Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fart Jokes or Why We Adore Steve Knapp

Steve Knapp has been a co-worker of Big M's for the past decade. In that time, he and his family have become good family friends.

Recently, Steve Knapp came thru Glasgow on a work related trip. It was the second week of cold, snow, and ice storms. Also, it was my second week of being housebound whilst pregnant due to the weather and the first day that Big M was back from a two week work trip to Asia. Big M deemed a break for me as urgent, scooped up the kids, and took Steve Knapp and his visiting customer on a two hour hike thru Mugdock woods. I never would've chanced the littles with grown-ups much less a customer, but I learned again that I perhaps underestimate my kids a bit - or maybe we are just in each other's pockets too much with the weather recently. Regardless, reports from the snow indicated that the kids were not whining, having fun, and showing Steve Knapp and his customer a side to Glasgow that they would not have seen in a standard meet-n-greet. To be honest, I was relieved more than proud, but again that might indicate I am more the culprit in what I deem as questionable behavior in my kids.

I assumed responsibility for the littles in the early afternoon so that Steve Knapp and crew could go on a scotch distillery tour. Rather than greeting me with, "I missed you!" or "We had such a good time..." or "I jumped into a snowbank off of Mugdock Castle's kitchen wall..." Little M greeted me with the following statement:

"Steve Knapp said, Pull my finger and then I did and then he farted - in my face..."

This was said as if Steve Knapp is now the ruler of the free world and also untouchabley cool. Though Steve Knapp did run for governor of California, I can assure you Steve Knapp is not a ruler of the free world neither should he be - if only due to his less than circumspect gastrointestinal control. Also, I must admit my bias. Fart jokes have never been my thing. They just aren't funny to me and fighting the "no fart joke" fight has proven to be cause for migraines, ulcers, and heartache in a house with an almost 6 year old boy thumping the oaks. "Uphill battle" does not describe my efforts accurately. "Lost battle" does.

Then, without skipping a beat, Little M added, " and he must not have a good Mama to teach him that farting is also quite rude."

While I am sure that Steve Knapp's mother has done a good job despite losing the same "no fart joke" battle I have clearly also lost, I am even more sure of why we adore Steve Knapp. Because, when told of Little M's take on the whole situation, Steve Knapp was impressed. He thought it a unique skill to enjoy a fart joke and suck up to one's mother in the same breath. This experience is one I have had with Steve Knapp over and over again. He is able to find and enjoy the skills that everyone brings to the table - even amidst glaring faults and whilst the room stinks to high heaven. We miss and adore you Steve Knapp. Fart on...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

there is always tomorrow

G wears the cuffs that were cut off of Big M's pants on her head at least once a day. They are crowns, hats, magic bunny ears, veterinary tracking collars for rhinos, the source of super heroine powers, and a great embarrassment for her brother especially when I say, "Come on, let's document this moment."

There is one major difference between these two. Little M, believes that if you could just listen to his entire story -even if it takes days to hear the story- you will come around to his world view. G doesn't really care if you get her world view as she just does what she wants and figures you'll come around. An offshoot of this part of G's personality is that she has developed a myriad of ways of telling you, "No." Please note that it is such a pervasive part of her, that her ninja "no" skills are not a developmental stage but more a part of her basic skill set.

The latest is tomorrow. For example:

Me- "G, please put your Jammies on."
G- "Jammies are for tomorrow."

Me -"G, it's time to go to the store. Let's go to the store. We need to get special chocolate for Little M for his friend's party. You can have some too!"
G- "I like chocolate. I like chocolate right away. The store is for tomorrow."

Me- "G, let's get our coats on to get your brother."
G - "I will go tomorrow."
Me - "It will be too cold without our coats. We need to stay warm and cozy."
G - "I am warm and cozy now. You get you (not a typo) coat on. You go now. I go maybe tomorrow."

I'm not sure if this use of the word tomorrow is a sign of a young procrastinator? a stubborn yet polite child? a forward looking soul? Her brother was too busy talking about how he didn't want to wear the pants cuff on his head. He was just sure if she listened she wouldn't put it on his head. G just put it on him whilst he was yammering on. I said to him, "M, you don't have to put it on. You can use your words. You can tell her no." G piped in, "Or tomorrow."