Conversations With Children: What It Means To Be “Too Mean”

I am a firm believer that if you keep your feelings inside they will ferment and come out of you as farts, so I try to let all my feelings out as they happen, lest I suffocate my poor dog who sleeps under the covers with me that night.

Which means I don’t hesitate to tell other drivers what I think of them, but since I have kids now (and don’t live in Phoenix the Land of Universal Road Rage anymore) it’s no longer appropriate for me to roll down my window and scream that I hope the other driver gets gonorrhea and falls off a cliff. So instead I just snarl my opinions under my breath so my kids don’t hear… but apparently sometimes I’m not quiet enough because yesterday when some brodude in the douchey jeep behind me at a stop sign kept honking his horn because I wouldn’t zoom out into oncoming traffic, cutting a bunch of people off, so he could be on his way faster Verona not only heard me, she joined in.

Me: “Sorry dude, not going to kill my whole family just because your mom never taught you how to be patient. Oh, and also I hope when you get home tonight and check the mail it’s entirely bills. So have fun with that.”

Verona: “Yeah, I hope that guys dog eats something he shouldn’t and spents all night farting in his room. And I hope he can’t sleep so he just has to lay there in  bed smelling the dog farts and a little bit of it gets in his mouth.”

Me: “I hope when he tries to watch Netflix tonight his neighbor is using his wifi so it makes everything go super slow and his movie keeps stopping to buffer every like 2 minutes.”

Verona: “I hope none of that guys dreams ever come true.”

Me: “I hope next time he goes to a concert the band doesn’t plays his favorite song.”

Verona: “I hope next time he goes to Taco Bell he orders a chicken burrito but they give him a stupid bean burrito instead.”

Me: “I hope next time he wants a slushie the 7Eleven he goes to is out of the flavor he really wanted.”

Verona: “I hope next time he orders a pizza they make him a pizza that only has broccoli on it.”

Me: “Yeah, and I hope when he takes the first bite of that broccoli pizza it’s still a little too hot so he burns the roof of his mouth and it completely ruins his pizza experience.”

Verona: “Woah mom, woah. You just crossed the line. Hot pizza is the worst… now you’re just being too mean. You need to calm down.”

So there you have it folks. The line between “acceptable mean” and “too mean” is at burning your mouth on hot pizza. Now we all know.


Conversations With My Children: Marriage

Verona: “What happens if I want to marry someone but they don’t want to marry me?”

Me: “Well you won’t have to deal with that for a long time because you an’t get married until you’re a grown up but if that would happen you’d have a couple options. If they loved you and wanted to be with you but just didn’t want to get married you could just be together and not get married.  You could also stop being with that person and it would break your heart but eventually you’d get over it and maybe find someone who loved you as much as you loved them.”

Verona: “I don’t want my heart broken.”

Me: “Unfortunately most people get their heart broken at least once in their lives, it’s part of loving. But as long as you eventually find someone who loves you as much as you love them and treats you good that’s what matter.”

Verona: “Oh yeah, they have to treat me good. I don’t want some dirtbag who lies to me.”

Me: “Good, keep that attitude. But where’d you hear that?”

Verona: “Movies. But if someone doesn’t want to marry me I have another option, besides breaking my heart or being with the without getting married.”

Me: “Oh yeah? And what’s that?”

Verona: “I’ll lock them in the basement. I’ll keep them in my house and never let them out.”

Me: “Interesting, what about when you leave the house? What would stop them from leaving?”

Verona: “I’ll have dad come over and guard them for me.”

Me: “Hmmm, ok. But that will only keep them in your house, it won’t make them want to marry you.”

Verona: “They’ll have to marry me because I won’t ever let them out until they start making better choices. And the better choice is to marry me. Because I’m awesome.”

Me: “You are awesome, but I’m pretty sure that’s how love and getting married works.”

Verona: “Well I guess we’ll see.”

Conversations With Children :: Poop

Finn: “I pooped!”

David: “Yep, Finn pooped. He pooped on the floor.”

Finn: “Yep! I poop on the floor!”

Me: “Why did you poop on the floor?”

Finn: “No… I pee on the floor. I poop on the rug.”

Me: “Ok, but you shouldn’t poop on the floor or on the rug. You should poop in the potty. Remember, we talked about it?”

Finn: “I did poop in the potty.”

Me: “Except you didn’t… because there’s poop on the rug.”

Finn: “No, I poop in the potty last week.”

Me: “Yeah, and that was awesome. But you should have pooped in the potty tonight too.”

Finn: “No mom, I already poop in the potty.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand, you don’t only poop in the potty once… you always poop in the potty. Like, for the rest of your life.”

Finn: “No mama, you don’t understand. I already poop in the potty… remember? So I good now. Now I poop on the rug again because I already poop in the potty.”

Conversations with Children: Polygamy

Verona: “Someday I’m going to get married.  I’m going to marry my dad.”

Me: “I don’t think you can marry your dad sweetheart, because he’s your dad.  You’ll have to find somebody else that you’re not related to.”

Verona: “Mom, you don’t understand how marriage works.  I’m going to marry my dad and he’s going to give me a wedding ring and it’s going to be super sparkly and we’re going to be at a wedding that will probably be in a field and I’m going to marry my dad.”

Me: “What if your dad doesn’t want to marry you?  You know… because you’re his daughter?”

Verona: “Of course he wants to marry me.  Why else would he tell me he loves me all the time?”

Me:  “Hmmmm, that’s a valid point I guess.  But you forgot one thing, me.  I’m already married to your dad.”

Verona: “Well, I’ll just marry him anyway.  And you can be married to him too.”

Me: “And we’ll just be some weird version of sister wives?”

Verona: “Yes.  But not actually sister wives, because I don’t have a sister.  We’ll be like mom and daughter wives.”

Me: “While I’m proud of you for making that familial connection, this conversation might have just gotten a little too weird for me.”

Verona: “Don’t worry about it mom.  I’m not going to marry him until I’m a grown up.  And that’s like, a thousand years from now.  You have lots of time to think about this before it actually happens.”

Conversations With Children: Eating Boogers

(A few days ago, immediately after Finn and Verona got home from their nine day trip with their grandparents.)

Me: “You guys have grown!  I swear you guys are bigger than when you left last week!”

Verona: “Yes mom, I grew up a lot while I was gone.  Like I’ve stopped getting into everything, so you don’t need to worry about that anymore.”  (long pause)  “But I have started eating my boogers.”

(Then, this morning at the library while I was very dramatically reading a Curious George book to her.)

Verona: “Mom!  Mom!  Stop reading I have to tell you something very important!”

Me:  “Ok ok, what’s so important?”

Verona:  “I ate my booger.”

Me:  “Ummmm… like, now?  Or just at some previous point in your life.”

Verona:  “Just now, while you were reading about the man in the yellow hat.  I just wanted to make sure you knew.”

Me:  “Ignoring for a moment the fact that I really don’t need to know that, why did you eat it?”

Verona:  “I don’t know.  But I think we should stop and talk about it.  Mom, why did I just eat my booger?  Why do I do that?”

Me:  “Well… I was kind of hoping you would tell me.”

Verona:  “I think it’s because they just taste so good.”

Me:  “Given how many kids eat them I’d always assumed they had to taste good.”

Verona:  “And also, it had to go somewhere.  And wiping it on the floor is gross.”

Me:  “You think wiping it on the floor is gross but that eating it isn’t?”

Verona:  “Nothing that tastes that good can be too gross, mom.”