For Lack of a Better Idea
Back in the day when we were a family of four (or maybe five, I do sort of lose track), we were experiencing some pretty gnarly sleep deprivation. Which, if you have experienced it -- parents, medical professionals, POW's -- you know how disorienting it can be. We were also being subjected to Raffi music in high doses, which, now that I think about it, could also be used as a strategy for wearing down POW's. Our boys LOVED Raffi, and we did too, at first. But there are only so many times a parent can get excited about "The more we get together, together, together..." Conversely, there is no end to how many times a small child can hear the same music. Thankfully, some kind soul gave us a new CD as a gift, thereby introducing us to Dan Zanes, and his collections of children's music, and he has since become a true favorite in our house. Rick and I were marveling about just how much better it was to listen to kids music that adults can also enjoy, and my dear husband said (you'll have to use your imagination here):
"I like it a lot better than that f***ing R-A-F-F-I."
I stared at him in disbelief, which prompted him to look at me like I was being completely unreasonable. "What? I spelled it!" He had spelled the name Raffi, protecting little ears from its horrors, while failing to spell what is, for many people, the most offensive swear word in the English language. He was tired. He was spent. He was a dad who knew vaguely that one should spell things when one is going to curse; he just got a little mixed up about what exactly he should spell. I pointed out to him, through clenched teeth, "YOU SPELLED RAFFI!" That was a pretty long time ago, and I still laugh like a hyena when I tell the story. Classic.
One weary evening several years ago, I was bathing my two sons. When it was time to get out, one of them complied and went into their room to get dressed. The other would not budge. This had been a trend of late, and I was just plain tired of the battle. So while I kept trying to encourage him to come on out and get wrapped up in a towel, while he ignored me and played with the bath toys, my brain was working hard to try to come up with a way to convince him that it was HIS idea to get out of the tub (a strategy I use ALL the time). I let the water drain out. Still no movement. I started to yell a little bit. Caught myself. Was just about to give up, when I said, one last time: "Please get out of the tub, now." Son's reply: "OK, but can I bring my penis?"
Well, that was the best deal I could have hoped for, so of course, I agreed to it immediately. Out he jumped, into the towel, and I was on my way to other things!
Shamelessly, I did in fact use this during subsequent bathtimes. "Come on, honey, it's time to get out, but hey -- why don't you bring your penis?"
You'll notice I did not name said child. Some of you have heard this story, so you know who it was; but since a blog is rather public, I have decided to protect the, uh, innocent, and just let you speculate.
Just this morning! Vincenzo has a set of frogs that show the various stages of frog, from egg, to tadpole, to adult frog. He also takes religion class at school, goes to Mass with us on Sundays and with his classmates during school, and has learned about the Stations of the Cross. So it all got jumbled up in his head, and today he announced that he was bringing his "Stations of the Frog" to school to show his teachers. Who knew frogs could be so holy?