Sometimes, in my house, we have lovely conversations where we discuss things that are important to us, share our thoughts, and interact in a meaningful and personal way. And then....there are ridiculous exchanges such as the following, which have all taken place recently among me and the boys:
Riley (out of absolutely NOWHERE): "Mom, why'd you marry Dad?" (thoughtful pause) "Was it because of looks...or was that not a consideration at all?"
Woooooow! Congratulations, honey--you simultaneously managed to embarrass your mother with an awkward inquiry...and I think you unintentionally insulted your father, as well. After floundering mentally for a second or two, I thankfully did rally enough to cobble together what I thought was a reasonable PG reply, about how when you meet someone, you can be attracted to them initially...so you want to spend more time with them...and along the way you get to know each other better...which eventually may lead to falling in love, blah blah blah. He seemed okay with all of this, and fortunately moved right along to the next potential whirlwind brewing in that 11-year old brain of his...whew, safe...for now...
Next we have the teenage mischief of Derek. As he gets older, he's exercising his talent for sarcasm more and more often. (I know, right? Where in the world does he get THAT? It's a total mystery, I tell ya...) For example, when we were trimming our tree a few weeks ago, he came across our collection of annually-released ornaments from the White House Historical Society. Selecting one specific decoration and holding it aloft with great ceremony he proclaimed, "I'm going to put this one right in the exact center of the tree, so everyone will see it! Do you think that will be appreciated?"
I leaned around the evergreen to see which one he was referring to...the replica of a book...with Abraham Lincoln...you know, "The Great Emancipator"...on the cover. His eyes took on a devilish gleam as he mused, "Well, we ARE technically in the south, right? I wonder how they feel about him down here?" (Slapping forehead...sighing...) First of all, sweetie, we're not really in the...ahem..."Heart of Dixie"...here in Chapel Hill. Secondly, whattya say you use your considerable powers for good....rather than...rabble rousing, hmm? (In other words, let's not deliberately attempt to stir up trouble with the neighbors...the ones with whom we're just getting acquainted. After all, we're planning to be here for a while...and we'd rather not start out as "Those Damn Yankees"!)
Finally, there was tonight's dinner chat. I served the quinoa and spinach dish I'd prepared, prompting Riley to briefly, half-jokingly complain that it wasn't his favorite--he really prefers the other quinoa meal with corn and black beans. I responded as you'd expect--that he was perfectly welcome to leave the table at any time and thereby miss out on the food. This of course had the desired effect, causing him to sit down and dig in...and also randomly start singing some sort of...quinoa...ditty that he was evidently inspired to compose on the spot. This is what ensued:
Me: "Oh dear, Riley's getting his second wind."
Dead. Silence. I was turned away, busy with something else, but Husband had the vantage point to catch the boys' perplexed expressions, which led him to ask, "Do you know what that means?"
Riley (tentatively): "Um...you fart...twice?"
Derek (exploding with enthusiasm): "That's what I thought, too! But I couldn't figure out why Mom would say it!?"
Husband was laughing too hard to be remotely helpful at this point, naturally. So even though it was...unwise...at best, I tried to clarify, "No, no, no, it's like...renewed energy, after you've been really tired."
And NOW Husband chose to chime in with, "Whaaaaat? Nude energy?"
Derek (practically bouncing with excitement): "That's what I heard, also!" He then added, with a wicked grin, "Mom, you really have to enunciate better!"
Oh. Good. Grief. Tell me again, why do I bother? At this point there was nothing else to do but assume my haughtiest air, turn on my heel, and march from the kitchen with as much dignity as possible. And retreat to the non-male-infested sanctuary of my bedroom...to chronicle the silliness.
Perhaps I'll try to resume speaking to the Testosterone Trio...tomorrow...