Awaking to a crisp late winter’s morn I find myself sitting at the kitchen table. Glancing out the window I stare serenely at the unique flora and fauna that only exists in Australia. I sip my bracing cup of tea courage and ever so slowly, begin contemplating the days plans. Enveloped in my cocoon of tea, chilly air and beautiful Birds of Paradise flowers I am lulled into a sense of peace and harmony.
Hearing my daughter call out from the kids computer, “Oh, I’m sorry, did I teabag you?” careens rather viciously into my thought process and pulls me by the earlobe back into my true world.
Blinking stupidly, I pull myself up to my full height and march with righteous indignation to the kids computer desk and swiftly gear up the parental machine. I sincerely believe I hear ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS! blaring behind me. Only three sips down on my tea; however this is not something that can wait for chemical-induced sanity. “ I beg your pardon!?!?!? Children do not speak like that in MY house. Have you lost your mind?! Do you even know what that means!?”
My castigation met with timid curiosity. “Um, I’m sorry….was that bad? I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I saw someone say it in the game” Crud. the indignant anger oozes out of me like black clouds floating away. She didn’t know what she was saying.
Don’t roll your eyes at me. I know what the general masses are thinking, “SAP! Of course she knew, she’s LYING to you!” Please, just stop right there. This is not my first rodeo, Cupcake. I do not have endless trust in my children, particularly this kid. No, she lies when it makes more sense to tell the truth. She lies with style and a near poetic grace.
No, I believe in her honesty because when I did explain what tea bagging means her wails of disgust ricocheted throughout the house.
“Why would anyone do that?!?!? That is sooo disgusting!”, she cried.
Sweet Bleedin’ Jesus, it is too early in the morning for such a deep philosophical discussion about the finite differences between men and women. I am in no mental position to have an in-depth conversation right now. So I stick to the highlights and quickly inform her about men and women. “Yes, boys do find tea bagging entertaining. Boys are weird. You know this because I’ve told you this often. This is not news” I countered with bored desperation. “Listen Sweetie, I don’t tell you these pearls of wisdom to make up funny stories. They are different from us. I’m not saying better or worse, but they are in fact, different. Accept it now and while I won’t lie and say that Life will get easier; it will be tolerable.”
The “over the eye glasses” look she gave me was exactly like the one I gave my mother when she explained the Facts of Life to me. Horror, disgust, apprehension and more than a little disdain. Speaking slowly and succinctly, (I know this technique. It’s the same one I use with people who attempt to educate me on politics, health food plans and the dangers of icky vaccines. I must admit, I’m genuinely impressed with her ability to display such an intense level animosity and disgust, all the while pretending to seek clarity. All this at the age of eleven? Perhaps she’s more my daughter than I thought?) she says to me, “Are you seriously telling me that boys dangle their boy bits at their enemies faces because it entertains them?”
I return the volley in the same speed but I just can’t generate the equal level of derision. Not at this time of the morning. “No Baby, sometimes they do it to their friends too.”
At that point I ran up the flag and retreated, eager to put the entire unfortunate moment behind me. In interests of full honesty, I must admit that it did feel uncomfortable to return to drinking tea after that conversation, but I decided it was time to be the grown up. The tea was cooling, the other kids were rising and my Zen moment was officially shot to Hell. I needed whatever fortitude I could manage in a few seconds. A few minutes later I heard a loud grunt from the computer table, “Stupid lag!” an angry shove of the chair and storming of feet into the next room.
Yes Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.