Today is Swedish mother’s day and I got one present from my youngest son a day early when I picked him up yesterday afternoon.
Mamma, I got you a present.
(digs in pocket)
Here! It’s mascara! I found it just sitting on a wall by the street. It’s still got some in it! I thought you could use it to color in your eyebrows! You’d look cool with black eyebrows!
My son, who has his bedroom adjacent to the kitchen where the radio plays, stomped out of his room very confused this morning.
“What kind of song is this? Why do they keep singing ‘we’ve got to grow it on her brow?’ I don’t get it! Grow what?!”
“Um, the lyrics are actually ‘we’ve got a groovy kind of love’ but I think I like your version better.”
As I’m sitting here typing this in my nice comfy slippers from my iPad, my husband plays games on his RetroPie from the bed, my oldest son is using Skype to play Minecraft with his friend across town, and my youngest son is in a virtual reality world. Welcome to the future.
My current view as pictured above.
My husband gave a presentation to a 4th grade class yesterday and asked the kids how they veiw the future and what new technologies they think we will have 50 years from now.
I asked him how it went and he said, “It’s amazing the number of children who answer Robot Slaves. In fact, one kid drew a picture of himself pointing and yelling ‘Bring chips!’ while a robot bent over meekly in the corner.”
I looked up reviews on a children’s activity park in Italy, but everything was in Italian so I had to use Google Translate. I don’t know why this person only gave this place 2 stars. It sounds pretty interesting!
In my old hometown newspaper from Texas, there is an article this week about a sophomore student in high school asking the School Board to remove the ban on boys wearing earrings in school.
I have tried to explain to my Swedish husband that when I went to school in Texas, you could not dye your hair, boys could not have hair past their shoulders, no facial hair and no earrings for boys. That was combined with the usual skirts past the fingertips for girls and no hats allowed for anyone.
Apparently the schools in the place I grew up finally took away the rule about long hair for boys (fairly recently). I know the earring and facial hair rule are still in effect, as well as the skirts and hats, and I’m not sure about hair dye but I think that is still banned as well.
When my husband went to high school here in Sweden, he went through purple hair, bright red hair and blue hair, among many other colors. He also had an earring. And no one cared. He was a smart and great student. No one in class was “distracted,” as some Texas schools like to say in these situations.
Imagine at your job if a man walked in with an earring (many men at your job probably already wear one or more), facial hair (shocking!) and purple hair. You might say, “Whoa Todd, cool hair!” and then do your job. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “There is just no way I can file insurance claims when I can’t take my eyes of Todd’s earring.” or “I would save this woman’s life, but I can’t perform surgery when the ambulance driver who brought this patient in has purple hair. It’s too distracting.”
My oldest son dyed his hair orange most of last year. All this week he has been wearing fake mustaches to school, nerd glasses and a hat that looks like Sonic the Hedgehog. Surprisingly, this does not affect his work or the work of his fellow students, some who have dyed hair, wear shorts or even a rabbit suit pullover (yes, I’ve seen this twice).
I live in the real world. I ride the subway. I’ve seen people dressed as zombies, people with face tattoos, people with piercings and chains. I don’t mind any of those people as long as they TAKE A SHOWER (and don’t eat my brains, of course).
My son had a good dentist appointment this week and the dentist gave him a new toothbrush when he left. He took it out of the wrapper and slowly ran his fingers up and down, over the top.
“This is so soft. It’s like when I touch your toothbrush. It’s soft under my fingers. My old toothbrush feels like straw.”
I realized I hadn’t replaced the kids’ toothbrushes in a while. I told my son that I didn’t know his toothbrush was so hard, and that he should remind me to replace it more often.
I gave him a hug and told him he could go on ahead of me to see if his neighborhood friend was home. As I watched him run down the sidewalk, I thought about how happy I was that he didn’t have to suffer through all the problems I had at his age with my teeth. What a healthy kid. He eats well, exercises and….
Wait a minute.
“Why are you touching my toothbrush?!”
Boy 1: Are you ok with guacamole on your tacos?
Boy 2: You don’t seem to understand the meaning of tacos. With tacos, you can add what you want – meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato…
Boy 1: Yeah, but would you eat guacamole?
Boy 2: I could do it if necessary, but I just don’t see the point.
“Well kids, they might be chips and they might be cobras. How about a nice apple instead?”
Children who don’t eat their vegetables are sent outside in the “Bucket hat of shame.”
(I hope you know I’m kidding.. The truth is, I have no idea why he was outside like this, other than it’s sometimes fun to put a giant plant holder/bucket on your head)
This is what happens when you need to shop for lipstick and leave your kids alone for 5 minutes.
I was “treated” to 30 minutes of my son singing this song OVER and OVER on the way home from school yesterday. This was after taking him to drum lessons, where he apparently forced his drum teacher, a well-respected and talented drummer, to play drums for 20 minutes to the beat of this song. The teacher came out at the end of the class, just looked at me and said, “We just spent the entire lesson drumming to Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep.”
I could see a bit of pride and dignity melting away in his eyes.
So to spread the horror that my brain has been repeating over and over and over since yesterday, I give you “Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep,” on a 10 HOUR LOOP just in case you don’t have children of your own. Oh, and as a parent, I can say that you’re lucky to get away with only 10 hours. It’s on at least a week-long loop or more at our house.
My youngest son made a cape for his brother. When his brother tried it on, it was so tight around the neck that it choked him a bit. When he asked if they could cut or loosen it, the youngest son said:
“Well, you have to take risks when it comes to fashion.”
Sometimes my husband and I wonder what our kids might say to a therapist when they get older. Last week, we got a little preview from our 9-year old.
We assign the kids at least 2 chores each week. Last week, when I mentioned that I might ask one of our kids to vacuum, our youngest son said, “Vacuuming shattered my view on life!”
“Because one time, you guys told me to vacuum, and then when I got to your room, it turns out you were both lying in bed watching the Simpsons while I had to work!”
Oh well. Life lessons.
My youngest son was talking about how he wishes we could hurry and invent teleportation.
“We’d already have it if it weren’t for the Marx Brothers.”
I thought about this for a while, but could remember no scenes relating to teleportation in any Marx Brothers movies.
I asked, “How did the Marx Brothers ruin our chances at teleportation?”
“Because they invented the airplane, so everyone focused on that instead!”
“Um, you mean the Wright Brothers.”
Heads up. My kids have been singing this since November. Apparently it’s getting even bigger. Warning: Extremely stupid…. but extremely catchy.
I guess what I’m trying to say is you’ve been warned. Embrace it or buy some noise-cancelling headphones.
I did one of those Face Swap photos on the phone the other day with my 9-yr old son. They always leave the faces looking quite distorted, so my son said,
“Mamma, no offense, but I don’t want your face.”
I laughed and said that was just fine, but then he continued:
“So now I don’t need to cut it off and wear it over my own face.”
(As usual, it’s amazing how statements like these tend to give you an area all to yourself on the subway.)