Monday, October 13, 2008

Vignettes

Once, after a meal in a Chinese restaurant, my friend got a fortune that read: You are the center of everyone's attention. It really annoyed me, mostly because it was true and I was jealous.

Careful what you wish for...

There's certainly no doubt about who is the center of attention Chez Moi. It is not unusual for Satchel, Jiro, and Warren to simultaneously talk to me with no regard for the fact that two other people are trying to talk to me and that I can't possibly process three different story lines simultaneously.

I'm good, but not that good!

***

While running errands on Sunday, Jiro asked where we were going. "The grocery store," I said. "And I don't want to hear any I want, I need, or Can I get."

"I know the rules already!" he bragged.

"Okay," I said. "What are they?"

"No running, no screaming, and no being annoying."

"That's right," I laughed.

We've been going to the grocery store a lot lately. There seems to be something the kids want on every aisle. It gets old. Quick. My answers to the constant I want, I need, or Can I get is usually, "No," followed by a vague, "Maybe next time..."

So, in an attempt not to be annoying (I assume), Jiro asked several times, "Can we get _ next time?"

It was more cute than it was annoying.

What was not cute was when I came back from grabbing some tortillas and Jiro, holding a big bag of Cool Ranch Doritos said in amazement, "I asked Daddy if I could have these and he just put them in the basket!"

***

Today I took the monkeys and their friend Kai to the park. Before hiking the trails, they did a quick a tour of the red playground. Kai and Satchel were happily swinging on one side of the swing set and Jiro and I were happily swinging on the other. I was close enough to eavesdrop on Satchel & Kai's conversation...

Satchel asked Kai, "What are you afraid of?"

"Dying," he said without missing a beat.

Satchel smiled and said, "I'm afraid of the dark and zombies."

Kai followed up with, "I'm afraid of zombies coming alive."

They kept on like this for a bit, and while it wasn't the lightest of conversational topics, I couldn't help beaming. It was so sweet to see them unself-consciously discussing their fears with each other.

I wasn't too worried either. I remember being the same age and insisting that my mom check my bed for ticks every night. I also remember running down to my parents bed in the middle of the night for various reasons. My parent's room was really dark and once there, I always thought for sure I was going blind, but I feared being alone more than going blind.

***

I have a degree in Psychology, but it doesn't do me any good with the monkeys. Jiro, at four, has already mastered reverse psychology. If I say something like, "If you want a popsicle for dessert, you have to eat your broccoli," he responds with, "I'm not going to eat any dinner unless you give me a popsicle."

Likewise, I bought a bag of Hershey's kisses to keep in my desk at my office, but the monkeys found it before I could get it there. So, I ended up pouring half in my purse and let Jiro put the other half on the snack shelf in the pantry. Later I moved the bag up a few shelves in the hopes that he would forget about its existence. (Satchel doesn't like sweets.) When he saw it on the top shelf he asked me why I moved it. I played dumb and moved it back down. We went through this a few more times before he finally said, "If you keep moving the bag up, I'm going to eat a lot! If you put it on my shelf, I promise I won't."

And, he hasn't.

However, I'm slowly chipping away at them. I'm sure once he sees the empty bag I'm going to get an earful!

1 comment:

Smackie Chan said...

how on earth do you define annoying to a small child? anything that he might do?

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