Thursday, October 1, 2015

The usual

Here are some conversations I've had with my children that I wanted to share. Some you'll have already seen on Facebook.


I was putting away laundry. Daniel and Alice had my iPhone and were listening to music. I heard an unexpected song while in the closet, so I came into the room to check if my ears were tricking me. Daniel had some how started playing Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady."

Me: "How did you find that song?"
Daniel: "I don't know. It just started playing."
Me: "Did you like that song?"
Alice: "Me was shaking my butt."

Haha. Oh my. Upon further investigation, apparently back in March 2005, I purchased three Eminem songs through iTunes. Thanks to the Cloud, they're still around for my preschooler and toddler to find.

Some on Facebook requested a video of Alice shaking her bum. This was the best I could do.

I'm on a soccer team right now, and I had a game the other week when Jeff was traveling for work. A friend and her husband came over to watch the children, so I could play. After the game (victorious, by the way!), I pulled into the garage and heard crying. I assumed it was Gordon, but as I got closer to the door I could tell it was Alice. I went inside, and my friend told me that for a significant amount of time Alice had been walking through the house crying "Mi mamá! Mi mamá! NOT YOU!" I thought it was a pretty cute mix of Spanish and English. I did feel bad for my friend though and grateful for her.


We were sitting at the table eating dinner.
Me: "Danny, do you want shredded cheese for your tortilla?"
Daniel: "Yes."
Me: "Okay, go get it out of the fridge."
Daniel: "Which fridge?"
Me: "Sweetie, we only have one fridge. It's in the bottom drawer."
Daniel, laughing: "Oh yeah. That would be funny if we had more than one fridge."
Daniel walks over to the refrigerator and gets out sliced sandwich cheese.
Me: "Daniel, is that what you want? It's sliced."
Daniel, surprised: "What?! This is not shredded."
Daniel walks back over to the refrigerator, puts the sliced cheese back, and grabs a bag of shredded Parmesan cheese.
Me: "Daniel, is that what you want? That is the Parmesan cheese that we put on spaghetti."
Daniel, surprised: "Agh! I don't want this!!"
Daniel walks back over to the refrigerator and rifles through the bottom drawer, finally locating the shredded Mexican cheese.

Daniel: "When you have a baby girl—"
Me: "Daniel, I'm not having a baby."
Daniel: "Well, not today!" (If he knew how to roll his eyes, he would have.)
Me: "Danny, not at all. Would it be okay if Gordon is my last baby?"
Daniel: "Yeah, okay." (pause) "But how can you NOT have a baby?"
Me: "Well, I'm a mommy, and I have lots of teeny tiny eggs inside of me. Every few weeks, I drop one down, and if it doesn't meet any of Daddy's sperm, then it just comes out of me when I go potty, and it stays an egg and never turns into a baby."
Daniel, silent for a moment, and then: "Okay. That. Is. AMAZING!"

Daniel had a play date, but his friend had gone home. I went into the family room where Daniel was playing. Next to him was a lot of popcorn pieces on the floor.
Me: "Daniel, you and your friend were pretty messy with your popcorn."
Daniel: "How did you know that?? I didn't even tell you that!"

We were watching Studio C clips, and the "Prince Charming's First Kiss" sketch came on.
Narrator: " . . . and the princess could only be woken by True Love's Kiss."
Daniel, curious: "Who is 'True Love'?"


Jill: "That guy has a really long name."
Mimi: "Who? Tanner Lewis Ready Danger?"
Jill: "No, the other one. Here's he's Brady—"
Daniel: "But on Austin & Ally, he's Austin!"
Mimi: "Oh, well, those are his characters' names. His real name is Ross Lynch."
Stunned silence.
Jill: "Mom!! Do you KNOW him?!"
Mimi: "Haha. No, I just know what his name is."
Jill: "Could we MEET him?!"
Mimi: "Well, he lives pretty far away. He lives in California."
Jill: "Oh. Could we meet her?" (Meaning Maia Mitchell.)
Mimi: "Well, she's from even father away. She's Australian."
Jill: "Oh. Well, we might live there someday."
Mimi: "That's true. Maybe."
Jill: "I want to live by a beach." Pause. "Wait, we live by a beach! We live in a desert! We're surrounded by beaches! Can I learn to surf?"
Mimi: "Actually, living in a desert doesn't mean we live near a beach. A beach needs water. Deserts and beaches both have sand though."
*clearly disappointed* Jill: "Oh."
Mimi: "But if we ever live near a beach, you can take surfing lessons, okay?"
Jill: "Okay!!"

Jill: ". . . 80, 85, 90, 95, 100!"
Me: "Wow, Jill. That was impressive. When did you learn how to count by 5s?"
Jill: "You taught me."
Me: "Really? . . . oh."
Silence for a moment.
Jill: "Oh, wait, actually I learned it from Mickey Mouse. The ladder crank went by 5s. Mickey stopped at 50, but I just kept going by counting by 10s and adding the 5s in between."

