Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Self-Awareness

My children are as different as night and day, in looks, and in temperment. I have been asked if they have different fathers. They don't, but honestly, I can understand the suspicion.

My oldest child is mild-mannered, sensitive, and cautious. His caution sometimes escalates to the point of anxiety. When he was in second grade, he suffered a very mysterious bout of extreme stomach trouble, which completely baffled his pediatrician. After a battery of tests, he was pronounced completely healthy, and it was clear that his stomach problems were being caused by some kind of anxiety. But to my knowledge, nothing had been bothering him. I tried to gently coax from him the reason behind his worries. He steadfastly assured me that all was well.

I was called to the school for the third day in a row to pick him up, and arrived to find him writhing in agony. I was alarmed, but having already taken him to the doctor, I knew there was nothing physically wrong. What in the world could be troubling him so??? Was some little miscreant bullying him? Had somebody molested him? Had he done something to someone else that was causing him guilt and remorse? As we drove home, I tried once again to discern the cause of his distress, but my gentle prying only caused him more anxiety and he tearfully accused me of not believing that his tummy hurt.

As we neared an intersection, he screamed that he was going to throw up. Luckily, there was a gas station on the corner nearest us. We screeched in, left the car running, and made to the restroom in the nick of time. I watched as goldfish and kool-aid cascaded from his mouth in an abundant torrent. When he was done, he drew his the back of his little hand shakily accross his mouth. He looked up at me with huge hazel eyes and asked,

"Mom...is pencil lead poisonous?"

Sweet Jesus. There it is.

"Um, lead is poisonous honey, but pencils aren't made out of lead, they're made out of graphite."

My words were like magic and before my eyes the worry and tension and fear bled away leaving his little face wan, but hopeful.

"Really? Are you sure?"

"YES, honey, I'm sure. They found out a long time ago that lead was harmful and they stopped making ANYTHING with it."

"Like, how long ago?"

"Before I was even born."

I wasn't sure if that was exactly true, but I figured in this instance, my little white lie would was justified, and would be forgiven.

"Taylor Martin is SUCH a liar!"

He said this with uncharacteristic vehemence. I waited for him to spill the rest of the story, certain that Taylor Martin was at the bottom of our stomach problems.

"I chew on my pencil a lot, you know."

"Really?" I said, feiging nonchalance.

"Yeah. And Taylor MARTIN said that you can DIE from eating lead."

"Well you can get very sick from eating lead. But like I said, pencils are made out of graphite."

"I bet Taylor Martin knew that too." he said bitterly.

I bet he did too, the little fucker.

So, the stomach mystery was solved, and he had a miraculous recovery. From then on, he has been pretty judicious about what he exposes himself to, and I have learned to respect that. As he gets older, we are relaxing the rules a bit in terms of media, for which he is grateful. But occasionally, he will decline the offer of a movie, or a television show, knowing full well it's beyond his capability to be objective. Sometimes, his choices are puzzling, but I generally do not comment on them. I have learned to appreciate and trust his self awareness. He will never be a risk taker or an adrenaline junkie, and that is a-okay with me.

My younger child is another story altogether.

He loves a good thrill, whether it comes from breaking the rules, or pushing the boundaries of gravity and good sense. He likes speed, he likes danger, he likes adventure. He is the one who will try marijuana (and worse) on a dare. He is the one who will be caught breaking into the school after hours to plant cherry bombs. He is the one who will never, ever get a driver's license if I have anything to say about it, because he is the one, who, like his father, will likely have to have a serious brush with death before he realizes that he is not invinceable, and that what goes up, cresting a hill and becoming airborne at 120 miles per hour, must come down...hard.

But he too possesses a type of self-awareness.

Today he let slip that he has been working on a flower pot Mother's Day surprise for me at school. If you know anything about second graders, you know they love a good guessing game. So I was compelled to guess what it was he would be giving me on that special day.

"A Diamond Necklace."

"No, but close."

He was completely serious.

"Ummmm, a picture of you in a hand decorated frame."

He rolled his eyes and said impatiently.

"Guess again Mom."

"Okay...ummm, a new car! Oh honey, a new car! You shouldn't have!!"

He rolled his eyes again.

"You know I can't afford a new car Mom. Besides, Lamborghini's are illegal."

I hadn't said anything about a Lamborghini, but in his 8 year old mind, it is the epitome of automotive excellence and beauty. So naturally, I would want one.

"I don't think they're illegal Diminutive One."

"Yes they are." he insisted. "A Lamborghini Murcielago can pretty much only go something like 100 miles an hour, so you can't drive them on the regular road. It's against the law."

He said this with great authority, and I had to stifle the urge to giggle, as is often the case. But Diminutive One takes great offense if he feels that he is being laughed at, and so I did my very best to keep a straight face as I said,

"Lamborghini's DO go less than 100 miles per hour. People just like to drive them fast because they can. You can drive it on the regular road, you just have to exercise some self control."

He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, and I wondered what was going on in that head of his. With Diminutive One, there's no telling. Finally he said,

"I don't think I'll get a Lamborghini."

Self Awareness. Maybe it won't keep him alive, but a Mom can hope. In the meantime, I'm going to check into getting some kind of injunction or writ of habeas maternus that will prevent him from driving...ever.

8 Comments:

  • At 12:33 AM, Blogger Mary-LUE said…

    My two children are similar to yours. Although my youngest is a girl and my imagination gives me little comfort as I picture her leading the party charge in a few years and I hope I'm right about the boy... that'll he'll be too scared to do , etc.

    Self Awareness. A true gift and one I hope both my children get.

     
  • At 12:34 AM, Blogger Mary-LUE said…

    P.S. I forgot to turn off my Cybersitter. On my screen it looks like "drugs" was deleted. I was trying to say that I hope he'll be too scared to do drugs, etc. Stupid computers!

     
  • At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Lia said…

    great post - in the middle of weaning and battling with the letting go so this gives me something to look forward to.

     
  • At 7:10 AM, Anonymous motherhooduncensored said…

    Awesome. Self awareness is something I strive for for myself and for my daughter.

    And I hear you on the driving. I dread it. I can barely take it when she rides here little choochoo around the house - let alone a real freaking car.

     
  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    Same way in my family. Neither of my two older brothers or I resemble in any way, either by looks or personality. We are two years apart (within 30 days thanks to Catholic family planning), yet it's like we are three only children. I'm the Diminutive One flooring the Lambroghini.

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    My sister and I are the same way. In the looks department she's dark and I'm light. I suffer from older child syndrome (overly cautious and sensitive) and she has jumped out of an airplane.

    I loved the story of the lamborghini. It sounds like he's already well on his way to self awareness. But I would hide the car keys, just in case.

     
  • At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Kvetch said…

    I love this post. Your description of your children's temperments and personalities is great - easy to imagine them. They sound a lot like my own kids!

     
  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    I'm giggling through this whole post. Just when I needed it (It's been a tough week). Isn't there just a Taylor Martin in every kid's life?

     

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