Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lovely Children, Mrs. Muse-Swings!

My sister Mary sent me this card for my B'day last month. It reminded me of the charming things our children say. Those of you in bloggy land probably have a list stuck in the Baby's First Years book and are planning to use it for blackmailing them later. If you don't, you should. I do. (Jennifer, don't forget to get me that C-note by Friday or I'm tellin about the time you...)
I have a few dozen perfectly good extortion stories in the baby book, but my favorite story of all involves some other person's child:
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A friend of ours used to take his young son, Jason, to work with him. He owned his own business and installed flooring and carpets. He and 4 year old Jason were busy installing wall to wall carpeting one day when the lady of the house peeked around the corner and asked how they were doing. Jason replied: "My Dad says the damn carpet is too f%#*#ing short."
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One of the things I was always proud to announce about my own children is they didn't embarrass me in public. No laying on the grocery store floor kicking and screaming that they wanted the Bat Man juice instead of Welch's. No public accusations of child abuse, no breath holding or beating each other to a pulp in the front yard. Had they acted like some children I have seen through the years I would have packed a taser. But no need. Thank you Jennifer and Jason! They did all of the crazy stuff at home, within reach of the nearest time out corner.
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We often had important discussions at the dinner table. Anything was open to discussion. Like the day Jason asked what the "bad "C" word meant. There's only one bad "C" word that I know, and neither the Mister nor I have ever uttered it. The Mister and I both paused in mid bite. You could hear dust fall. You could hear butter melting.
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I luckily remembered a good rule of thumb: Always make sure you know what your child is really asking. Don't just volunteer information - like that old story about the child who asked his mom where he came from. The mother proceeded to give him the complete explanation of the mom and the dad who loved each other very much and yatta yatta. After explaining the entire reproductive story, she paused and the child said "not that. I just want to know was I born in Detroit or in Oak Park.
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As it happened, I never had to give that little birds and bees speech to my children. Their little friend Stacy gathered all the neighborhood children together and read them the book her mom specifically said NOT to share with other children: "Mommy, Where Did I Come From" It was a lot more specific than just answering Detroit or Oak Park. Learned a few things from it myself. Other than clarifying a few points afterwards, my kids were set for life.
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My little friend Cheryl told me the facts of life when I was about eight. I, of course, didn't believe a word she said and asked mom about it the minute I got home. Heh heh heh. You could hear the dust fall. You could hear butter melt.
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So, anyway, I asked Jason what word it was that he wanted to know about, and assured him it was okay to say it this one time.
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Jason said. "crap"
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The mister and I began to breath again.
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Turns out I said "crap" all the time back then, but meant nothing more than junk and garbage when I said it. If it was good enough for my mom to say, it was good enough for me. So I explained that depending on how it's used, it may not be a bad word at all
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My daughter announced she was very relieved to hear that. She said she thought I spent a good portion of the day swearing when I went through my "pick all this crap up off the stairs before someone falls and breaks their %#$*@ neck" routines.
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I made a point to be more specific about exactly what was on the stairs and quit using the word crap. The rest stayed.
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So, I guess the main lesson here is actually the question we started with: "Who do I have to kill to get a beer around here?!"
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Little Cindy

28 comments:

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I'm laughing so hard I'm speechless!! Yeah, write it down .. it's a first. [huge grin] Kids do say the darndest things (unfortunately, it's usually right in front of the Pastor or someother unfortunate person we are trying to impress).

Now, who DO we have to kill to get a beer around here .... ?? ♥ ∞

MuseSwings said...

I'm looking through the crowd right now, Sparky - if anyone shows up with a beer in their hand I'll get 'em for us!

Lavinia said...

This is funny. My daughter never embarrassed me in public either. She was never one given to toddler tantrums. She just quietly went about her business in stores, i.e. taking hold of the *one* think she wanted and carrying it discreetly until we got to the cashier. Whereupon she would place it on the counter when I wasn't looking. When I did see it, I would always say the same thing: If you still want it ten minutes from now, we'll come back and get it. Guess what, it was always forgotten the moment we left the store. Never had to go back once, ha ha ha!!!!

Lavinia said...

An adventure! Yes Dahlink! I completely agree! What did you have in mind? Are you still thinking? I have been thinking too. I think it should involve Europe, Mr. Peck, and luxury. I'm in that kind of mood.

MuseSwings said...

Ah, Lavinia - that is my mood also. My brain cells are not functioning well enough to put a plan together at the moment which is why I rang you immediately - I feel if we both work on this we'll have something brilliant in progress just hours from now!

MuseSwings said...

Oh, Lavinia, I'll need a list of countries that we have been summarily banned from ever entering again.

nanatrish said...

Cute kids stories! You are a funny chick! I can't wait for the ADVENTURE!!!!!

Lavinia said...

Muse Swings, an award awaits you at the birdbath!

Lavinia said...

Muse Swings, my Confidential Secretary, Miss Enid Eniddle, just handed me a crisply typed piece of paper upon which was a list of countries that won't let us 'officially' cross their borders. (nudge nudge wink wink).

They are: Croatia, Spain, Albania, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, and Finland. We *were* banned from Luxembourg up until last month, but that was all ironed out after you returned the whatchamacallit to the Duke of Whosit.

Hmmmmmppphhhh....

MuseSwings said...

What about Malta, did she say anything about Malta? Nana Trish was with us at the time and if necessary I'm sure Trish will vouch that we were only there to try shoes on (wink wink) She may have to speak directly with Cpt.Oxnard Deeter Moof of the Royal Malted Police.

Blicky Kitty said...

