Sunday, March 28, 2010
Barbie Versus The Red Power Ranger or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Bombs
I made a commitment to myself to blog every day I’m home. Just at home days because if I blogged on “school days” each entry would read something like: “blah blah…drunk guy…blah blah stupid computer system…blah blah crazy old woman…blah…blah…poop everywhere…blah.” So I’ll spare my readers and just write four days a week. Anyhow, this blogging everyday is going to be a hefty challenge because I’m sorta lazy. But at the same time it is forcing me to think about what’s happening around me and then make it interesting without sacrificing the truth. Telling the truth is important to me. I remember studying reality in nonfiction eons ago at school and it fascinates me because the truth is lost the second something happens. But If I were keeping a blog about my fictive life I would probably regale everyone with stories about new shoes and cocktails with George Clooney and Sharon Stone on my yacht in the South Pacific; Valentino would appear every once in a while with a gorgeous vintage gown just for me and I would be about eight inches shorter and sixty pounds lighter... (Cue up a little Brad Paisley “On Line”)
So I was on the treadmill this morning and reviewing what I wanted to accomplish today; number one on the list was figuring out how to practice forgiveness towards Ward rather than my knee jerk standard white hot anger. I was reminding myself with each step that ultimately my anger wasn’t going to change his behavior or our shared history. The only thing I have control over is me. Trust me, this mantra was not repeated in a soft sing song uber Zen chant but rather it echoed in my head like a DS issuing orders. I was also reviewing all the stuff I’ve learned as a result of mothering sons versus daughters. I’m really thankful to the one hundredth power I didn’t have daughters. I grew up with a sister and we fought with one another a lot. It wasn’t the mix it up, hurl insults at each other in a big whoosh of ten second bad energy, either. Rather, it was more like a slow torturous emotional burn. This past year it’s been great watching Wally and Beav move away from the CONSTANT taunts and physical teasing to a camaraderie of fun, games and secrets siblings often have with one another. I was pretty surprised to learn they were text messaging one another a few times a day this week while Beav was in Texas. So I’ve learned what it looks like to have a brother. They have always mixed it up one minute like mortal enemies and the next minute they are best friends again. I could use a lesson in forgiveness from my kids.
The other thing I realized is my taste in “films” is much different than it was before they came along. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction but not action or war movies until I had boys. Now, I’m the one suggesting we go see the latest and greatest Car Blows Up Bad Guy Dies or post apocalyptic story. The bigger the FX budget the better in my book. I’ve also learned to appreciate inane comedies like Night At The Roxbury and Zoolander. Ten years ago, I had this fantasy we would be going to art films and by the time they were teenagers we would have left behind the pyrotechnics and space ships. Now I’m the one all antsy to see the latest sci fi movie and they are just sort of meh on them. I almost bribed Wally with ten bucks to see Star Trek this summer but in the end The Girl went with me and I was spared laying out extra cash. (sad, very sad, isn’t it?) So this afternoon, we went to the “Sticky Six” (Dollar theater, wish I could say I coined that phrase) for the latest Denzel Washington flick about a post apocalyptic world. Thank goodness we didn’t invest more than five bucks because this movie is right up there with the Pokemon Movie as a“Thing -I-did-with-my-kid-and-hated-every-second.” I have a pretty high tolerance for violence and seedy subject matter but after about fifteen minutes into the movie, I look over at Wally and he is text messaging . So I give it another five minutes and decide this is The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly meets Mad Max and take a big chance on the “wrong” answer when I lean into Wally and ask:
“Are you really invested in this movie?”
“Nah, I can watch Mad Max at home”
Thank God because this movie was a grim and a cheap heartless version of The Road and it was going to be two hours of my life I would never get back. Much like the hours of Barney and Pokemon those two owe me.
After we left, I realized we had never left mid movie before. In fact, the only other movies I have ever left: a film with Kevin Spacey about flesh trading in a concentration camp, Dogville and Reds. (in my defense: we left Reds because we were drunk and it was moving a little too slowly for sloppy 20 year olds. I tried to watch it sober a few years ago and found myself wishing I was drunk.)
Years ago I could speak Power Rangers and dinosaurs which was invaluable at the preschool snack table. Now I find myself able to speak airplane, car, Parkour and Army. The Beav has turned me onto Top Gearand I find myself watching it even if he isn‘t around. I could probably intelligently purchase a car in England now. A valuable skill for a Semi Suburban-Semi Stay-at-Home Mom in the US, dontcha think? Army is still a language I’m learning and can understand about 75% of what is said to me. Fortunately, the unintelligible 25% no longer elicits an eye roll from Wally. He is a little more forgiving nowadays.
I don’t think I would have done too well with girls. I have a salty mouth and a cutting way with words and I would make her cry every time she was in trouble. I was a girly/girl but now I think toys marketed for little girls are insipid and just perpetuate the stereotype girls need to sit back and play quietly. But denying a little girl (or boy for that matter) the toys they gravitate towards just makes them all the more salient. Years ago, when I was pregnant with Beav and we didn’t know he was Beav yet, I asked Wally what he thought of having a little sister. My very sage three year old told me: “If she had Barbies I would cut their heads off and hide them from her.” And he would have had my full support.
Being daughter free means I don’t have to speak Sparkly Vampire or Jonas Brothers. Nor do I have to deal with daughters leaving the house looking like hookers, which would probably make my head hurt more than trying to understanding Beav’s mumbly speech and gritting my teeth when I see Wally’s saggy pants.