Friday, December 25, 2009

a not-quite Christmas Eve post


Its not just a question of religion that keeps me from joining the NoN (Naughty or Nice) adherents. I'm one of those people who will look at a filthy, grinning urchin - preferably one holding some crucial bit of electronics that, oh, probably used to hook up to other bits of electronics in some necessary fashion - and say, oh, but no child really wants to be bad.

I'm sure they don't. I'm also sure that occasionally, the evidence may be against me. And I know that some of you are nodding wisely, and contemplating those moments when my own offspring have provided that evidence. He'll have the shortest criminal career on record, said the Grandmere. The Toddles looked up from his delighted recitation, blinked and wisely made a break for it. He'll turn himself in, just as soon as he's committed the crime, she murmured. And in fact, his brother had done much the same.

Dunno if it's naivete or really, really poor memory that has them telling me their tales of evil genius, but hey, I do love that moment when I'm really, really not allowed to laugh. Still, because I'm a loving mother, and because the NoN database would eat my guys aliiiiiiiiive, I propose a different metric: Gets It or Not. Because really, if you are going to be naughty, you must be committing a deliberate act or misdemeanor - and I'm not sure my guys are reliably equipped to recognize the misdemeanors until a frothing parent is looking around for nicely aerodynamic objects. Or possibly until after.

(Again, the evidence may be against me here. Some of which we scrubbed off the walls just this morning, but hey.)

In the hopes of persuading the Powers That Might Be of the usefulness, or at least the entertainment value of this new approach, I offer some evidence that may or may not incriminate my children. Or their mother.

When it comes to this kid, he absolutely Gets It, assuming that "it" involves an inanimate object, written or calculable. (okay, maybe.) But he does not get Girls.

Yes, please note the capital "g" because oh, baby, here it comes: someone has a crush on our lad, and boy does he not get it. It's come in stages: last spring, he noticed that his female friends were much less fun to play with when they were together.

I don't know how to play those games right, he told me. What games?
Games pretending to be a family, or other people, he said.

Ah. And now, here is a girl who is metamorphosing into the more complex Girl, and he's even more baffled. She's my friend, he told me. It just means that she's a friend, he told the classmates teasing him about the crush. Maybe she's looking for more than simple friendship? I suggested. The Eldest looked at me, mildly irritated. She is a FRIEND, he said, and huffed exasperatedly.

Right, then.

To ask whether this kid Gets It or not, you need to first figure out whether he lives on the same sphere as the rest of we mortals. I'm not entirely certain that he does. Or that, if he does, the time and space match is quite right. Or something.

Oh, no! I say to the Toddles, we need to have left four minutes ago. We have to hurry - we have to go. Appalled, I begin grabbing more or less randomly for clothes and shrieking quietly about the lack of breakfast in my mornings. The Toddles, entertained, pauses at the top of the steps and watches.

What are you doing? I say, hitting a distinctly coloratura note. The Toddles looks at me, surprised. You have to go and get your shoes on! Your jacket! Your mittens! The Toddles meditatively strokes his favorite raggedy sweatshirt, and waits. NOW!!! I shriek, and the Toddles realizes: oh.

Before you ask, no, checklists mean nothing. Except to the Eldest, who very much does Get mornings, and takes checklists/maternal notes/time, space and all that jazz oh-so seriously. Dressed and packed up, the Eldest runs around in a near-panic, trying to suction his brother into a jacket, insert sibling feet into shoes, lunchboxes into bags. And his brother grins, loving the new player in this odd, morning game, while I irritate the dog next door. Cheerful ditties and sayings about "ready for the day before you play" merely entertain the Toddles. And rewards are a cruel tease for a child who wanders through the morning, cheerfully certain that all of this bustle is someone else's problem.

(I might possibly be jealous - but then again, I'm fairly certain that the someone else is, alas, me.)

But for all that the Toddles does not Get It re:mornings, perhaps he Gets one thing - he has, he informs me, a girlfriend. Oh, I said. Who? The Toddles grinned proudly. Girl Adorable. She's my special friend. I grin back. I can deal with that, I told him.

The Eldest, bustling through his morning routines, paused, shook his head at us, and kept moving.

Driving to school, late for the nth time, I make a mental note: yes. Boo to NoN - and yes, to my poor, straw GIoN, we're wallowing in the process.

Coming Soon: the Eldest kicks some process tushie, and we all follow him


jgfellow said...

Alas, the GIoN database has also been hacked:

dykewife said...

oh, vive la difference, right? boy's one of those for whom time is vital. we don't tell him we're leaving at a specific time because when it gets to that time and we're not ready (hey, it can happen) he starts upping the anxiety levels. we tell him "ish" time. it has saved on frayed nerves. even at 17 the idea of being late for anything causes him much distress.

i wonder if it's genetic. bran is the same way.