My children would never embarrass me in public -- unless you count the time my 2 year old sang Baby Got Back (I like big butts and I cannot lie, You othah bruthahs can deny, But when a girl walks in with a itty bitty waist, and a round thang in your face you get sprung...) to our minister, only a few weeks after we had first met her. I should explain that she learned it from Shrek...but that really don't get me off the hook.
I heard that Captain Moof was too busy planning a ball. I think the police wanted to throw a fundraiser to solicit money from Malta's dairy farmers. It's the annual Malted Milk Ball.

Devoted said...

Thanks for stopping by. LOL! My five year old grandson, Gage, told me just theother day that he thought I was 90! I told Jimmy it was time for a make-over for Granna! :-D Have a great weekend.

Debby said...

I once heard the story of a minister giving a children's sermon to all the kidlets. He commented on 'little darling's' nice dress. Little darling had something to say, so he held the microphone to her lips, and LD said, "Thank you. My mama says it's a *#@%& to iron."

Lavinia said...

Muse swings, I was hopint you wouldn't mention Malta. I still blush to remember the goings on in that little island. We almost incurred the wrath of the Knights Templar there, didn't we! Still gives me the shivers to recall how we made that narrow escape from that crypt. Very delicate situation, wasn't it, trying to convince that monk that we *weren'* trying to make off with the priceless relics, we were only trying to photograph them for our blogs!

Anyhoo, what a relief that Nanatrish saved the day and the mayor allowed us to keep the key to the city of Valetta after all.

Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it, I am thinking our adventure should involve the apartment I keep in Rome. Don't you?

MuseSwings said...

Rome! Sounds splendid! But first - Did you get rid of the body????

Lavinia said...

In answer to your question, I paid 50,000 lire to that Etruscan gravedigger to buy his services (and his silence), so I suppose, yeah, that little 'problem' was taken care of.

But keep that under your hat. Or should I say under one of your many feather trimmed, fruit-laden, beribboned confections specially custom made for you by Hatty Hairpin, Milliner to the Stars.

soulbrush said...

give the brat a beer for god's sake!

MuseSwings said...

Bwa hahahaha! That Eustracian grave digger! Again! We need to just put him on the payroll. Look who's talking about who's hats, dahlink - you have struck a millinery nerve. Those conical flapjacks you insist on prancing about in have been out of season for days! You must get Miss Wren to stop producing those and go for the newer saute pan look that one sees on the streets of Paris. Keep the feathers and birds nests if you must, but time for a new look. The tide has "terned" as they say.

Devoted said...

Not only have I passed along this award to you (please pick it up at my site) I have nominated you for the blog of the day award. I really enjoy your posts. God bless! ~Theresa :-D

Bibi said...

Ha! I love your posts. Almost regret taking a road trip this weekend; no computer access unless I take my laptop. When my son was little here in Serbia around 25 years ago (when he was five), there were not so many people whom one ran into who spoke English as as mother tongue, i.e. few tourists. Even fewer black people, so when we went to visit friends in D.C., on our first outing we were seated beside a black family in the subway. He said to me,"Mommy, mommy! Look at those people over there!:|" I went crimson. Then he said enthusiastically, "They're speaking ENGLISH!"

MuseSwings said...

Devoted! Thank you - I will be right over!

Bibi - What a hoot! Cool that he noticed them because of the language!

We were coming down the stairs in a building once when a Chinese family walked by. Both of my children, who were studying about people around the world in their pre-school class- spotted them and in unison yelled Chi-neeeeeessse! I kind of melted into the background as much as possible. Enjoy your road trip this weekend! It's wonderful that you travel around the country as much as you do. We certainly benefit by your delightful pictures!

Lavinia said...

I blame it all on Hattie Hairpin. Furhter, I'll have you know my hats are the very height of fashion in Siberia! Ha ha ha ha. Oh wait...that was during the Soviet era. Oh, right.....okay, well...er...perhaps its time I put the 'vintage' away and got me something from Hattie's newest line, "The Young and the Nestless".

MuseSwings said...

So it seems as though, hats aside, there are no outstanding warrants on either of us in Rome. I recommend a weekend at your apartment with plenty of Italian food, sight seeing (Mr Peck can help us with that - he claims he's been on a Roman Holiday there - and we'll invite everyone who would like to go. Plus a sleepover and a day to take care of getting those grapes stomped at my Museiano vineyard. The burgundy grapes are as ripe as...well, they're ready for picking. Your apartment sleeps 30 or so, doesn't it? If you count the day bed in the library and the hammocks in the solarium. I'll take care of the Vespa rentals. I think Stevie the Wren will provide security -she's got connections in Sicily these days. Get the Parmesan out of the fridge - we're heading to Rome! (The Young and the Nestless Bwahahahahaha!) I'll get an invitation together tomorrow.

Lavinia said...

Fabulous! I'm just digging through my folders, choosing pics of my Rome apartment....I'll post once your invite is up. As for the Museiano vineyard, I think I may have a few of those too, from the last harvest I attended.......

MuseSwings said...

Perfect! I'm so glad you took plenty of pics during our last ... uhm... trip. Thanks again for your help at that last harvest. Fine time for the workers to go on strike. I never would have made it if you hadn't been sprinting around the vat at double time.

steviewren said...

So, I'm in the Sicilian protection business now is it. You two wayward travelers need new jackets, you know those nice white jackets with the crossed arms. It would be a great look for the both of you. You could share a room too at a nice facility I know of. Let me take care of all of your travel arrangements......

MuseSwings said...

Stevie: Bwa hahahaha!

Shellmo said...

Love this - glad it was only the "crap" word. I heard my 9 yr old stepson ask my husband to come upstairs for "christ sakes!" had to have a talk w/ my mister on that one!