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Monday, March 24, 2008

A growing trend – whoever you are?

It’s the fifth time I’ve seen it in 12 years in the States. I’ve never seen it in England but I’m not there very much any more. I stand by my trolly with my daughter in Trader Joes supermarket and watch, just like everybody else. I see a youngster, a boy, run from one end of the frozen food counter to the other, 30 feet, but he treds on the frozen food. His face is elated and his body is very nimble. My children have not done this. Maybe he is acting out, punishing his parent? Perhaps he is oblivious to social norms or flaunting them deliberately, there is no way to tell. I look around for his parent.

I see her swift movements with a face that’s a mask that masks nothing. She’s calm, almost nonchalant, as she heaves 60 pounds of child off the end of the freezer section. Trader Joes is a chain, a franchise. There are several options in a 25 mile radius. I expect that she visits them in turn. I imagine that she probably doesn’t take her son with her unless there are no other options.
Her rhino hide is impressive. She probably doesn’t notice, but I beam her anyway. How can one not beam such people?

mon - Indoor fireworks

All children squabble, it’s perfectly normal.

I chop onions in the kitchen, frenetic supper production during 30 minutes electronics but I’m only six steps away from them in the family room. The children lined up on the sofa, devices in hands.

“Static electricity!” he squalks.
“Stop buggin me!"
“Static electricity!” He rolls round and around on the couch wrapped in the new fake fur blanket.
“It’s impossible to beat those bats! It’s soooo annoying!” she moans at her Gameboy.
“How much wood can a wood chuck chuck,” he guffaws.
“Stop it with the baby talk you guys! Ow! What was that?”
“Not baby talk…..tongue twister time! Dat is be dah spark.” Good grief! Answering to questions one right after another without missing a beat?
“Spark? Be quiet! Stop making the baby noises!”
“Mom……she bin done call me…..baby!” Even the delivery is perfect! The tone! The whine! Bliss.
“No! don’t tattle tale on me you baby! Ow! What is that?”
“I not tat, I tongue twist! I be tell you already……static electricity.” Bless his little cotton socks, responding to two questions! Hold that thought! Both of them.
“Fine! Just stop it, it hurts. Just be quiet. Do you think you might possibly be able to do that for more than a nano second, just quit it already,” she wheedles, loaded with sarcasm.
“Hey Mom! She’s bin psychotic to me!”
“Psychotic? You mean sarcastic! Baby!”
“Dat too.”

I shuffle over to the family room and peer into the gloom as he takes his next roll in the leopard fur, sputtering blue sparks.

“See, dey are bin fireworks……inside.”

The subtly of language! I think I’m glad about that. I think.

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