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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Our Folks

My husband and I often tease one another about our families. We both agree that our parents are from DC.... "Deep Country". They often say things that we used to be embarrassed about. I remember back when we were dating and my mom would say something incorrectly, and usually I knew it was coming, I would just close my eyes and drop my head. That was when I was trying to be impressive of course. When his relatives did it, he would give me the, "Say something!" look. Now we compete to see which side says the funniest thing. My mom is funny because she puts an S on everything and/or changes letters: "I'll call ya back, I gotta run to Walmarks" or "Walmarks didn't have it but Targets might have it". My mom still believes in some superstitions too. I still get dizzy when I see black cats because she thought it was bad luck to look at a black cat that crossed your path, so she told us to close our eyes and turn around ten times. And no, there is nothing wrong with her! Well, don't get to see my father-in-law often. He doesn't live in NC but was about an hour away from us doing some contract work and called my husband to see if we could meet up with him. "What hotel are you staying in?" my husband asked. "Uh, I'm not sure," he answered. "Are you in the hotel?" my husband sarcastically asked. My father-in-law walked outside. "Oh, it's the Random Inn," he said. My husband moved the phone from his ear and looked at me. "I think he is staying at one of those smaller, locally owned hotels." He spoke back to his father, "Well, I'm not sure how to get there, but we will- naw, naw, naw, wait a minute," he said. He moved to the edge of the couch, rubbed his temples and asked, "Pop, how do you spell the name of the hotel?" His father slowly spelled it, "R-A-M-A-D-A". My husband closed his eyes and dropped his head. He knew I was one up on him now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

" My Own Shoes"

I remember getting "whoopings" as we say in the South, and then being so angry afterwards. I was ready to unleash on someone. But I wasn't crazy enough to think for a moment about it being my mom. And she could give 'em [whoopings] too. I really believed what she always said, "I brought ya in this world and I'll take ya out!" She would get me wherever the crime was committed: store, church, playground, skating rink, mall- it didn't matter. My mom would just raise her eyebrows at me and I stood at attention. No, I wouldn't dare think of taking my anger out on any adult, but one of my dolls would get her plastic body tore up. I would whip and talk on beat,"Didn't- I- tell- you-". Oh I vowed then that later when I had children of my own, I was going to whip their little butts as well.
Well as I have mentioned, we have two. When we usually go out shopping it is.... an adventure, for lack of a more suitable word. I put both of them in a cart. Yes people usually look at us and I realize it is probably because they are too big for the carts. Their knees are close to their chests and they can hardly move but it's only temporary. Before my brothers and I went into stores with my mom she gave us the five second warning, "You bet not touch nothing!" And we didn't need a cart for confinement. Well, upon entering Target, I give my warning, "Okay, if you are good, then daddy will take you to McDonald's". Ten minutes in and they are at each other as usual. I get them calm for all of five minutes, so I decide to speed through the store to get my items and think about how I am gonna get 'em when we get home. I finally get to the register. They see candy and beg for it. By this time they have managed to get on their knees and can reach for things. I take the candy and put it back and firmly tell them no. Our youngest begins to whine, while our oldest has her eyes closed, is smiling and humming. There is an older woman behind us, looking over her glasses at me with a look that says, "If you don't get yo' children". I flashback to my mom and try to step into her shoes. I tell them to get it together, then give them the "eyebrow raise", but my mom's shoes don't fit- my daughter raises her eyebrows back and says, without a fear in the world, "Mama why you looking at me like this?"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"If You Can't Say Amen.... Say Ouch!"

The other day I'm driving along the highway, when an old song comes on the radio. I turn it up and sing along- "It's gettin' hot in here so take off all yo' clothes... I am gettin' so hot I wanna take my clothes off..." Oblivious for a moment that the two little ones are in the back. "Cut it down mama," one said. "That used to be mamma's song," I say while turning it up. They are in the back with their hands over their little ears. Sometimes you just wanna hear something other than Kidz Bop or Nursery Rhymes, ya know?
Then Sunday after church services, I'm chatting with two other moms about how we have to be mindful about what we expose our kids to because their minds are like little sponges. Well we are standing there in the middle of the foyer, being "prim and proper"- sharing how we only do the right things and go by the books when it comes to raising our children. "You know they say our kids are reflections of us," one friend smiles. We all fold our arms, nod and give an, "Amen!" when we hear singing a few short steps away- everyone in the foyer looks at two kids singing and dancing, "It's gettin' hot in here.. so take off all yo' clothes..." then their voices grow louder, "I am gettin' so hot, I wanna take my clothes off." My five-year-old smiles at me and says, "That's my mamma's song." I feel myself melting like the witch in Wizard of Oz. The two women slowly turn and look at me and all I can say is...."ouch!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A New Daddy?

Once home from McDonald's, daddy and I put the kids to bed. An hour later, my husband [not mad at him now so "Dude" isn't his name] calls me into the living room. "Listen to them talking," he whispers while pointing upstairs to the kids rooms. We huddle at the bottom step to listen. "Him is ridiculous!" our three-year-old son says. "I not gonna be he friend anymore," he adds. "Lord Jesus," his sister replies. Daddy is smiling and trying not to laugh. "I'm gone get a new daddy," our son adds. "That's it! Let's get a new daddy," our daughter agrees. Oh the smile slowly turns to a frown now. "Why aren't they talkin' about you?" daddy whispers. I shrug my shoulders, "They are used to me gettin' on 'em." We continue to eavesdrop as they come up ways to get a new daddy. Can it be "eavesdropping" if they are minors living in our house? They finally agree that they will ask Santa for a new daddy and, "We can keep mommy for now."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Daddy Knows Best

I got a good laugh today when my husband tried to play the "disciplinarian" with our two kids. Our five-year-old daughter, is great at manipulation already and our three-year-old son is.... well... he is his mother's child as my husband says whenever he gets into something. Today they both had bad days at school. Normally when I tell "Dude" (husband) about them he gives the old, "Now you know better!" OOOOOOOOOOOh, I'm gonna call Social Services if he does that again. GIVE ME A BREAK!!
Later, she is cuttin' up again in front of some other parents. He sees my look (the I'm gonna git ya when we get home look) and he stands up and calls her over- nicely. He then motions for our son who is on my lap. They come to him and he starts acting like Cliff Huxtable- talking to them ever so kindly, slowly and never raises his voice. He explains that they have to be a good boy and girl and how important it is to listen and do the right things. The other parents are smiling with their "oh, that is so sweet" faces. He gives them choices and then warns them that mommy is angry. And I am...pissed!!! For lack of a worse word. He tells them how much he loves them and blah blah blah. The parents look over at me like I stink. And I didn't make it any better by folding my arms and walking out alone. Folks just don't know. Dude then gets them buckled in and starts trying to add on to his Huxtable talk while driving home. Well here is where he messes up- he begins trying to use words in the wrong context. Now our daughter is smart as umm.... him so she corrects him a few times and once she asked him what the meaning of one word was and he got mad. This story ends with her interrupting Dude's lecture with a, "Daddy can we get some McDonald's?" and he firmly replies, "We can get it this time but from now on when you don't do the right things, you don't get treats." As we pull out of the parking lot of McDonalds, Rudy- I mean our daughter and son are fighting over their food. A drink spills and I cross my leg, recline my seat and calmly ask, "You know you cleaning that mess up, right?"