For the portable DVD player that is. So the kid had to actually converse with her mother for that whole ride up and back to Austin yesterday. And listen to Linkin Park and whatever other angry white male music her mother listens too at any given moment. I do take requests though but she, oddly enough, didn't make any yesterday. Did I mention she still going through that 'Prattling' stage? She's kind of fading it out but it's still there, drives me insane. Her dad can handle it better than I can so I was not happy to see that we had no cord placed in the bag with the dvd player. No, not happy at all.
So off we went and interestingly enough, the prattling did not start. What did start was a string of a few interesting conversations. 3 that I'll go over here, ones that kind of move her into big kid world, and she's only turning 7 this month, what the hell? So I'll start off with the most 'benign' or rather the shortest to tell.
She started babbling on about "A clean house is a happy house" over and over again in the back seat. Of course I'm going what the hell is she talking about because that is the most freakish 50's comment I've heard in awhile and it sure as hey howdy hell did not come from my house. We don't use those sort of anachronisms there. Especially since we break all those type rules, we had the at home dad for awhile, I majored in college in a 'man's world major' and work at a career that is predominantly male. The dh was a kindergarten teacher and was driven out because the principal didn't think a man should be a kinder teacher. To say that we have a slight role reversal in our household compared to the 50's would be an understatement. The 7th or 8th time that statement came out of the kid's mouth I had to ask her where it came from, it was driving me nuts. She himmed and hawed then I asked her if she knew what it meant.
Oh now then the conversation got interesting. Why you ask? Because she actually was interested in the answer. Now this is what shows a bit of maturity to me. Before she could care less what others were saying to her. She would be like "Whatever' and just go about her business of playing make believe. No no she wanted to know what the phrase actually meant. And I got into it. I went into the fact that the phrase was an old phrase, that it was used to cover up and make pretty things that were bad and homes that were broken on the inside but looked pretty on the outside. Oh yeah, I went off. She learned the phrase from my mother's husband this past weekend, the psycopath. He came from an absurdly broken home, his father was one of those that, when the teen daughter came home knocked up, he beat her within an inch of her life and then tossed her out. Yup, as children they gave them enemas as punishment. To this day my mother's husband has no idea what a happy home is, I made sure the dd knew that the phrase was a cover up and he could clean the house all he wanted but Gunny (the name they chose for him since he used to be a marine and all the other grandfather names were taken) had no idea what a happy house was. His home was broken, always had been, always would be. She seemed oddly fine with this. She doesn't get along so well with him all the time, probably because he's a bit off. Kids are good like that, they know when someone isn't quite right and nothing a person can do can cover it up in front of a kid. So now she doesn't believe that a clean house is a happy house and is better settled in a better understanding that her feelings that Gunny just isn't the same as everybody else. Because he isn't. I like to make sure she knows that. I had to go through my teen years with everybody trying to tell me that it was just me being a difficult teenager and that there was nothing wrong with that freak of nature. So not true, there is something wrong with him. It's not me, it's him. A clean house is a happy house, like he would know what a happy house was. The things he teaches my kid, where do they come from?
And that was the short conversation, want to hear the longer ones? OK this one's funny. The dd has been recently hung up on not being rich. Because we aren't and we managed to buy into a neighborhood where a lot of the people are (small home in big home neighborhood, good buy). She has a classmate that she's known since preschool (going on 3rd year together now) and we've been to their house once for dinner. Notice I said once and we've never invited them over to our house. There's a reason why. That girl (I'll call her M to be nice) is a little monster. Total brat. She back talks to her parents, doesn't listen, hits them, throws temper tantrums, the whole nine. It's bad. They are extremely sweet people, highly intelligent, college grads, mom's a stay at home mom, no other kids. They over indulge her and she doesn't take them seriously. I would not put up with the crap that she pulls, oh hell no. But they do. All last year in kinder they would ask the both of us "Does your daughter like school? Because M doesn't like it at all!" Well fancy that... this came as no surprise to us. She was a monster in preschool, not like that was going away in kinder. The public school system is not there to fix all the behavioral problems you created at home. No, that's your responsibility as a parent, duh.
Anyway M gets N's and U's and S's just about every day at school. For those of you that can't remember those are behavioral daily grades such as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, excellent, and the like. The dd, during this ride, randomly asked me, and I thought this was funny (and bitr you'll appreciate this question, with your lovely co-workers), if any of my co-workers behaved badly every day or several times a week. And I just knew she was talking about this girl in class or the other 1 boy with the same behavioral issues. So I told her that no those kids don't make it to real jobs. The system weeds them out. If those kids don't shape up that 1 of 2 things happen to them. Either they end up locked up at daddy's work or they end up dead or getting somebody killed (and then locked up at daddy's work). She thought about it for awhile, asked a few questions and took it all in. I don't think she thought I was making it up, I think she knew I was for real. I explained how people that make life difficult just can't fit in. I did sugar coat it though, I didn't mention the quantity of morons that slip through the cracks. We'll have to wait until junior high at least for that lecture.
So then she points out that they have money. Oh yeah this is the good part. This is the discussion we have that "Yes but are they happy?" and wouldn't you know it she knew the answer? She said no. She knew they weren't happy, she saw it every morning. Every morning, every single day M's parents sit with her in front of the classroom before school starts. No other parent has to do that. None. No other kid has a melt down in front of class as often as M does either. But that makes life easier on me when I get to explain to her that money doesn't make you happy. The dd is so fixated on money right now I can't even begin to tell you how irritating it is to me. She got it from my mother and her husband, he decided that the dd needed to understand the value of knowing how to budget so he went through these weird lessons obsession on money. Anyway so now she knows that money doesn't make you happy because M and her family is miserable and M is a total raging brat that no one wants to be friends with. Sadly this makes my life easier. Welcome to my world, where miserable rich people with social ineptitudes make my parenting easier.
The third discussion I'm going to save for it's own separate post. Because this one is way too long and the third discussion is longer and funny. I got to explain natural child birth to an almost 7yr old suburban child. She didn't believe me. It was funny. Something about apple seeds giving birth, I didn't get that one but whatever.