Jill: "Mom, where will we live when Gordon turns two?"
Me: "I don't even know. Where would you like to live?"
Jill: "Ummm."
Me: "China? Madagascar? Brazil?"
Daniel: "Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!"
Me: "Argentina? Zambia? Germany? England?"
Jill: "England! Then we can learn how to speak England!"
Me: "Wait, what? What do you think we are speaking right now?"
Jill: "We speak English."
Me: "They speak English in England, too."
Jill: "What does their English sound like? Bonjour?"
Me, laughing: "No, sweetie, that's French, which is spoken in France."
Jill: "Oh. Well, do I know how to speak their English?"
Me: "Yes. Their English is very similar to our American English."
Jill: "What is the difference?"
Me: "Well, their words sound different." Then I tried and failed miserably at some sort of generic British accent.
Jill: "That sounds like our English."
Daniel: "Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!"

Daniel was proudly wearing his new Captain America costume.
Jill: "Daniel, do you love your costume? Do you want to marry it??"
Me: "Jill, that wasn't very nice. You shouldn't tease. Where did you learn to say that? At school?"
Jill looks at me kind of confused.
Jill: "No, Mommy. I learned that from Daddy."
Pause as I fumble for a response.
Me: "Oh. Well. Okay. You can say it. As long as the other person doesn't mind, a little teasing can be fun, right?" Parenting failure . . .

Jill has money from the "tooth fairy" or "Ratóncito Perez" (whichever it is that comes to Americans living in Mexico). She has talked to me about how she isn't going to spend it, because she's saving it in hopes of getting more money from other teeth and then being able to buy something special. She's been saving it for about four or five months now.

The other day, we were waiting in the drive-thru line to get pizza from Little Cesaer's. Yes, Little Cesaer's is in Mexico, or at least in Juarez. Friday night is pizza night, and I didn't have the time/energy to make one from scratch. We sat in our air conditioned car, isolated from the heat and sunshine around us. To our left, there was a dumpster, and my children noticed a man was digging through it. Bless their innocent hearts, they had never seen anything like that before, and they had no idea what he was doing.

I had to explain to them that some people don't have homes or cars or families or air conditioning or showers or clean clothes or even food, and I told them I assumed that man was looking for food. I was proven correct as we all watched as he did indeed find pieces of pizza and starting piling them together on a piece of trash.

It was such a humbling experience to be separated by only a few feet and soon to be eating the same food, but mine would be purchased at the window and handed to me in my comfortable car, and his was coming out of a dumpster, placed on trash, and would be eaten on the curb.

Same pizza.

Both human.

Completely different lives.

I tried to explain to my children how lucky they are to have a mom and dad who love them and take care of them, but it's hard to say how much they understood.

I couldn't escape the guilt, so I called to the man, and he came over, and I gave him money. He didn't seem to speak Spanish; I couldn't actually understand any of the sounds he was making, and his demeanor frightened me a bit, but he took the money and went back to his belongings and stack of pizza.

My children asked me if I bought something from him (they see me buying things from street vendors quite frequently here), and I told them no. I just gave him money, hoping that maybe his next meal won't come from a trash can, or maybe he could rent a hotel room to take a shower and sleep in a safe place.

The kids were silent after that.

Two days later, Jill got in the car before church with money in her hand. It is the same amount of money that she had "earned" from her baby teeth.

Jill: "Mom, I want to have this in the car, so I can give it to someone who needs it."
Me: "Are you sure, sweetie?"
Jill: "Yes. I'll just stick it right here."

After church, Jill rushed out to the car and got her money. She told me of a family she wanted to give it to. I told her I wasn't sure, because I knew that the daddy of that family had a good job. She looked so disappointed. I asked her if she really wanted to give the money to someone today, and she said she did. We thought about it for a while, and then I asked her if she wanted to give it to the Bishop for him to give to someone who he knew needed it. She brightened at that suggestion.

We went back into the church, and I helped her fill out a tithing slip. I asked her if she wanted the money to go toward helping missionaries, printing scriptures, people who were recovering from hurricanes and floods (humanitarian aid), etc. She chose floods.

Jeff came by, and I explained to him that Jill wanted to give her tooth money to someone who needed it more than her. Jeff was impressed.

Jill: "Wait. This isn't my tooth money."
Me: "It isn't? It looks like your tooth money."
Jill: "No. My tooth money is in my box in my bedroom. This is different money."
Me: "Jill, did you take some of my and Dad's money off the alcove?"
Jill: "Yes. But, please, Mommy, I really want to give it to someone."
Me: "Okay, sweetie."

So Jill went and found the bishop and gave him the money. I explained to Jill on the car ride home that she had a really good idea, but that she shouldn't take money from us without asking.

After we had been home for a while, Jill came up to me and handed me her tooth money.

Jill: "Mom, here is my tooth money. I really want to help someone, and I'm sorry I took your money."

I hugged my beautiful, thoughtful daughter.

And, Gordon hasn't said much recently, but he is very cute and chubby. And he did grow two teeth! What a guy!