Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ties that Bind

Half way through our 2 week long family vacation, the 5 year old says, “I’m just so sick of being with my family. I need to see someone else!” Tempting though it was, I did not put a sign around her neck and leave her at the closest on-ramp. Next time we go on a family vacation, we’re doing an all-inclusive thing, where we don’t actually have to see each other. I hear Disney cruises are good for that.
This is the same child who told me she wants me dead. In the middle of a book, she said, “I want to be an orphan.” Instead of bursting into tears, which was my first reaction, I tried to find out what I had done that would cause such angst in my child. “Because orphans get all the candy they want.” Ah. Apparently, the worst part about having a mother is the whole limiting-of-the-junk-food aspect.
First day of school this week. All the other kindergartners hung out with their parents until the teacher walked them inside, most of them unwillingly. Not mine. She walked right up to her teacher and only occasionally glanced back at me, with annoyance, I think. And after class, as I waited close to tears from missing her, when all the other children ran with open arms to their parents, my child sauntered out of the room, stopping about 15 yards from me. Thinking she didn’t see me, I started waving frantically. She looked at me, but since she didn’t move I thought she still hadn’t seen me. I added a little hop to my waving.
“Oh, hi, baby,” she said to her 2 year old sister who had grabbed her around the legs. Looking back at me, she turned half away and started talking to the favored one, asking how her day went, etc. For this I went through labor? So the mountain went to Mohamed in about 3 strides, grabbed her in a hug and refused to let go until the hug was returned, however begrudgingly. Just to get even, I’ve met her outside her door every single day this week. A little less self-confidence and a little more co-dependency would be appreciated, thank you very much.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nacho Rider

We’re ordering room service at the hotel because that’s our favorite thing about staying in a hotel. Not that the food is good, because it never is, but there’s something Oscar-Wilde-decadent about ringing the butler to bring a PB&J. My daughters and I had decided on nachos, but first I needed to know if one order would fill our bellies or if we’d need to toss in some onion rings.
So I call the 20-something kid in the kitchen.
“How big are your nachos?” I ask.
And I wait patiently while he laughs.
“Well, my nachos…” he laughs some more. And I think I ought to be given an honorary sainthood for my forbearance. Oh, lots of things sprang to mind, things I would not have hesitated to say 20 years ago. Now, however, I applaud myself for keeping my mouth shut while he gets over his big bad self.
I look at my husband and wonder that such a terrific person comes from the same hormone pool as boys who fling jock straps at each other. I’m amazed that the same chemical makeup that produced Jim Carey has produced my spouse. And I wonder, too, what secret manly traits lurk in his depths. Someday, they may come out. He may start laughing at statements like, “Do you know where the hose is?”
Oops, too late. He read this over my shoulder and laughed. “Always count on the consistency of 12 year old men,” he said. And then he turned on the TV and made the “turning on the TV” noise that men everywhere hear as a mating call.
Sainthood, here I come.