You know how, when dinner leftovers have piled up in your refrigerator over the course of a week, you schedule a "cleanup night" to get rid of them all? Well, that's the purpose of this post, except it involves me organizing and transcribing all of the hastily-jotted, nearly-illegible scribblings that are currently littering my workspace with torn sheets of paper and wrinkled sticky notes. The unifying theme shall be: "Ridiculous, Random Boy Babbling." Here goes nothin'...
1. Derek meandered into my room one day after school, before Riley arrived home (thank goodness) to chat. Now, most children might begin an afternoon discourse with the standard, expected "How was your day?" or even "Anything interesting happen while I was gone?" But nooooo, my kid plopped himself down and, with a bemused expression, led with: "When they take the egg and sperm and mix them, do they just leave it wherever it is, to explode into a baby?" I'm sorry, what the WHAT? I swear, though, you'd think I was becoming completely inured to this sort of occurrence, because I just answered him instantly, without even flinching. He absorbed the scientific explanation of fertilization and implantation, but looked inexplicably disappointed by the information. He cleared it up a moment later when he commented, "Oh. Because that would be a really good way to make superheroes!" (Oh dear...you know, the Avengers aren't real, right? Never mind, that's a whole other can of worms...) Unfortunately, he wasn't quite done torturing--I mean "talking with"--Mom yet. After a short pause he asked, "When you're making out with someone, can you knock out a filling?" Um...I don't think so...but there's no earthly reason you even need to know that right now, so let's move on,'kay? (And by the way, you're grounded. Forever.)
2. Now, Riley. He's not-quite-10...but sometimes sounds like he's an adult, crammed into a mini-body. He says stuff like, "Three more minutes until I set off on my adventurous quest!" (aka "walking by himself to the bus stop") Or when being tucked in at night, "I'm too warm, but without a sheet over me, I feel a sense of vulnerability." (Oh. Good. Grief. Was it an unsympathetic parental response to say "just go to sleep, gooberhead!"? Oh well...) Even Derek sometimes shakes his head at his sibling, like the other night when he commented, "You're the most unorthodox little brother!" Riley immediately went into pout mode and claimed he was offended. "You can't be upset; you don't even know what that means!" I retorted. "Yes, I do, it means I'm different." (Ohhhh, okay then, go right ahead and feel insulted...although I certainly would consider being unique an asset, so keep marching to your own beat, little man!)
3, Finally, the one that still has me shaking my head in disbelief. One night before bed, I happened upon the two partners-in-crime lounging around, relaxing and conversing. When he spotted me, Riley piped up with, "I have a question!" (In my head: Warning Bells, Sirens, Danger Danger, Retreat!!!) What came out: "Yes, sweetie, what is it?" But he must have thought better of it, because he suddenly clammed up and backpedaled, "No, you won't like it." (Internal resigned sigh, already preparing to regret this very very soon) "It's fine, you can ask." Somewhat hesitantly, he continued, "Can you sell your uterus?" Holy guacamole...Did. Not. Expect. That. (And what the heck, you'd think I let them watch episodes of House all day, or something. Or that Husband and I were medical doctors. Or that all we do is sit around talking about anatomy. NONE of this is even remotely true, so I am clueless as to where they're digging up this nonsense. Wait a minute--I blame the Middle Schooler...and his adolescent friends. Yeah, that seems a safe bet....) Again, I gave him the straight answer. But then I don't know what came over me, because almost against my will, I found myself adding, "You can, however, sell your sperm!" Oh, it was sooooo worth it. Never, ever underestimate the sheer exhilaration that arises from shocking your beloved offspring. Derek, who had already begun speaking again, screeched to a halt with his mouth hanging open-- speechless, wide-eyed and staring. That only lasted a hot second, though, before he high-fived his brother and exclaimed, "Dude! We can make so much money!" (Forehead slapping moment. But really, who didn't see that coming? Oh yeah, ME, apparently.) But hold on, it gets worse. Riley excitedly offered, "Yeah, we can have a (wait for it...) Sperm Stand! (and the wheels of creativity keep churning) "Buy one get one free!"
Sometimes being the only girl in the house has distinct advantages...and other times it feels like a nerve-wracking, bewildering tightrope walk across a pit of...I don't know, something really perilous and terrifying. (One guess as to which category these examples fall into...) In this case, I have to confess that I joined them in hysterical laughter, because really, "sperm stand" might be one of the funniest phrases I've ever heard. What can I say? If you can't beat them (or run far, far away), you might as well get a good giggle out of the workings of the mysterious male brain, right?