A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: opposites attract

Another Spectacular Dinner Conversation

As I’ve told you before, we tend to have pretty hilarious and/or bizarre dinner conversations at my house (depending on your perspective).

My sweet husband, “The Gatekeeper,” is all about order and peace at the table. He really hates it when the kids and I get silly or inappropriate. And the man has a point there, really, I get it. But sometimes, we truly just can’t help ourselves.

The other night we were talking about ethnicity. My husband is 100% Italian; I’m more of a mutt. The kids absolutely despise that I ruined their chances of being purebred Italians.

So Mini-Me, desperately trying to find a way to be more than 50% Italian, pleaded, “Mom? Do you have any Italian in you?”

Those were her exact words.

I mean, come on.

In baseball, that’s what they call a “meatball” (ahem, speaking of Italians)…a perfect pitch right down the middle of the plate.

Look, I just don’t have it in me to not square up and knock that sucker out of the ballpark, even in front of children.

“Not at the moment.” I countered with a straight face, followed by a We-Make-Sexytime double eyebrow raise in my husband’s general direction (which on me, actually looks more like Groucho Marx having a petit mal.)

“Nice,” The Gatekeeper replied with an undertone of this is why our kids are like this. (He may or may not have been referring to various troublesome behaviors including a child who will not be named allegedly dropping trou on the playground the other day and getting sent to the preschool principal’s office on charges of indecent exposure.)

pic of bucket head preparing for trouble and in mismatched socks

...in trouble with more than just the Fashion Police.

Don’t worry, my joke went right over the kids’ heads, as I knew it would. They are way more interested in poop and fart talk than they are with the whole P-in-the-V concept…so far. Which is why it came as a big surprise that a few minutes later Mini-Me revealed that she was learning various gynecological terms at school. 

“We’re learning SPEC words in spelling.”

“SPEC words? What does that mean?” I asked.

“You know, words with SPEC in them. It’s a Latin root. It means see or look.”

“You’re learning Latin roots in 3rd grade? How cool is that?! You are going to rock your SATs, girl. What are some of the words on your list?”

“Inspect. Respect. Spectacle. Speculum…” she replied.

Hold up. Did you just say speculum?”

“Uh-huh. Speculum.”

Speculum is one of your spelling words? In third grade? Are you sure?”

“Yes. Also, perspective, spectator…”

“No. Really. You must be mistaken. There is NO way in Sam Hill that speculum is one of your spelling words. Get me that list.”

Meanwhile, The Gatekeeper and the boys were silently chewing their food, watching our dialogue like a tennis match. Mini-Me got up from the table, rooted through her backpack, and produced this:

my daughter's spelling list of words including the Latin root SPEC

 Quickly, I scanned the page.

“There’s no speculum on this list, Miss Thang.”

She leaned over to see it again and prove to me that I’m wrong.

Suddenly realizing her mistake, “Oh, I meant to say speculate.”

“Big diff, honey.”

“Well what is a speculum then? And why isn’t it on my list since it starts with SPEC?”

This would have been the ideal moment for me to be circumspect before answering.

“Oh. Well. Okay. A speculum is a special scope that doctors use to look inside your vagina.”

“WHAT?!”

“Don’t worry. Only grown-up women need to have those kind of exams.”

“Like a telescope? That goes into your vagina? And a doctor looks up in there? That is disgusting! Ew! I am never going to let anyone stick anything in my vagina!”

“AMEN sister. Let’s make t-shirts that say that,” I approved.

“Can we please change the conversation?” The Gatekeeper pleaded.

“Da-ji-na.” Bucket Head chimed in, better late than never.

The kids and I all started to giggle, nervously glancing at the head of the table.

“See? See what just happened?” The Gatekeeper admonished.

In retrospect, yes, yes I do. Maybe I need more Italian in me to win him over.

 

The Elf on the Marriage Counselor’s Shelf

My husband and I are not seeing eye to eye on this whole Elf on the Shelf business.

No big surprise. He and I are polar opposites, of course. That’s how nature works. It’s all about propagating the species and the best way to do that is to mix up the gene pool.

So when I snuck downstairs a few nights ago to move Dobbie, I was not the least bit shocked to find that my husband had already dismantled this “killer” vignette:

…and set up his own low-key scenario for the kids to find the following morning:

Oh how interesting. Elf on a Media Cabinet. {Yawn}

Oh no. This will not do, I said to myself. This is MY dance space.

I knew Martha next door was probably making her Elf do powdered sugar snow angels on her kitchen floor that very moment. There was no way in hell I would let my kids bear the shame of having to tell the other kids at the bus stop that their Elf just sat on a piece of furniture all night! BOR-RING.

So I grabbed a few simple props and voilá:

Instant drama. See how easy that is? Anyone can do it! Well, anyone but my husband. And not just because the cat avoids him like the plague.

(WARNING: Even without the demonic cat in the background, this scene may be a bit too macabre for many young children. My kids were fine with it. They watch a lot of Sponge Bob.)

Later that day after the kids were in bed, my husband beat me to the punch AGAIN and moved Dobbie for the night. He really outdid himself and moved the Elf to a totally different room. WOW – he so crazy!

What? You moved Dobbie to a different room? HI-LARIOUS!!!

FAIL. Poor Dobbie looks sad and alone, not impish and merry! You know who else found his Elf like that one cold December morning? Jeffrey Dahmer, that’s who.

Luckily I arrived in the nick of time. “Step away from the Elf, husband. This is not a job for amateurs.”

Again, with just a few additional props, Iris and her trusty feline sidekick were able to save the day and enjoy a good chuckle at the same time:

It’s the little things.

You’re pretty impressed by my cat right now aren’t you? Yes, Scat Scrabble appeals to multiple ages and species, let me tell you. All three kids thought it was awesome. The husband? Not so much. He’s just grateful I didn’t throw in one of my signature fake turds for extra oomph. (I actually did, but the cat is lying down right on top of it, honest to God. Bet she thought it was a little brown mouse. Damn.)

Luckily for our marriage, my husband catches on pretty quickly. Last night he just handed me the Elf (not a euphemism) and said, “I know you’ll just correct whatever I do, so here; have at it.” (Also, not a euphemism.) Is he well-trained, or what?!

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have defiled the collectible Rockwell Christmas Village that he had spent hours setting up just so earlier that day…

My husband was not amused. The kids sure liked it though!

Hey, just trying to keep the “Christ! Why do I even bother?” in Christmas. It’s a gift.

Oh stop it. You know my Mama dropped me on my head as an infant. But guess what! There are more of us out there! I found an entire subculture of other twisted Elfers. Wanna see? Then head on over to Baby Rabies and check out the fun contest she’s doing:

There are some hilarious entries! I’m submitting my Snow-Writing Dobbie picture. You’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite entries beginning on December 12th. Don’t worry, I’ll beg remind you.

UPDATE: Please visit the Inappropriate Elf Contest and click “Like” on #54 (“Dobbie writes his name in the snow”). Voting runs until Tuesday December 20th and the top three will be in the running to win an iPad 2. You can vote once a day, and you don’t need to register to vote! Can I get an AMEN?! 

So wrong, but so right,

-Iris

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