My kids have always been so supportive of my mistakes. Not! Let me tell you all about it with my lastest post at Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marie-zullo/we-all-make-mistakes_b_9704314.html?
So, Mark and I took the kids to Manhattan a few weeks ago to see the Lion King which, by the way, was an awesome experience. Anyway, my daughter, Kelly. was so excited once we got to the train station that she darted off the train ahead of me toward the door leading from the platform to the station above. I was barely keeping up with her when she abruptly slammed into the person in front of her who was standing just to the side of the door (because she had glanced back to check on my whereabouts). Unbeknownst to Kelly, she had just damn near tackled Cindy Lauper. Kelly apologized sheepishly and then went through the door. I, on the other hand, stood frozen in place and slack-jawed when Cindy Lauper then glanced up at me. And this is what I did not say: “Girl just wants to have fun.” *shrug and saunter off*
I did not say that. I wish I had, though. ‘Cause that would have been a way cooler story.
Oldest child: “Mom, can I watch South Park?
Me: “No, hon. You’ll have to wait until you’re older. It’s got a lot of adult content in it.”
Oldest child: *clearly offended and disagreeing with my errant logic* “So, you won’t let me watch South Park, but you’ll let me be exposed to you!!!???”
Hard to argue with that. The answer is still “No,” however.
Imaginary Friend: “Wow, you’re really putting your kids on the fast track to popularity.”
Me: “Hush, you.”
Anyway, while we were leaving the convention center a black woman and her two daughters came up to us and this happened:
Woman: *looking uncertainly at the many grown men dressed as “My Little Pony” characters* “What kind of convention is going on?”
Mark: “It’s a My Little Pony convention” (provides brief explanation).
Daughter of woman: “See, Mom! I told you!”
Woman: *rolling her eyes and muttering* “White people.”
Yep, I get that kind of respect and admiration everywhere I go.
Scott: My neck feels funny. (Note: in Scott-speak, neck means throat).
Me. Funny how?
Scott: Just funny. Do you have any medicine for that?
Me: It depends. Does it hurt when you swallow?
Me: Is it scratchy?
Can you describe it besides “funny?”
Scott: No. But I don’t like the way it tastes.
Me: How does it taste?
Scott: I don’t know. I don’t like it.
I ended up giving him some Snapple in one of those infant medicine dispensers. It worked like a charm.
Kelly and I recently went to Manhattan for the weekend to visit my mom’s best friends, Rita and Donnie and their grown kids. The first night we were there Rita and Donnie took us to a nice Italian restaurant. There were no kid’s menus so I asked the waiter if he would bring Kelly just a plate of spaghetti noodles with butter. And he didn’t roll his eyes. Anyway, Kelly ate the whole thing and then looked up and me and said, “Mom, these noodles are really good. They’re just like the ones at school.”
I’m sure the chef would be quite pleased to hear that.
Now I don’t know how many of the following are regional things. (I spent the 70s in Louisiana, mostly New Orleans. In the 80s we moved to Texas). So, think back and see if you can remember any of these things from your youth:
Everyone who does blink your extra eye or raise a flipper. This, my friends, is an
outdoor air conditioner sprinkler system mosquito spray truck. Because the neighborhoods where I grew up in the Deep South reached the approximate temperature of the surface of the sun each summer we (the neighborhood kids) were thrilled when the trucks came by in the early evenings. The spray was so cool. So we would run along the trucks as long as we could and do irreparable damage to our DNA cool down. It. Was. Awesome.
Again, because I grew up in the Intellectual Capital of the World, it made sense to have fireworks stands on damn near every corner. With no age restrictions (that I can remember) on the purchase of said explody things. Kids and explosives with little supervision. What could possibly go wrong? I had to ask.
Remember when aspirin was a staple in everyone’s medicine cabinets. That stuff was handed out like candy. My dad, in particular, thought that aspirin was the cure for everything. Headache? Aspirin. Tired? Aspirin. Hurt yourself? Aspirin. Now, of course, we don’t give kids aspirin because it can cause Reyes Syndrome. I don’t know what that is, but it probably isn’t good. My dad would probably insist that an aspirin would cure it, though.
Ok, so I have bought all kinds of seafood from pickup trucks on the side of the road in both Louisiana and Maine. I still see these trucks around in Maine. It seems to defy logic to buy something perishable (and potentially deadly if it’s gone bad) from the back of some guy’s truck, but I have never yet gotten sick from this. Probably because playing in mosquito spray
has made me invincible!
