Sunday, August 10, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

One of my favorite things about motherhood -- and there are many -- is the oh-so-funny perspective gained from listening to things from my children's point of view. This is perhaps exaggerated in our house, by the fact that my foursome who are growing up in the southwest desert country are being raised by a mommy who was raised in the deep deep south...and as such doesn't even realize that words she uses everyday aren't really used out here and therefore leave my kiddos with little context with which to define them. For example...our family room is not known by any word anyone out here uses. Ever. Our family room is simply known as "in yonder" (pronounced yunder). I am at an almost complete loss for how this began...clearly I would ask the trio when they woke up from nap times, if they wanted to "go in yonder." When they began talking and saying things like "Mommy, where is the yonder in this house?" when we visited friends, I realized for the first time the impact my speech had on these non-southern-born kids. Ironically enough, without even realizing it, I have tattooed Cate with the exact same words. She wakes up each morning and says, "Is it good-morning-time, Mommy? Can we go in yonder now?" Hmm..
But as the triplets have grown, these funny little moments have become fewer and farther between. They are 11...and frankly are so smart, they usually figure out what Mommy means and insert their own less-southern word. But Friday, I got a rare chuckle at their sweet expense. We were out doing some back-to-school shopping and when we returned to the van, there was a twig from a nearby tree laying right at the door. I laughed and said, "My, but that looks like a switch my mama used to use to threaten us with when I was little." Instantly, they all began gaping at the switch. "Really, Mommy, that is a switch?" they asked. I had to laugh...I have used the word switch many times in their upbringing...usually in jest...but saying things like "If you aren't good, Santa will bring you a bag of switches." It never occurred to me they didn't know what a switch was. But as they passed this twig around Friday, Mason looked up at me in utter awe, and said, "Really. All these years, I have thought when you said Santa would bring us a bag of switches, you meant light switches!" I had tears running down my face, I was laughing so hard. Really. For 11 years, my precious kids have thought if they were naughty, they would get light switches in their stockings on Christmas morning. I am a harsh mommy in deed!
Of course, precious Cate is at the best anecdote-giving right now...she almost daily brings us to tears of laughter. But Friday, I guess she didn't want to be outdone by the switch brigade, because she was even cuter than usual! In our guest bedroom, I have an antique cabinet which houses a doll collection from my childhood. It's off limits to the two-year-old's little hands, of course, but she hasn't cared. Until Friday. I was folding clothes on the guest bed (easier to close up that room when I don't finish!) and she was in there with me. She asked if she could look at the dolls. I said she could but only look, no touch. She said "I won't, Mommy," with complete solemness. I watched as she stood admiring my hodge-podge of childhood favorites for several minutes before she came bounding back over to me. "Oh, Mommy, I NEED to touch them. They are just gorgeous and I NEED to touch them," she said as she bounced up and down using words awfully big for a 33-month-old with a strong strong emphasis on NEED! (And just in case you need to know...I let her touch them. They are dolls for Pete's sake and I have seen Toy Story enough to know that dolls prefer to be played with...)

It's a blessing being the mommy. And in the midst of all the laundry, dishes, and back-to-school hoopla, if we can remember to laugh, then we are blessed in deed!