Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Critical Mom's Memories

Somehow or other, I've always kept a journal, and I'm glad that even though I was writing almost in my sleep when my children were young, I recorded some doozies.  Samples:

First son, then age three, ran stark naked down the stairs after a bath when he was supposed to remain upstairs, donning his pajamas.  Picture the energetic child laughing maniacally as he escapes the clutches of the middle-aged (at this point 44-year-old; God, how young) mother who yelps ineffectually:

"You come back here!  Come here or I'll grab you!"

"Gwab me!  Gwab me!" yelled the imp, delirious with delight.  "Or I won't like you anymore!"  (Pause.)  Turning to the exhausted Mom at the top of the stairs with a winning smile,  he added, "It's just an expression!"

The same child, the same year, coming home from day care:  "Why does it rain?  Oh, I know, 'cause God is sad, and also it's good for our plants!"

Unsurprisingly, the kid's brother and sister have at least the same energy level.  The brother, same age (three does seem to be a self-assertive time in a person's life):  Mommy leaves the room for a nanosecond; comes back to find the brother has dumped an entire jar of strawberry jam on his 14-month-old sister's head.  She looks exceedingly startled, then appears to reflect and to conclude that this must be part of the normal course of events.  She seemed considerably less sanguine when I left the room for the proverbial nanosecond while she was in the bath, and her brother seized the opportunity to dump half a bottle of shampoo on her head. 

Now, this girl is most logical.  At six, she looked at an ancient and beautiful monastery which we were observing from the window of a home in a traditional Bavarian village, and when I said that for many years monks had lived there, she asked:  "What kind of monks?  Chipmunks?"

Ah, those were the days.  Now it's all about "Why can't I have Grand Theft Auto?" and "But he really is an asshole and I know I'm not supposed to say that but I don't know another word!  Asshole!" or "I don't feel like practicing my recorder today" (with an affecting sob).

It's true.  They are growing up.  And it's still the greatest show on earth.


  1. Oh, there's so much more where that came from, Anonymous! Thanks.