Old-style Playskool People
Remember these? These are the 1970’s version of Playskool people made conveniently trachea-sized. They were later replaced by non-trachea sized people which were, presumably, much more difficult for toddlers to jam down their throats.
Home-made Bike Ramps and No-Helmet Riding
High diving boards at the Public Pool
Easy Access Guns
Ok, so this may be a regional thing, but when I was growing up most everyone had guns. Texas, y’all. Anyway, when we would go visit my grandparents I would sleep in the guestroom where my grandfather kept one of his guns on top of the dresser within easy reach. (Unlike the picture he didn’t have a cell phone likely because he was not a time-traveler). Anyway,
despite the fact that I am clearly crazy I never, never, never even thought about touching that gun. Primarily because I knew that my parents would kill me and get rid of the evidence. I later did own guns as an adult, but got rid of them when I had children because I worried they would be less afraid of me than I was of my parents it seemed to be the safest option.
Leaded Gasoline and
Delicious, Delicious Paint Chips
Actually, maybe I should change the title from “How Did We Survive?” to “Age of Danger: How We Became Indestructible Superhumans.” That is a way cooler title.
So, I recently uploaded (downloaded?) some computer-monitoring software so that I can
ruin my kids lives monitor my kids’ activity on-line. Seems reasonable from my point of view, but a complete and total invasion of privacy to my older son as well as a perfect demonstration of exactly how much I don’t trust him. As my mom would say in these circumstances, “Tough.” My mom was nothing if not concise.
Anyway, my son realized that he could not access Netflix with this particular software on his iPad. In trying to see if I could fix that problem I logged on to the main page on the computer-monitoring software site on my son’s iPAD and (while I was there anyway) I looked over his recent on-line activity*. I decided to have some fun with him which led to this conversation:
Me: “Wow, looks like you’ve spent 80% of your time on-line accessing porn.”
Son: *without missing a beat* “Yeah, that sounds about right.”
I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed.
*his on-line activity was completely innocent.
So, this summer Mark and I took the kids to Maine for two weeks to visit my dad and step-mom. My sister, Page, and her family came over from California during the same period so the cousins got two weeks of uninterrupted together time. Which is especially nice since Page and I live on opposite coasts and our kids usually only get to see one another once a year. Like me, Page has a daughter and two sons, and the kids are fairly close in age. Anyway, the first full day we were there Page’s husband, Shane, brought the kids over to the cabin (where we were staying) from their place in town. We talked about the possibility of a sleepover that night if the kids were interested (they were). Shane left to run some errands leaving the kids with us for a few hours. And the kids had. a. great. time. It was one of those days that you recall years later when you think about good vacations and fun with your family. Anyway, Shane came back later with overnight stuff for the kids. As we were sitting at the kitchen table chatting the kids came crashing through the front door and chased one another through the kitchen out the back door while brandishing sticks and assorted nerf weapons. On their way by us this exchange happened:
My child: “MOM, WE’RE PLAYING PSYCHO KILLER!!!”
Me to child: “Neat. Have fun.”
Me to Shane: “So, the kids will be staying over tonight, right?”
* I kid. Shane is very chill. The kids spent the night and no one got any
So, my older son, who is nearly 14 years old, has developed an interest in anime. He has been watching several anime shows online for some time now after I have approved them (at least the ones I actually know about). I wasn’t sure about one particular show because the review online indicated that it contained more adult content (i.e. language, violence, all the stuff that makes for a great show), but I wasn’t completely opposed to it, so I said that I would watch the first episode with him to see if I thought it was ok. (I just cannot bring myself to watch anime alone. Just. can’t.).
Anyway, I was really surprised to find that I enjoyed it. It had sarcasm, fairly explicit humor, weapons, threats of violence, actual violence, but not over-the-top stuff. So I said that it would be ok for him to watch. So then we had this exchange:
David: “Do you think Dad would like it?”
Me: “I think Dad would love it.”
David: “Do you think I should show him?”
Me: “Sure, why not?”
David, “Well, what if he doesn’t let me watch it after he sees it?”
Me: “I already said that you could watch it.”
David: “Yeah, but he’s the more responsible parent.”
Me: ” ….” [actually speechless]
What. The. Fuck. Seriously? I can’t even….