Monday, April 30, 2012

And what have we learned today…?

Last night as I was settling into an evening plan that featured a shower, knitting and something martial arts-y on Netflix, someone came upstairs and said the husband wanted me out in front of the house.

For something that wasn’t good.

I was expecting something like a broken tool in the garage, or a fallen-over fence part, or even a stolen lawnmower.

I was not expecting that one of the Denizens had thrown a toy gemstone toward the neighbor’s lawn, instead pitching it into the back window of another neighbor’s Explorer – shattering it in a glorious shower of safety glass nuggets.

Holy Crap, Child!

(And right here I have to own up to a peculiarly bizarre form of pride, because one of my first coherent thoughts upon witnessing this and hefting the Implement of Destruction in my hand, was Wow…I had no idea she had that good an arm on her! Not bad, kiddo! – and then I was all, No! No, Tama! BAD THINKING! You are supposed to be all angry and saddened and SERIOUS right now, not thinking that maybe what this kid needs most is to do time on a baseball time to learn how to AIM a little better…!)

(I am dying to get the girls into some form of sports. They don’t “do” sports. They do chess club and book club and art club, but nothing that involves running / kicking / throwing / sweating. This is called “being exactly like their father at that age.” Whereas I was one of those kids who had to have the {volley, base, basket, foot} ball pried out of her claw-like hands at night and be dragged home kicking and screaming the whole way about how unfair it all was. STUPID DINNER, WHO NEEDS IT, I WAS GONNA WIN!!!)

So I put on Serious Face and made Serious Noises. And I felt bad for Danger Mouse, because she’s crying and embarrassed as all @*^&@, and has that look that clearly says, “Why won’t the earth just open up and swallow me right now?!”

I finally sent her into the house to have a little witness-free panic attack while we grownups stood around and talked about kids today and how they all do that and making arrangement with the neighbors to take ownership of their out of pocket costs for replacing it, and so on and so on.

These neighbors, by the way, are a “no kids” household. Which was part of the reason the kids were all terrified about having broken out one of their windows. We have told them approximately 32 million times to stay the heck away from that house. Right now, there is a (guesstimate) 30-foot boat (not theirs, but parked right there nonetheless because of course it is!), an equally enormous RV, two Corvettes, the Explorer, a vintage VW bug and a very new Civic hybrid in and around that driveway.

It’s just not a good place for a pack of children to be getting all wild and crazy, you know?

They are not “kid people,” either. They’re nice folks and don’t have any active dislike for children, but they’re also not people who are like, um, well, me.

I dote and fawn and forgive just about anything kids get into, really. They’re going to be messy and noisy and obnoxious, they break things and eat stuff you were saving for something else. It’s sometimes really hard for me to act like The Mom©, too; I mean, how do I look them in the eye and be all, “That was wrong, girls, very wrong indeed…!” about something I did about eight thousand times myself at their ages?

They’re more of the “I guess we’ll just have to tolerate this for a while, until they all grow up and leave” variety. And we try to keep the kids from frolicking around their stuff, but at the same time…kids are like cats that way.

Have you ever noticed that if there is one person in an entire crowd of people who has a dislike for cats that borders on a phobia, and there is a cat anywhere in the vicinity, the varmint will hone in on that one person and begin making all kinds of love at them?

Kids do that with people who don’t really like kids, too. My youngsters had to be watched like hawks whenever they had sidewalk chalk, because the little Rembrandts would migrate themselves to the one driveway in the court that was acid-washed annually to keep it in like-new gray glory (whereas the rest of us go with the mottled “interesting patterns created by allowing crap to Just Sit on your driveway, like, FOREVER, instead of sweeping it regularly strategically allowing certain natural elements to imprint random dyes into the concrete over time” look).


Well…it’s probably going to be a rather pricy way to learn a lesson about thinking about what is going to happen before the object has left your hand – which is, frankly, not one of Danger Mouse’s stronger points. She will still do the darnedest things, only realizing it was a terrible idea after the goats are running around downtown eating the petunias and pooping on the sidewalks.

And I think an excellent way to reinforce that lesson would be to sign her up for a season of baseball. If you wanna be throwing things, here’s a few pointers, honey…


Layne Bushell said...

All I can say is, "Oh no." and "I'm sorry." with a sheepish grin. That is the pits to have to transfer that money from debt reduction to pay off car window. Yikes. But it was still a great story, and I would have thought the exact same thing as you...way to go and lets sign you up for some baseball!!!

Steph B said...

Sometimes it is SO hard to keep a straight face, isn't it? Baseball sounds like a great idea! :-)