Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shock and Awe

“Dad, what’re those things next to your peanut?”
“Testicles.”
“And they make babies?”
“They help make babies.”
“I don’t have testicles.”
“No.”
“I have a vagina.”
We’ve gathered in the bedroom before school, hanging out with Hal as he gets dressed, and I’ve just learned that my daughter has changed “penis” into “peanut.” This is how nicknames develop, I think to myself.
The 3 year old continues her line of questioning.
“What’s that for?” she asks, pointing at the flap in Hal’s undies.
I answer. “That’s a pocket for his peanuts.”
She corrects me. “Peanut, not peanuts. There’s only one.” Ah, how silly of me. I’m hoping we can continue this conversation for a long time. We’re about to head to the gym, and the babysitters love it when children talk about anatomical parts. ‘Course, they probably won’t get the whole “peanut” thing, but she says “vagina” so you can’t mistake it. I’ve found that most people get fidgety and walk away when someone says that word, so I teach it to my kids as early as possible. I also allow them to talk about it wherever they want (not that I could stop them, anyway) because I enjoy the looks we get at the grocery store, church, after picking them up from playdates…

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When 2 Tribes Go to War

I am the most popular person in the country right now. I get visits every week, usually 2-3 times, from stumpers out convincing plebeians to see it their way. You see, I’m a suburban white mother, registered but unaffiliated, in a swing state during a Presidential election year. Normally I don’t answer the door on Saturdays (never anyone I want to know.) But, recently, I’ve been inundated. Hal mops up the overflow on days, like yesterday, when I don’t feel well enough to talk politics with complete strangers.
Last week, I got a visit from a 20-something who smelled like he hadn’t met a shower. He wanted me to vote ‘no’ on 3 proposals. I asked him what the proposals said. I assumed, mistakenly, that since he knew so much about them, he’d certainly have them written down somewhere, perhaps on a handy-dandy little flier he could give me. Nope. He could tell me why they were bad, but not what they said. And, when I told him in my sweet ‘get a real job’ voice that I would like to read the proposals for myself, he said, and I am not kidding, “They’re too complicated.” Um, thank you oh noble Neanderthal, but I think Geico wants you back on the set. Good grief! I mean, maybe you think I’m an idiot or maybe you think proposals are always written in a difficult language. But please don’t insult the lady in the apron! Just because I’m at home during the day doesn’t mean my brain synapses only fire to soap operas! (They really get going to Wiggles, but that’s a different blog.)
Anyway, so while I enjoy the extra attention during this campaign season, I won’t be sad to get out of it and into gift-buying season, when the doorbell rings at nap time because packages are being delivered. If my kid’s gonna wake up too early, at least let it be the Wells Fargo Wagon at my door.
Besides, I’m probably voting for Nader.