Friday, November 05, 2004

"I want a cheeseburger and a doll."

Funny Girl
Friday! The twins went to their friends' house to play, so dinnertime found me in the car, heading for Wendy's with the two youngest kids in the backseat. "What do you want tonight?" I asked YoungestBoy and he recited his order: "Chicken tenders, fries and a chocolate shake-thing."

Then Babygirl piped up: "I want a cheeseburger and a doll."

I laughed and she said, "I am so funny!"

Two year olds make you laugh so hard that it makes up for the times you grit your teeth and cover your ears to drown out their screams. This morning, she was playing her computer game--she clicks the mouse and everything--when she clicked on the letter "K" which brought up a picture of a kangaroo.

She climbed down and came into the family room where I was folding laundry. "I want a kangaroo!" I said, "We don't have a kangaroo." She stomped prettily and whined, "I want a kangaroo on the t.v.!" I said, "There are no kangaroos on the t.v."

Then she burst into flames.

Inattentive Mothering or Are You Talking to Me?
I can't tell you how many times I realize that someone, somewhere is talking to me. I say, "Are you talking to me?" which reminds me of Robert Deniro in Taxi Driver: "You talking to me? You talking to me? You talking to me? Then who the hell else are you talking to? You talking to me? Well, I'm the only one here." . . . even though I never even saw that movie.

I wonder if my children will ever realize that I have thoughts and that many times I'm actually in the middle of talking to myself--or listening to myself, rather. If I don't answer, they up the volume or simply chant, "MOM! Mom! MOM!" until I vaguely look around and say, "Are you talking to me?" and I've turned into Robert Deniro again.

I'm not sure if they talk to me because I am inattentive or if I am inattentive because they are always talking to me. At any rate, on one hand, I think children do best if they are left on their own--within certain boundaries, of course. I don't want to hover and wipe their chins when they are 11 years old. On the other hand, am I missing their childhoods because I am so distracted by my internal dialogue and external noise? Am I paying enough attention? Can you ever pay enough attention? And if you pay enough attention, will you spontaneously combust from the effort?

On Being Judgmental
I've been thinking about how easy it is to be judgmental. It takes no effort to look out from the safety of our front doors and judge each other. I do it in big and small ways all the time--judging people who wear slippers in public, for instance, or wondering at those in the movie-theater who have such bad taste in movies.

If you say you are not judgmental, you are probably deceiving yourself. That includes me, of course. But with awareness comes--hopefully--understanding and change. This insight courtesy of Hillary, who pointed out that I do the very thing I criticize others for doing.

And now, I promise not to call Michael Moore an idiot again. At least in print.

5 Comments:

Blogger Hillary said...

Gosh I feel all warm and fuzzy : ) Isn't self-reflection humbling?

12:37 AM  
Blogger Marykay said...

I am in the same bubble every day - mom,mom, MOM - Oh, you're talking to me? Every day....When I need to feel good about myself I just tell them I concentrate hard on one thing.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Prairierose said...

I understand completely. My youngest son is 13, and he never, ever is quiet. If he's not talking to me, he's singing, or whistling.

And yet -- he's gone for the weekend, and the silence is deafening.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Thia said...

I am that way too! Especially if I am reading anything (hardcopy or online) or watching something on tv. I get totally absorbed. It drives my dh crazy!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

"I want a cheeseburger and a doll" is too too funny!!!

I have been laughing about it all day.

I want a bag of peanut M&M's and a new rubber stamp set.

1:34 PM  

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