception being, Brad. When my son grew tired of assaulting the guest he came over to where my boyfriend and I were seated “Um…so…Brwad. He’s kind of a douchebag,” he stated. I could tell that he was puzzled by why Brad wasn’t volunteering to be a human jungle gym. He wasn’t wrong; Brad was kind of being a douchebag. He was going to be an uncle soon and needed all of the child related interaction he could get, but didn’t seem to be taking advantage of the wealth of giggling information he had before him. This is not to say that I expect people to entertain my child, but what kind of soulless individual can resist an impromptu pillow fight? I didn’t get to see the look on Brad’s face when he reacted to being insulted by a child. I was too busy doubled-over laughing and trying to hide my amusement from the boy. My reaction only fueled his tiny ego. For the remainder of the week, everything was a douchebag: the dogs, his toys, the bitchy lady in the bakery department at the grocery store that pretends not to hear him when he asks for his complimentary cookie.
As young as he is, I really have to hand it to him; he’s got quite the sense of humor. When he’s not heckling tourists, he’s screwing with me. We seem to spend a lot of time in the car together; he’s already picked up on the fact that his mommy is not the world’s best driver. It’s not uncommon for him to start shouting “Whoa!!!!! Wooook out, Mom! Stop the car!” just for the hell of it. It used to send me into cardiac arrest when he’d try to alert me to a danger that wasn’t there. I’d slam on the brakes, which would send us lurching forward and whatever crap I had shoved under my seats, to keep the appearance of a tidy individual, would come sliding out and fly into the front seat. He’d then giggle and say “Oh, there’s my toy boat”. After a while, I got wise to him and realized he was manipulating me to find his toys and get a bumpy ride. He still does it, only now I just laugh.
This past Fourth of July, one of his random statements made me realize that I wasn’t doing such a bad job raising a compassionate, yet outspoken little man. I spent the week before trying to explain the significance of the holiday. I evidently got through to him that it was America’s birthday, which we celebrate by blowing things up, while cooking dead animals over open flames. He was mesmerized by the fireworks display; when suddenly I caught him whispering to my boyfriend “We didn’t get Amerwica a pwesent”. My boyfriend, who is usually on the same page as my son, didn’t pick up on what he was saying. “What, buddy?” he replied, confused. “It’s Amerwica’s birwthday and we fowgot to get it a pwesent,” my son went on to explain. He was trying to correct our social faux paux, and since I am normally the gatherer of presents, he didn’t want me to feel bad for forgetting. Instantaneously, my boyfriend was turned into 230 pounds of mush. He laughed, as he tried to explain that America was old and wasn’t expecting a gift, but, it was the soft, comforting laugh he reserves for my son, puppies and sometimes, me. It wasn’t the loud, booming, “that’s hilarious” laugh…I could tell that my son’s sensitivity had caught him off guard and made my normally very decisive partner fumble for the right words.
As I type, my son is yelling at me from the bathroom “I have to take a dump. I can’t see. Who turned out the wights?” I’m not going to surprise you when I tell you that the lights are very much on and he is again, seated naked upon the potty, this time with a bucket on his head, obscuring his vision. At least he’s using one of the less offensive adult words in his arsenal and not trying to give me a heart attack. But, I must go now and assess the situation, before it gets ugly.