Words I love come out of my childrens’ mouths. Words that make me cringe are formed on their delicate tongues. Words that surprise and amaze me flow from the box that works overtime in their shallow chests.
“Mommma. Look at my boobies!”
Maxine hoists up two balls she has stuffed into her shirt. She looks so ludicrous I can’t help but laugh. This eggs her on.
“MOOMMMAMAMA…I have big boobies.”
I finally scrape the amusement off of my face.
“Maxine. When you’re a little older your chest will be your private area, for you only. So it’s not really funny to talk about having boobies.”
Rose yells from the next room:
“PLUS MAX! Mom has big boobs and she’s constantly complaining how much they make her back hurt!”
Max is upstairs getting her Pjs on. Elijah and I are downstairs on the front room’s couch and I’m helping him get into his Pjs.
I hear Max grunting and struggling upstairs: “What the….what the…hey…why….”
“Maxine Baby. Do you need help?”
“I think so.”
“OK, just bring your stuff down here and I’ll help you.”
“Wait, I think I’ve got it. I just have to get this leg right side in and this arm out of the leg that’s upside right.” She’s talking to herself in hushed and thoughtful tones.
I stifle my laughter and continue dressing Elijah. Max hops down the stairs a few moments later.
“See Momma? That was just like eating cake.”
Olivia has had a strange shift lately from emotionally inept crater to queen of over sensitivity.
Jeremiah’s grandmum passed away on a weekend and the girls’ dad was nice enough to keep them for Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday. When they got back I explained to Max and Olivia why they had stayed with their dad. Olivia looks at me confused , her mouth full of questions of what I assume to be morbid in nature. Instead her eyes well up in tears.
“Olive, maybe it would be nice to give Jeremiah a hug.”
She runs out of the room and into Jeremiah’s arms. She breaks down and sobs....loudly.
“It’s just sooooo sad. Is she really dead?” and on and on like that. When she finally calms down and then whole minutes later her usual self flickers brightly across her freckled and dimpled face.
“Did you get to see her body?”
Rose and I were discussing where we were going for Thanksgiving this year while in our kitchen. She was watching me do the dinner dishes and asking a million questions.
“Well Mom. If daddy isn’t picking us up till bedtime where are we going to eat Thanksgiving dinner?”
“Well Rose. Either we’ll have it here at our house and grandma, pappy and your aunts and uncles will come here or grandma will have it at her house and we’ll all go up there.”
“Oh. Well Mom. You’re a really good cook and everything….but I definitely think Grandma should cook.”
“Oh. Well Rose. I’ll take that into consideration.”
She slinks out of the kitchen into the dining room and I overhear her frantically whispering to Olivia.
“Liv…you have to go in there and tell momma that we should go to grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. You know mom won’t use butter and she probably won’t even cook a TURKEY cause Liv…liv are you even listening??! Liv. Turkey is meat!…just tell momma that you miss grandma and want to go to her house for Thanksgiving.”
Olivia runs into the kitchen.
“Mom! Rosey says you’re not going to let us go to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving AND that you’re not making a turkey!”
Rose yells from the dining room: “LIV!”
Liv runs back into the dining room before I can counter her claims. She and Rose saunter back into the kitchen a few moments later, in serious gang formation with the scowls to accompany their obviously intent nature.
Rose speaks first, Intervention style:
“If you don’t make turkey for dinner on Thanksgiving Olivia and I are going to be very upset. We understand that you like not eating turkey, but we like turkey.”
This from the children whose vegetarian mother made them hot wings for dinner.