…when he said, “Kids say the darnedest things.” Most days the kids amaze me with some of the things they say and today was no exception. In fact, it was an especially entertaining day. This morning at breakfast I was sitting with Rapunzel enjoying some bread with jam and she was talking about her birthday, which is tomorrow. She says, “Tomorrow is my birthday.” I wish you could hear it, though. It’s with this terrible inflection, like I’m so much better than you because I have a day of birthday celebration and you don’t. It really works on my nerves. “Yes, you’re right. This is so exciting,” I say. To which she responds, “And I get lots and lots of presents. Only me. And there will be none for you.” Then she has the nerve to give me the most disgusting smile and try to wrap her Gumby-esque, skinny limbs around me. It’s all I can do to not snap one of those arms, so I gently push her off of me and continue to eat without responding. She continues to push, “Are you going into town to buy me a present today?” Honestly, this kind of behavior makes me ill. I can hardly handle this sense of entitlement. In fact, I was going into town to buy her a present that afternoon, but now the only thing I want to give her comes out the back-end of a dog. Maybe if I gift wrap it nicely she won’t know the difference.
Taz was much more comical today. He slept in a bit, which is highly unusual for him. He’s more of a 6:00 A.M. sort of fellow, preferring to wake the house up with the latest tune he learned at Kiddie’s Kare. The refrain, “I love you, you love you,” has been on repeat this entire week. After a second breakfast with him I started getting some puzzles and games down for us to work on. The radio is on every morning rather than the TV and already it has driven me crazy. I’m not a radio person in the first place, and it is absolutely terrible here. Every other song is Ke$ha and the other songs are either one hit wonders or power ballads. And it’s all American music. One morning I heard a Swiss/country version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” followed by “Gangsta’s Paradise,” a la Coolio. Nothing sets the tone on Easter morning quite like Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” in the background.
At any rate, this morning I was not willing to subject myself to such torture so I put on European MTV, which is essentially music videos all day and the selection is pretty decent for the most part. So there we are in living room and I look over and see these girls “club dancing” on the TV, meanwhile Taz is laying on the couch, one leg crossed over the other, hands clasped behind his head, the epitome of relaxation. OK, we need to get out of here. I certainly am not going to let him sit here and watch this. We move our party to the dining room to work on a puzzle and all the sudden Taz starts bobbing his head and says, “Uh, uh, I can be your freak; I can be your freak.” I lost it. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Apparently I hadn’t been paying attention to the words from the music video and they were a little more explicit than what a 4 year old should be exposed to. I started singing every children’s song I could think of in order to fill his mind with more age-appropriate lyrics.
Later that morning Taz, Little Bean, and I went on a walk to pick Rapunzel up from school. For some reason I still haven’t figured out, Taz has an aversion to a particular crosswalk we needed to use. He told me in a very firm voice that we were not going to cross there. I politely, and equally firmly told him that we were indeed going to cross there. He said, “No.” I said, “Yes.” No.” “Yes.” Then, he stomps his little foot on the ground, looks up at me and repeats to me what I say to the kids when they become obnoxiously defiant, “When I say ‘No’ it means NO.” ”
WHOA-OA-OA, Mister!” I stepped back and looked at him and we both started laughing. I couldn’t believe it; that line sounded so funny coming out of his little mouth. “No way,” I told him, “I call the shots around here, and that was cute, but I am not having it.” I took hold of his hand and proceeded to guide him across the crosswalk, which in the midst of our laughter, lost all of its danger. Kids really are listening and processing what you say. They may not completely understand the language, but it’s in their heads and they aren’t afraid to use it.