PJ loves to hear stories and PJ loves to tell stories.
Her vocabulary growth boggles my mind, in both wonderful and horrific ways.
She has an opinion about most things, and is going to tell you in her own colorful or, perhaps, very direct way.
In the past couple of days she has left me nearly speechless a few times.
I will write the disclaimers first so you understand – these are funny.
And if you don’t understand that they are funny, I am sorry (for you).
Little Dude skinned his knee the other day. PJ is a pretty tough chick, but is particularly squeamish when her brother is hurt. (Keep this in mind later on to remind you that she does in fact love him.)
She wanted to see his wound, then quickly turned away.
“You’re bleeding, Little Dude.” she said.
“It hurts, but isn’t that bad.” I said.
“Yes, but blood sucks.” she replied.
I have been working out – ALOT. And I try to be very conscious of how I talk about it. Because, I am fat. But, you know, fat isn’t such a great word. And since my kid already says “sucks,” I am trying to draw the line. Yup, our line runs somewhere between “sucks” and “fat.”
When the kids ask me why I am going to the the gym, AGAIN, I will respond with, “To work out.” But, because they are three there is follow up questions #2 through #27. “Why do you need to work out?” That is when I have to try really hard not to say, “Because I am fat.” So, I try to say, “So I stay healthy.” Or “To keep fit.” Or “Because it is good for me.” With PJ that might lead to, “Oh, yeah, I learned about that on Sid.” And it might lead to 26 more questions that have me expounding on exercise philosophy and wondering where the hell SAG went.
Yesterday instead of going to the gym I went for a run. I wore one of those new-newfangled keep you warm when it is cold, cold when it is warm, wick the sweat and stop the rain shirts. So when I came in the house I had to TAKE IT OFF. After all, that miracle fabric did not do its job when I went from breezy and cool outside to stuffy and warm inside.
As I stood in the kitchen in my exercise bra and running pants PJ said, “Do you feel more fit?”
“Yes.” I replied.
“Cause you look fatter.” She answered.
SAG and I both laughed.
“Well, I feel better.” I said.
So much for keeping that word out of her vocabulary… And she did go on to say other things that lead me to believe she doesn’t have a firm grasp on what “fat” meant. Still, she might think about becoming a personal trainer someday.
Yesterday, our friends were getting ready to leave our house following lunch and a play-date. Little Dude followed them out the front door and immediately got in our mini- van closing the door after himself. I was trying to keep our dog from following our friends down the street while keeping my eye on Little Dude and dealing with PJ’s questions.
Then she asked, “What’s Little Dude doing in the van?”
“Making naughty choices,” I replied.
“Why is he making naughty choices?” she asked.
“Because he’s just being Little Dude,” I said. (In retrospect, I realize this sounds really awful and I need to rethink the way I talk about his non-stop antics. Because I see them as endearing – exhausting, but endearing and I probably don’t always sound like it.)
“You should buy a different one,” she said.
“What did you say?” I asked – calmly.
“You should take him back and adopt a different one,” she clarified.
“That’s silly. Little Dude is the perfect kid for our family. He is your brother and my son. He is ours and we wouldn’t trade him for anyone,” I answered.
I don’t think I have many readers who are super-sensitive. But in case that did make you suck in your breath (look at that – I just used the word suck) please know it was said in the way that a 3-yr-old tells her mother to return the newborn to the hospital – a completely COMMON thing to have a child say in any family. And the “buy” thing, well I appreciated the irony of it being said in an adoptive family situation. I am sure most kids believe their parents bought their siblings at a hospital, mine just thinks I bought her brother in Ethiopia.
I reflect on these situations light-heartedly. In general, they make me laugh. And laughing at absurdity is what keeps me sane. But I also turn a critical eye on myself as a mother…. I am quite certain she learned the word “sucks” from me. While I doubt I have ever directed it at her or used it in a conversation I was having directly with her, I am sure I have used it many times within her earshot. I am guilty as charged and appropriately mortified. On the other hand, I consciously try to avoid using the word “fat” and I know I have never suggested that we bought her brother.
One thing is for sure, the more I try to control, the higher the number of variables seem to increase, until the illusion of control that I was living under is completely blown apart. I simply can not control it all. But, I can laugh at it.