Friday, December 16, 2011

Mommy says…

I got caught talking in the third person again. I don’t do it often. In fact, I only do it when I’m speaking to my kids. Not all the time, but on occasion. Apparently, one time is more often than you should ever do it. The problem is, I look at my 8 and 11 year old and sometimes I see a 3 and 5 year old. I try to blame it on their behavior, rather than my warped perception of how fast they are growing up, and sometimes they buy it, but most of the time, they don’t.

I was telling Natalie something and instead of saying, “I want you to…” I said, “Mommy wants you to…” Natalie looked at me, lips tightened, and controlling the urge to scream, (I’m afraid anger management classes might be in her future) replied, “You’re talking about yourself in the third person again.” Ugh, I was. I didn’t realize it. It’s an occupational hazard of parenting. Damnit, I just got over calling the bathroom, potty, but apparently, this is going to be a harder habit to break.

I never should have started talking like that in the first place. When Nicole was born, I didn’t. I vowed I would speak to them like little adults so that they would have good vocabularies and not mimic baby talk. That lasted about as long as my vow never to lose my temper with them…how foolish new parents can be.

But now they’re big, as they constantly remind me and unfortunately, I recognize, but try to deny. Subconsciously, of course, which explains the talking in the third person. Natalie said to me recently after I fell off the wagon and had another slip into third personhood, “Mom, people who talk about themselves in the third person sound crazy.” She’s right, of course. “But maybe I am crazy,” I quipped, “Driven there on the superhighway called parenthood.” Natalie, queen of the straight faced one-liners, completely ignored my point and said, “Thanks Mom, I feel really loved,” and then went about whatever thing she was doing that she knew would make Mommy mad! I mean, would make me mad. See, maybe she’s right, I am crazy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Farmer Dawn

We’re having chicken at our house this weekend. Not the kind you eat, although that would have been preferable. No, we are playing host to 2 chicks from my eight year old daughter Natalie’s science class. She has been talking excitedly for weeks about the day it was our turn to take the fluffy little birds home for the weekend. She made me promise not to serve poultry while they are here. However, I couldn’t help but give the chickens my own special nicknames – Barbecue and Extra Crispy.

When I was in school, most of our science experiments were dead, except the worms we dissected and nobody wanted to take them home for the weekend. I guess my reluctance to taking the chicks home is that I didn’t want to be the parent who took 2 chicks home and only returned 1. I was afraid the puppy would eat them or we’d feed them the wrong food or they’d freeze without the heat lamps. And then there is the question of how to care for them. I have barely managed to keep my own kids alive and thriving and get them to school on time. Now I am supposed to manage chicks, too?

The other part of my hesitation came from the fact that I come from a long line of women with chicken issues. Okay, the line isn’t that long, two, to be precise, but isn’t that enough? Both my mother and my aunt used to terrify us as kids with stories of their teenage summer jobs on the farm – wringing the necks of chickens – it must have been an Indiana thing. So when Natalie came to me begging to bring home Barbecue and Extra Crispy, all I could think of was my mother and my aunt and their chicken killing antics.

So now the chicks are sitting on top of a table in my front hall where hopefully they are far enough away from the dog so they aren’t mistaken for a chew toy. I hear them chirping – as I am sure they will continue doing throughout the night. And Natalie, who wanted to have them over for the weekend so badly…is out with her friends at a play, leaving farmer Dawn home alone with the chicks.