Tuesday, October 02, 2007

And the Oscar Goes To...

I've heard it said that if a shark stops swimming, it will die. There are some days that I believe the same of Kyra's mouth: that if it stops moving, she too will perish. This is why I sometimes affectionately refer to her as Mouth. She doesn't like my little pet name, so I use it sparingly. To say that Mouth has a flair for the dramatic is the understatement of the century...and last century. Mouth has an answer, explanation, excuse, complaint, gripe, scapegoat for EV-ER-Y-THING. Mouth always wants the last word and fights like hell for it. One day I hope that her appreciation for the arts and her fondness of many, many, many words pays off for her, perhaps in the form of a Pulitzer Prize or an Academy Award or at least president of the damn debate club, because I'd hate to think that I've been put through years of endless verbal-Olympic-babble-jousting for nothing.

Those of you readers who have never met Kyra probably think that I am being cruel to write about my baby girl this way. Those of you who HAVE met her are laughing your asses off. We are not parents who wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to our kids. We know from years of butt-wiping that their crap DOES stink. At our recent parent-teacher conference, we found out that Kyra is doing great in school. She is incredibly bright and is testing at the top of her class. But when we asked her teacher how Kyra was doing in the "drama queen" department and getting along with the other kids, her teacher replied, "Oh, you're aware of that?" She was relieved that she didn't have to "break the news" to us that Kyra could be a little overly sensitive when it came to dealing with the other kids. Yeah. We kind of figured that out. I've stopped asking her how her day at school was because her answer is always, "Horrible, so-and-so stuck their tongue out at me, or so-and-so looked at me weird." Even as I write, at 10:02, Diane is attending to Kyra, who can't go to sleep because she has "aches and pains" in her head, chest, back and feet.

Yesterday, I tried to get the girls to help me out by cleaning their rooms. Kailey jumped right to the task, no questions asked. Kyra pouted. I decided to take a different tack. "Let's all work on our rooms and when Mommy comes home we'll surprise her with how clean our rooms are!" For a second I thought she was going to take the bait. But then the tears started to flow. "What's wrong? Don't you want to surprise Mommy?" I asked.

"It's not that." Kyra cried. "I'm just sad because you and Mommy go out on a date for your anniversary and you don't take me and Kailey and we can't decorate the house for you and we can't celebrate your anniversary with you. I just wish you would let us decorate for your anniversary."

The tears gushed down her cheeks as she stood there sobbing.

"But, Sweetie, our anniversary was TWO MONTHS ago."

"I know and you didn't even let us decorate for you. You just dropped us off alone with Grammy and Papa and didn't even let us be a part of your anniversary."

Harder sobbing.

"But what does that have anything to do with CLEANING YOUR ROOM."

"I just wanted to decorate for your anniver..."

"OK, OK, OK, OK, OK...I promise that I'll let you decorate the whole freakin' house on our next anniversary if you'll just settle down and go CLEAN YOUR ROOM."

And the next two hours were filled with
explanations, excuses, complaints, gripes, and scapegoats as to why she couldn't clean her room. My earnest prayer is that this is just a phase that she will soon grow out of. Otherwise I pity the fool who has to listen to this crap for the rest of his life. Eighteen years is about all I am legally required to take.

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