“Mommy, why’s the mans sittin’ in that Subawu?” my son inquired as we got out of the car on our way to preschool. “Maybe he’s on the phone,” I answered, not having a creative or funny retort. This is unusual for me, the non-creative-funny-retort thing, I normally respond with the most insane thing I can think of. I claim that I do this so that he will learn to come to logical conclusions on his own, someday. But I really do it to entertain myself and break the monotony of answering his barrage of questions. “How’d you know that car was a Subaru?” I asked, since there is nothing, really, about a Subaru that I would think would be appealing to a child. It’s not the big truck, or the flashy sports car he would usually try to call my attention to. It’s really the automotive equivalent of wheat toast. Although, the commercials tell me that they are environmentally friendly and walking through the parking lot of a gay bar tells me they are rainbow friendly, I have never really understood why anyone would seek out a Subaru. I guess I’m not their target audience. “Something’s I just know, Mom,” he replied, in a tone that suggested he was annoyed by my questioning where he received his information. “It’s not like it’s a State Secret, Buddy. I was just asking,” I was not impressed with him trying out his tiny attitude on me.
The age of four has been my most favorite and least favorite, all at the same time. My son is now a freethinking, autonomous individual. He has his own opinions, which is great, until his ideas conflict with mine. It makes getting anything accomplished very difficult. I now know how the President feels when he suggests that Congress pick up their toys and is met with a resounding “No”. I’m getting filibustered all the time. I think it’s the age where you really see how a personality is developing. My son is able to communicate he needs, which is much less stressful than having to play “I’m legally responsible for your life and I have no idea what you’re asking for” charades. Rosetta Stone should come up with a toddler edition. They should also team up with the good people at Encyclopedia Britannica and PBS to sponsor a NASCAR team. I am of the opinion that this union could propel the popularity of education in the Southern States. Look what it did for Budweiser and M&M’s? There are drunken rednecks everywhere, hopped up on chocolate. It’d be nice to hear one of those simple bastards say “Boogity! Boogity! Dzentlmen, spustite motory” (which is Slovak for “Boogity! Boogity! Gentleman, start your engines,” just incase you’re wondering) while peppering the commentary of the race with historical information about the Spanish-American War and videos of some obscure jungle rodent from Borneo. I don’t know about you, but I’d watch more.
My mother used to say, “I hope you have 10 kids, and they’re all just like you,” when I was behaving like a shit-head. Through the wonders of modern fertility treatments, I could probably make my mother’s hopes come true. Thankfully, I prefer the old fashioned remedy of Tequila and poor judgment. If I were to reproduce in bulk, you can bet there would be a reality TV show about me and my litter of Scarplings, like Kate Gosselin. By the way, have you seen her lately? There was a blip on some Hollywood gossip show about her the other day. Something about her getting a facelift. She denied having one, which isn’t the newsworthy part. What I find astonishing is that she is only 36 years old. She has the demeanor and grace of a woman far more aged and bitter. Yeah, you could argue that I don’t know her and shouldn’t pass judgment…but she did willingly allow a camera crew to film her in action for a few years. Survey says: full-blown bitch. I don’t really care about Kate Gosselin, if she has a face, or what she does to it…I’d just like her to stop talking and/or writing about having a lot of children. I’d be more inclined to take parenting advice from a rabid Pitt Bull/Wolf mix in the whelping box at the pound.
I never used to think of my mom’s statement as punishment, until I birthed a child with a personality exactly like mine. I would think “Ten other people that get me? Bonus! Bring in the test sheep and let the cloning begin!” Um, yeah…now? No. My son is every bit as sarcastic and quick witted as I am. I know your thinking “Wow, Sara! That sounds like a laugh-riot, where do I sign up?” or you could be thinking, “Nothing wrong with your self esteem, is there? Way to pat yourself on the back with that one”. Whatever your thoughts are, humor me. Alright?
It’s very clear that my son shares a few of my less desirable traits; I was hoping he’d be away at college when he started displaying them. At least I know there will always be someone walking the Earth that will laugh at inappropriate times, blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and be just as unfriendly as I am, if woken up too early. But, I realize I may have made an error in the parenting department. While I want him to be relentless, outspoken, intelligent and creative; I don’t necessarily want him to be all of these things while communicating with me. The other day we were on the back patio, he was playing a very involved game of Fireman. Evidently, someone called in a four alarm fire from way out behind the trampoline and he had to get there A.S.A.F.P. He was having difficulty getting his red, plastic, ride-in fire truck out of the screen door. It was a “bemergency”! “Fire Marwshall Mom. Uh, a wittle helwp herwe?” he pleaded, as he repeatedly rammed the truck into the metal doorframe. “Buddy, don’t do that. You’re going to break the door,” I advised. “Mo-ooom! I need you’we helwp” he said again, ignoring my warning and seated in the car with his back towards me.
“I’ll help you when you stop crashing into the door and ask the right way,”. The “right way” to a child his age is open to interpretation. I meant say “please”. He thought I was asking him to look me in the eye while giving orders. “Therwe’s no time!”. “That’s not how you ask for help, what’s the magic word?” I said, using my best mother voice. I should have known that this was going to backfire. It always does when I go all regular, cliché spouting, mom, on him. By this point he had turned the truck towards me, figuring he had complied with my directive. Climbing out, he removed the flimsy plastic fireman’s hat from his head and threw it. He positioned himself two inches away from my face and growled “How in the hell am I suppowsed to know what the magic word is? I’m a firewman, not a magician,”. I think a normal mother would have scolded her child for using adult language and being sassy. You can tell by my previous entries, that I’m not normal. I, obviously, laughed my ass off while maneuvering the child powered emergency response vehicle out from behind the screened-in roadblock. My irritated little hero went to put out the blaze, reporting back to the station that the delay was my fault and the Chief should talk to me about this.
Today, Justin Bieber was on a television commercial. I’m not a huge fan of his. I know lot’s of people are, I don’t understand why…but I don’t try to get in their way. We were watching a previously recorded concert featuring Willie Nelson. My boy was mesmerized, sitting Indian-style on the floor in front of the TV; I was finding it highly entertaining that he was so engrossed in Willie. After all, Willie is the man. Yes, he may be nasal sounding and look like he was carved from a rotting tree stump with a plastic butter knife, but he says some really deep, pretty shit. I was thrilled that my son is displaying an interest in acceptable music. I was equally elated when Bieber interrupted the concert to remind us that he has an annoying new album on the iTunes. The little guy is smart, he quickly made the connection that Nelson and Beiber don’t mix. He asked “Is that little girl going to be singing with Willie?” with the disgust he normally reserves for me when I suggest he hand over Elmo for a spin in the washing machine.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I know from personal experience that a personality like this cannot be contained. I can see that there are many parent/teacher conferences in my future. I think I may hire a stunt-double to attend these meetings. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hide my amusement when he gets expelled for explaining to his Kindergarten teacher that he has no formal experience in wizardry, when she expects him to say “please”. Wish me luck or send me a photograph with a short biography. Auditions will be held shortly.