Still having issues with the writing but I found humor in this and I hope you do as well.
On the way to school this morning T and me are talking about how if I win the lottery we would go to Egypt for sure. He also still had to go to school but we would travel as much as possible.
We are sitting at the last stop sign before turning right and letting T off. I look over at him. His blue jacket zipped all the way up, hood on, pulled up to his nose. He has been a little crabby this morning.
‘I also want to get a butt lift.’
‘A butt lift.’
‘Mom what is a butt lift?’
‘Well that is when one pays to have their butt lifted. Firmed.’
I glance over and struggled to contain my giggles. T had reared back against the door and his nose was wrinkled in disgust. The look of abject horror was almost too much to stand.
‘No mom, no, you are not allowed a butt lift.’
And than I dropped him off at school and we did our ritual good byes. I love that boy so much. It is fun to tease him because he cannot hide his facial expressions and well those are the most fun to see.
Last week this all began. Thursday was the day of the absolutely mortifying conversation and subsequent change in behaviour. That was all the day that T and me talked. I did not yell or scream, he did not feel he needed to make excuses, we talked. And than we even sat down and had dinner together.
As T and me are eating and having even more conversations, I slowly become aware of the fact the every other word out of T’s mouth is like. Followed by um. Flashback to the day before when I was going to the back to do something and passed a young woman on her phone. Every second word in that 30 second snippet I overheard was like. Like this, like that.
Now I guarantee you that as Chichi is reading this, she is howling over her cup of Yarba chortling ‘oh Jay.’
The story behind the word like in our household:
I am a child of the 70’s and 80’s. Valley Girl idioms made their way as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba. So like was a popular word. My mom hates it. My aunt who is an editor hates it. I now realize why.
In February 2016 I went and spent two weeks with my mom. Am pretty sure that those two weeks saved my life because when I came back home I had a game plan for how to move away from the toxicity I found myself in. Chichi and me walked a lot and talked. We always have. Or rather, I have always told her everything and she in return tries to not offer advice but listen and allow me to talk my way through it.
I imagine after about a week Chichi was exasperated by my continued use of the word like in my sentences. Finally she demanded of me if I knew how often I said the word like when I was speaking. I was taken aback. I never use the word like I countered. Really? Chichi challenged me to listen to what I was saying and to count how many times I used it.
Holy cow Batman!
It was horrible. I was using like as though it were fairy dust and I was sprinkling that shit everywhere.
Like is the lazy way of speaking, Chichi and my Aunt ringing in my head. You are in too much of a rush to speak and not to find the words that will help you express what you need to. (As a writer I understand however 2 years ago I was still bumbling around in the dark, lost and buried beneath my life and unhappiness.)
It took a lot of perseverance but I was able to do it. I stopped in the middle of sentences a lot for a while when the word like danced on my tongue. But I did it.
Now flash forward to my household and T’s receiving the exact same lecture that I did 2 years ago. I explained how it was considered to be a lazy way of speaking. That he needed to slow down and think about what he was saying. T looked at me and went okay mom. And as I type this I realize that I have not heard him use the word like at all.
Before though you raise your morning coffee/tea and salute me in this I do have a confession to make:
I have discovered another word that I overuse when I am writing text messages or am talking and that word is ‘Just.’
I just walked in the door.
I just got off the phone.
I just, I just, I just, must, need to find another word to describe the moment.
This is not truly a conversation with myself but a friend this morning. We were talking about my post from last evening and he was congratulating me on how I had handled the situation. That most would have shied away from touching on such a difficult subject with a prepubescent child.
I responded with:
There was no point in pulling any punches. With all that kids these days are seeing, hearing, watching and reading, how so much violence and pain is sensationalized and we become inured to it. I will not be party to making my child complacent. He needs to be horrified by violence, pained by the trials of the world that we are living in. (I added in a little more to clarify and paint a picture of what I meant)
It is my job to show him that the world is not always going to be kind but his kindness and his goodness will make a difference.
That is my job as his mom.
After our conversation regarding rape last evening T and me, we went on to have several more conversations. I was and am intrigued to discover, in hindsight, that due to our discussion about the aforementioned r talk, T now feels like he can ask me questions and I am not going to get angry about them.
He asked for the definition of bitch. A female dog, wolf, fox or otter. A difficult situation or person. If he really wanted to tick people off, ask them why they thought he was a female dog? Stymies them like crazy. (Someone had called him a bitch)
What about the f bomb mom? Is that also sex? Well, if you look up the definition that is the first one; having sexual intercourse with someone. So I tersely explained that it was more of a rough term. Than there is the situation aspect.
This morning he asked me about a**hole? What did that mean? So I said well, a mean or nasty person. But no mom, what does it really mean? Well your butt hole, also properly known as the anus. We also looked this one up.
Those of you who have been following T and me for awhile, know my frustration that T does not like to read. Well, he decided to take his Dog Man 3 book home to his dad’s with him to finish. Is looking forward to the new one coming out. Maybe I am being too optimistic in thinking that our conversation last night is having some effect here. Also that given his nature, I think deep down T is horrified that they used this word. Being cruel is abhorrent to his true self. So, he may be trying to educate himself on words and their meanings. (When you know the root meaning of words sometimes they can take the sting out of them when parsed that way)
We sat at the dinner table and talked while we ate. There was a lot of talking going on last night. And this morning. He is in awe of how fast I can type and the fact that I do not need to look at the keyboard. Ha, I was trying to show off to him and this is basically what I type: Txhyyyyyy llmgtw oooot yeah mom you so smrt. T asked where I had learned and how long it had taken. And how did I know where every letter was on the keyboard.
But the best conversation of all was our conversation about Mexico and Chichi (mom) and myself maybe retiring down there. Not likely at the moment but a woman can have dreams. I cannot even afford a two week holiday there lol, never mind move. But T was full of questions. How old had I been when Chichi moved? Had it been hard? And that was when I dropped the bomb on him that I might want to move there.
The look on his sweet 9 year old face was one of hell no, uh huh you are not going anywhere mom. And thus the list of reasons why I cannot move to Mexico:
- It is a poor country
- It is too hot
- They have nothing new
- The cars are very old
- Why would I want to live in an area that meteorite are known to frequent.
- He could not go 10 months without seeing me
- The area that Chichi lives in has some of the richest homes that are only used 2 months out of the year, like Chichi and the beach, well that was their beach.
- You do not have to come and see me
- Of course they do. Chichi had a flat screen t.v. before we did. (That was due to money though T insisted and I pointed out that this was 2 years ago)
- He had to take into account that they were a coastal area and the sea salt did damage to the vehicles.
- Not since the last one 65,000,000 years ago
- There was skype and whatsapp
And he looked at me and said No mom, I could not go 10 months without seeing you in person every day. Now this might be a stretch because you have to remember that he does go 14 days out of the month without seeing me. Okay save for when he and his dad come shopping and I always get a hug and kiss. But still. My heart melted and I looked at my little boy. I love him so much.
He than farted. 🙂