I've been quite a stress kitten lately. I'll admit it. As my husband prepares to teach his first graduate class and simultaneously is falling prey to the rigors of organic lawn care, I have been minding the home front and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my toddler. Truth be told, my ideas usually run out around Thursday. And, with the end-of-summer hole (no swimming lessons or playgroups) to fill in the desperate blanks, I've been fit to be tied.
But enough about that. Bitching ain't going to solve it. Instead, I want to talk about why I am going to go down in the pantheon of bad (but inventive) moms. Why, you ask?
Well, with my verbal dexterity underchallenged as a stay-at-home-mom, I've resorted to playing small linguistic tricks on my son.
For instance, take last week. My husband was obsessed with the lawn. He thinks we have grubs, which are hatching into Japanese beetles and eating up our plants and planning the demise of our lawn ecosystem. Since using pesticides are out of the question (and, no irony here) I am in agreement with that, we have to find another way to get rid of the grub-a-dub-dubs. Enter the beneficial nematode. A boon to the lawn-obsessed, this little microscopic critter (which supposedly resembles a worm when you get one close enough to see) seeks out the grubs and eats them. Yum! Now that's some good Grub!
So, aforementioned husband waffles back and forth. Do we order them? D0 we not order them? Enough to cover our lawn will cost $50. For those of you keeping track, $50 buys you 50 million beneficial nematodes from the Internet. Finally, after much back-and-forth, he decides to order them. They show up a day later, packaged in a white styrofoam cooler which needs to go directly into the fridge. (I bet you're not eating at my house after you heard that!)
So, given the huge amount of care and interest the beneficial nematode has inspired in our house, I decide to tell my son that papa is getting nematodes. Can you say nematodes? "Nee-man-toes!" Shakes his head knowingly. I ask, "Do you know what nematodes are?" "Yup!" he says cheerily, shaking his head. I left it at that. As long as he thinks he knows what they are, who am I to spoil it with the actual (and perhaps icky) explanation?
Since my little chatterbox is actually an old chatterbox with a skipping record, it has been taken up into his vocabulary stew. It is not unusual to hear a string of words like this one: "Helmet guy goes up there up the ladder nematode. Jet engines!"
And, upon overhearing a conversation I had on the phone with someone last week, he has also picked up another little ditty. Someone we know just found out that they have two spleens. No matter how funny that may sound, it apparently isn't very funny if you're that person. Two spleens-- not so fun. So when I heard it, I said in a loud voice, "He has TWO SPLEENS?" and started laughing hysterically. Suddenly, my son was orbiting the couch at great velocity yelling "Two SPEENS!"
To make matters that much worse, I have two languages to mess around with. ONCE, mind you, months and months ago, when my son pointed to a picture of a parrot in one of his books, I told him that the German word for parrot was papagei. Then I thought to myself, giggled, and said it as two words: PAPA GUY... which is apt, for my -guy obsessed child ("Where helmet guy go?" "Guy over there and up a ladder!") And, ever the little parrot, he's stuck on repeat.
Where Mama go? To hell, apparently. Mama go where she not warp minds of small children.