Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Twilight Zone

Living with my two weirdos each day is all the confirmation I need of their strangeness.  My boys say goofy things and do goofy things every day, but they are children and their creativity is in full bloom.  In the last week, however, our environment has felt a lot less like Iowa and a lot more like The Twilight Zone.

I ran to our local grocery store a few days back to pick up some ingredients for a potato dish I was making.  It was one of those rare occasions when I was able to run an errand without my kids, whose mere presence adds 15-20 minutes to every task, even when they are behaving.  After I checked out and was leaving, I encountered a mother with her three daughters as they entered the store.  As I passed this woman, I shot her the "I sympathize with you" smile that moms share as part of the unofficial club to which we all belong.  But right after I'd shot her our signature look, I realized that this mother was not in the same boat as myself and many other mothers.  The daughters were very quiet and all walked alone and very obediently alongside their mother, regardless of age.  (I'm hoping that Bluetooth will extend their services to parenting one of these days, as I long for a hands-free existence as well.)  Just as I had pegged this group as the type of family I hoped we could someday become, I heard a small snippet of their conversation.

"Okay, Millicent.  Which vegetable has more Vitamin C?  Cucumber, Pepper or Artichoke?  If you get it right, you can pick out your own zucchini."

"No thank you", said the daughter, "I'd much prefer a red onion."

Graham frightened by the idea of eating a raw red onion.
To be fair, the daughter's name wasn't Millicent.  I changed it to protect the privacy of these people, but I can promise that her actual name was equally as unexpected for a girl of no more than five years.  But even more than her name, I was surprised by the oddness of their conversation.  The dialogue in my van and within my family is much less formal, sadly much less educational, but definitely much more common.  My small children are interested in toys and playtime, music and stickers and toots.  While I'd certainly like to wipe away some of the poop talk from our lives, I'm not sure I'd do it at the expense of having a sterile relationship with my boys.  And I definitely wouldn't do it if it meant Cael and Graham had to eat a raw onion.  They'd sooner eat the poop they wouldn't be allowed to discuss.

Riding on the heels of my bizarre encounter with Mrs. Veggielover and her obedient daughters, I was forced to have a conversation with my boys regarding another stranger's awkward behavior.  We were waiting by the restrooms at Walmart, where awkward behaviors are the norm.  As I stood with the boys in my cart, an older woman rode by on her motorized cart.  Moments like these are terrifying if you have a child like Cael; it is impossible to predict when he will innocently ask questions that are intriguing to him but mortifying to me and often offensive to someone else.  But before my son had the opportunity to loudly ask "Why won't that woman walk?" or "Why does that lady have food all over her shirt?", the woman stopped her cart right in front of us, stepped off of it and picked a huge wedgie from her rear end.  Shocked, I must have been watching a little too closely because she immediately looked at me and said,

"That was a bad one.  But if it isn't one end, it's the other!"

And with that, she started digging in her nose with such enthusiasm that I would have expected her to pull a tennis bracelet out of her nostril.  I was frozen in place.  Did that just happen?  As she hopped on her cart and rode off, the questions began.

"Mommy, what was wrong with that lady's pants?"

"I think they were uncomfortable, so she was just pulling them down a little."  Lie, lie, lie.

"But she was pulling on her bottom!  Is her bottom uncomfortable?"

"Her pants made her bottom uncomfortable, so she was pulling them down a bit."

"Oh, okay."

Baby Cael, digging for gold in Feb' 2008.
Crisis averted.  Or so I thought, until my littlest weirdo, who has begun talking nonstop, decided to chime in.

"Mama!  Yuh (yucky) nose!"

"Yep, that was yucky what she was doing with her nose."

The gears in Cael's head clicked into place and he made a gross and unfortunate connection.

"Mommy, that lady touched her bottom and then touched her nose.  That's yucky!  Are her hands stinky?" 

His question, while completely valid, sent him into a perpetual giggle-cycle, and I had to end the conversation before it escalated and he got some new rear-to-mouth ideas of his own.

"Okay, boys.  Enough bottom talk.  It's time for us to go home.  Who wants a snack at home? 

"Meeee!"  "Snah!  Snah!"

Lucky for them it wouldn't be red onion.

My last and possibly most confusing discovery came yesterday as I was doing a little bit of blog maintenance.  I was visiting my "Stats" page on Blogger which gives me information about who is visiting my wesbite, how many times the page has been viewed, where those viewers are located and more.  I was happy to see that I had reached 6,000 pageviews and that I continue to gain viewers in all sorts of interesting places.  In fact, aside from the United States which is in a large and obvious lead, more of my viewers reside in Germany than any other country.  But this made me wonder-- how are these people finding my blog?  I would expect that a few of those views would be random, but could there be people actually searching out my site?

It was this curiosity that led me to discover that you all, my friends, are stranger than Stepford children, stranger than Walmartians and stranger than my noisy, smelly boys.  When looking for my blog, the most common (admittedly by one) search term was: WET HAIRBALLS.

As weird as that is, and as weird as you all are, that search term led two people to my blog.  So for you, loyal readers, I'll say it again.  WET HAIRBALLS.

I guess I'm the weirdest of us all. 


  1. haha. The most common search term getting people to *my* blog is "pictures of grandma and grandpa having fun"

    Now certainly I DO talk about my parents (grandma and grandpa) having fun quite often--as in playing with their grandkids--but somehow I have a sneaky suspicion that is *not* what those people are searching for ;-P

    Shawna www.nopaparazziplease.blogspot.com

  2. Yikes! Grandma and Grandpa having fun? Makes you question what kind of people are reading your blog, doesn't it? But then again... what kind of people are reading MY blog? Cat people, I guess.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.