Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

More about the trip: you only thought I was through with this subject.

At least it's a benevolent creepy.
Last week, as I sat on my grandmother's deck and visited with my brother, my dad, and various extended family members, John and Bryce came outside, Bryce yelling excitedly, "Mom, watch what I can do!!" He grabbed both of John's hands and proceeded to walk up John's legs, torso, and chest and then flip over, landing on his feet, still holding John's hands. My brother and I looked at each other half incredulous, half amused: the only time we'd EVER in our lives performed the Childhood Torso Climb Flip was at my grandmother's house, and then we'd subjected aunts and uncles to it more times than any human should ever have to endure the skin-pinching pain and bruises caused by 35-50 pound humans clad in rubber-soled tennis shoes using one's body as a launch pad for Childhood Torso Climb Flips. I assumed someone had clued Bryce and/or John into the apparent Childhood Torso Climb Flip requirement at my grandmother's house, so I asked both of them, "who told you about that?" to which John stared at me blankly and then said, "nobody told me - Bryce just walked up to me, grabbed my hands, and started climbing." No one really knew what to say, even though all of us were thinking, "weird!" until my dad made an alarming implication about the psychic awareness of my grandmother's house. We all took another swig of our respective drinks and changed the subject.

Later, when the kids' excitement over the dozen new toys my grandparents purchased for them had worn off to the point that they were doing things like playing the electric piano keyboard at its highest volume (and by "playing" I mean attacking the keys with brute force and evil laughter), John did the only thing any sane individual can do with two kids under age 5 in a town of 3,000 in 110-degree weather: took them to Wal-Mart and bought a Slip-n-Slide. Again, Slip-n-Slide use was only ever sanctioned at my grandparents' house - we never had a yard that allowed for such intense water madness - and I figured someone had mentioned the Old Days of Slip-n-Slide Joy to one of the kids or John, but no - more creepy (but fun) psychic leftovers from my childhood.

Manipulation is the new comedy.
Oh my, were the kids ever fond of all the attention from the great aunts and great uncles and great grandparents who thought Bryce and Quinn were, well...great, actually. The amazing thing about people who haven't been around young children in several years is that they just FORGET. They forget how annoying the tantrums can be. They forget how differently kids act in public, and how frustrating it is as the parent to watch a kid who you know is perfectly capable of answering a question coherently turn into a giggly, limp mass of pretend shyness simply because he knows his parents won't call him on it in front of everyone. They forget how lack of sleep makes all of that cuteness seem really not so cute at all. And all they see is the miracle of a healthy, beautiful child, perfect precisely because of the imperfections; all they hear is the sound of life's complex, sometimes loud, potential; all they feel is the sense of special worth that being genuinely and gently hugged by a child you've only just met will inevitably leave with a person, no matter how old.

It was precisely this set of perceptions that allowed me to laugh (rather than rip out my hair by the roots while wailing and gnashing my teeth) when, at dinner in a restaurant one night, Quinn pushed the envelope further than I knew he was capable by doing everything he could imagine to bring the table to tearful, breathless laughter. He started early in the evening, while everyone was attempting to peruse the menu, by pouring a harmless amount of salt and pepper on the table AND THEN LICKING.IT UP. TWICE. IN A ROW. Yes! This is hilarious! Just look at their disgusted, shocked faces, and their shoulders, how they shake while they try not to laugh! This, THIS is what I've been waiting for! Later, after his mandatory two bites of the rice and beans he'd so passionately demanded, he announced with glee that HE NEEDED TO POOP, MOM I NEED TO POOP AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT KNOW THIS! I got up to take him to the restroom and made the mistake of not holding his hand, a foolish, amateur move of which he took swift advantage by sprinting across the huge, compartmentalized restaurant, ultimately darting into a private, luckily empty, room - mere moments later, John wouldn't be so lucky and would end his meal as a broken man, chasing his three-year-old through a private banquet room while the hosting family reunion pointed and laughed: just look at that funny kid and his funny, funny dad! HAHAHA! But it was so truly hilarious to everyone with us, and since he didn't BREAK anything or KICK anyone or THROW any food at a stranger, then certainly this behavior shouldn't stop us from ordering dessert! We ordered him a scoop of ice cream, even though the kid has never in his life successfully consumed anything with a sweet flavor. While I stuffed myself on sopapillas, the rest of the adults distracted themselves with conversation while Quinn, suddenly aware that no one was laughing hysterically at him, stuck John's credit card into the top of his ice cream scoop at an angle, like a fancy wafer would be positioned, then waited patiently for someone to notice. And believe me, we did. I'm not sure if anyone has actually stopped talking about it since.

Labels: , ,